KAABIL: A regressive and absurd revenge drama that sets the clock back to the 70s

While the world has officially entered into the twenty-first century seventeen years ago, some Bollywood directors are still stuck in the bygone era of the 70s. Hrithik Roshan’s starred Kaabil offers nothing new to the audience except maybe the love story of two visually impaired leads.

Divided into two parts – the first part is a sappy clichéd romance that ends with the tragic death of the heroine and the second part is a banal revenge drama (though less dreary than the first part) with a focus on the hero’s machismo.

A few minutes into the movie and the viewer starts wondering what the movie is building up to; though there is no surprise till the very end. Rohan (Hrithik) and Supriya (Yami) meet in the arranged marriage set-up – even though Supriya (financially independent, confident) doesn’t want to marry, she quickly gives into Rohan’s proposal. Thus follows the love story of two visually impaired protagonists with no dearth of jibes made on account of their blindness.

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Right from the female protagonist’s remark that how two negatives cannot make a positive to the random insensitive comments made by complete strangers, “haan, dono andhe hai” (yes, both are blind) to how two blind people make love; no one shows any sensitivity towards the visually impaired people including the visually impaired couple. Treading on a predictable path with mushy dialogues and songs, they get married, though tragedy strikes home pretty soon.

Raped by two thugs, Supriya is left at the mercy of the corrupt police officers who informs that the only way to establish rape is to get a medical test done within 24 hours of the rape. Now, a bit of research would have shown otherwise, but hey, who cares. If that was not preposterous enough, the movie moves to new heights of absurdity where the so-called modern, independent female lead character tells the hero that since she has been raped, she is not his “kaabil” anymore.

However, the buck doesn’t stop there. In her suicide note, she divulges her reason for suicide is his pain and suffering due to the repeated rape she is undergoing. She is raped, brutalized, assaulted but he is the victim of this entire tragedy.

No more than a prop, her role is limited to providing fuel to the hero to act out, avenge the death of his beloved and in the process, outshine everyone else.

Though, the movie is Hrithik centric from the very beginning.

Post interval, the hero fastens his belt, throws out challenges and set out to avenge the death of his wife. Not being able to protect his wife, he has no difficulty in planning and killing his nemesis.

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In the second half, Hrithik uses his voice to commit the perfect crime, though it’s far from perfect and often defies logic but it gets the deed done. Immersed in rough physical fights, he manages to shine through and finally manages to put the ghost of his dead wife to rest.

Almost two and a half hour long movie, Kaabil drags to the point of boredom in the first half. A second half, though slightly better and a little less tedious, suffers from the same old clichés from the 70s – lecherous goons, pliable policemen, threatening netas – pitiable dialogues, mediocre storyline and cardboard characters.

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The only redeeming factor is Hrithik who manages to pull off the sappy dialogues, mediocre storyline and predictable plot.

Even though 2016 was not a great year for Bollywood, it did manage to offer some strong female leads; with Kaabil a clock has once again been set backward.

All in all, Kaabil is a regressive drama that has absolutely nothing new to offer and once again takes Bollywood to new heights of absurdity and ludicrousness.

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