January 27 2017
Superstar actor Hrithik Roshan gives a finely modulated performance as a wronged blind man but not everyone can clap when his character turns violent…
By Suman Bhuchar
THIS much eagerly anticipated and heralded film featuring Hrithik Roshan is finally here – he plays the character of a blind man, Rohan Bhatanagar, really convincingly.
Rohit is a single man living alone who cooks his breakfast – scrambled eggs on toast on a two-ring gas cooker, as the film opens is sight to behold.
Next up he is fixing the bike chain for a young Parsi boy called Percy who asks him how can he do that when he can’t see, and the reply comes ‘faith and confidence’!
He’s set on a blind date with a woman called ‘Supriya’ (Yami Gautam) who is also blind, independent, and doesn’t want to get married! But as luck would have it, it’s love at first sight for both of them.
However, Rohit (Roshan) takes to calling her ‘Su’ as a term of endearment but is really irritating because she has a nice name which is not difficult to pronounce.
He then goes to visit her where she plays the piano for a dance school – here is a lovely sequence of the two of them dancing together to the song “Mon Amour” – and there are other nice sequences like losing each other in a crowded mall where fans have come to see some film-star and there are twee quotes like ‘two negatives are going to make a positive’ – my brother who is a Maths boffin tells me that is possible – but we will leave that for a moment.
The couple get married and the serpents appear in their Eden – our bad guy Amit (Rohit Roy) is the brother of a mean political supremo and his side-kick, Wasim (the son of a butcher, played by Sahidur Rahaman) are jealous of the happiness of our blind couple and there is a predictable falling out and a horrible scene of sexual violence…if you don’t want to know any more best to stop reading at this point. (SPOILER ALERT)
When the couple complain to the Police, they do nothing – and then…things take a turn for the worse and Rohan realises that the only solution open to him is rough justice or vigilante justice and sets about to get his revenge, and the ways in which he does this are ingenious and varied. (Sorry, I feel honour bound not to give away the entire plot).
“Kaabil” – the title of the film means ‘capable’ or in some cases ‘worthy’ and this is what our main protagonist wants to be by avenging the rape of his wife.
He has a day job providing playing ‘voices’ for animated characters and this ability serves him well when he decides to seek justice for himself and his wife.
The ‘small man fighting big people seems to be the message here’. There is also a fine performance by the actor who plays police inspector, Chaube (Narendra Jha).
Here is where the film started getting a bit unbearable for me – it seemed a little gratuitous and over the top.
However, my male friends watching the same film kept cheering when the bad guy got his comeuppance.
What is interesting is that both the bad guy and the good guy have friends who are Muslim and for some reason Hindi films always have a Muslim sidekick and I am sure there is a dissertation in this.
The film has some good music and the performances by the two leads portraying blind people who just want to get on with their life without harming other people, but not being allowed to by other jealous people is really moving to watch.
Overall this film has good performances, great music but the story telling is not something I found personally appealing.
ACV rating: *** (out of five)
‘Kaabil’ released worldwide on January 25