Ideally, a whodunit is considered to be the most interesting form of thrillers. But, Rakesh Roshan since the 90s has been challenging the tricks of its classic ways, and adapting it to Bollywood. Though Sanjay Gupta’s Kaabil is merely produced by him, it isn’t difficult to grasp why Roshan and his stable decided to back the project. The essence of the film is no different from his pulpy vendetta sagas from the yore – Khoon Bhari Maang and Karan Arjun. What it offers is comfort cinema, the one where the hero triumphs and it’s still fun to see it through the end. What it doesn’t bring to the table is the slickness of modern dramas and an original thought! However, there is no disputing the fact that the film isn’t novel. Borrowed from Korean hit Broken, the film traces the journey of a blind man and his wife’s journey towards redemption. Quite a story? Pretty much, more so, because it’s well done.
Leading the pack and carrying the film solely on his shoulders is Hrithik. Forget the duds of last year, he is back with renewed vigor. In the first hour, he charms us with his romantic side and his ability to woo his lady love. Yami Gautam, who plays the part with subtlety, matching his performance in her restricted role, is effortless. There are moments of genuine chemistry. It’s passionately done. His Rohan and her Supriya end up looking palpable, like a regular couple. Their woes affect you and you can feel their pain. Kudos to the writers and Gupta, to establish a strong backstory before moving on to the real drama.
But then, staying true to the template, doom strikes. She is raped and the men are the mighty ones, capable of buying off corrupt officers. What can a blind couple do anyway? That’s where the miscreants played wonderfully by Ronit and Rohit Roy, underestimate the leading man. He is a full-blown Hindi film hero, eyes or no eyes. After a series of humiliating incidents, she backs down refusing to undergo the trauma of being defiled over and over again. Forced to take the matters in his own hands, Rohan wants to avenge and he will spare no one!
Hrithik strikes an even note in each scene. He is believable and his killing spree feels every bit real. He is cold-blooded and when he knocks down, one scumbag at a time, he makes you want to stand up and whistle. In so many ways, Kaabil is a satiating single-screen watch. The dialogues are over dramatic in parts to which front seaters in theatres could have some wicked comebacks.
What doesn’t work is the pace! It is awfully slow and between one scene and another, there is a light years’ gap. The superfluous dance numbers are nothing more than Rajesh Roshan going back to his young years to end the secret of his magic. The VFX work is shoddy and Gupta’s tinted Instagram-filterish view of every scene could get a bit tiring. Since the editing has its own share of flaws, the film in the second half makes you dreary.
But there isn’t a single reason for you to not watch the movie. Grab a popcorn, book a single screen and maaro some seeti Apna hero is Baar naam Roshan Kar raha hai…
We rate the film a 60% on the Pinkvilla Movie Meter.