The inevitable has happened: the clash between Hrithik Roshan’s KAABIL and Shah Rukh Khan’s RAEES is beginning to take its toll and in a few days and weeks, we will know who is the winner at the box-office. But, purely from the cinematic angle, KAABIL scores better than RAEES on all counts. I know comparisons can be odious and each movie must be evaluated on its own. But when two mega stars decide to release their movies on the same day (which according to me was totally avoidable: RAEES was slated to be released last year and had an option not to time it with KAABIL’s release), and you get to watch both movies within twenty four hours, comparisons are inevitable.
In a way, the themes of both RAEES and KAABIL sound more appropriate to the eighties. KAABIL’s rape and revenge melodrama and RAEES’s glorification of a Robin Hood character have seen many avatars in the past. KAABIL brings in a certain freshness in dealing with the theme and the lead actors Hrithik and Yami Gautam do full justice to their respective roles. It is not the first time that Hrithik has acted in a revenge drama: his AGNEEPATH was quite powerfully enacted. And, here in KAABIL, he puts up his best ever performance till date. His face is his biggest asset; the ease with which his light eyes exude child-like innocence, romance, angst and anger is remarkable. Because of this, we have several situations where Hrithik’s face covers a large part of the screen and the audience gets to see all the fine nuances.
The first half of KAABIL is refreshingly breezy (the song Mon Amor and the dance accompanying it is representative of the child-like excitement in the love story between challenged individuals) and the director Sanjay Gupta reveals his penchant for doing non-action oriented scenes just as well. The positioning of the lead characters is also different: challenged, they may be, but they are not yearning for sympathy. Contrast this with the script of RAEES, where there is a deliberate attempt to invoke sympathy for the wrong doer. The second half is full of gory action and possibilities which strain and stretch one’s imagination. That perhaps is the only weak spot in this otherwise gripping presentation. The Roy brothers (Rohit and Ronit) look decently menacing and are KAABIL of being hated!! And Urvashi Rautela’s item number in the rehashed version of YAARANA’s famous song SAARA ZAMANA (composed by KAABIL’s music director Rajesh Roshan) is a tad better than Sunny Leone’s antics in the rehashed number LAILA O LAILA in RAEES.
So for more reasons than one, KAABIL is certainly a KAABIL movie to watch!
RATING: 4 out of 5
January 27, 2017