A massive PAN Indian movie titled Kabzaa starring Upendra and Shriya Saran hit the screens today. Kiccha Sudeepa and Shiva Rajkumar played crucial cameos. Originally shot in Kannada, the film was dubbed into other Indian languages. P Chandru directed this period action film. Let’s see how it is.
Arkeshwara (Upendra), an officer in the Indian Air Force, comes from a family of freedom fighters. He is head over heels for Madhumathi (Shriya Saran), an affluent girl, and the two plan to tie the knot. On the other hand, we see a lot of terrible gangsters and politicians who are eager for power in Amarapura. In a complete turn of events, Arkeshwara enters the world of crime and eventually becomes the king. How this changed Arkeshwar’s life is the crux of the story.
The cinematography is too good in Kabzaa and the past era has been shown very well. Upendra who is known for his unique films has given a very good performance. His screen presence is stunning and he showcased it in an amazing action avatar.
Kiccha Sudeepa and Shiva Rajkumar’s portraits provide great relief. Even though the actors are seen for a very short time, their presence is felt. The action sequences are nicely composed and the interval burst is fine.
Every once in a while a film becomes a trendsetter due to its unique presentation or concept. KGF is one such film that redefined heroism in Indian cinema. There’s nothing wrong with being inspired by such trendy movies, but the problem with Kabzaa is that it almost looks like a replica of KGF. There has to be some authenticity factor for a film to appeal, but Kabzaa doesn’t have one. Right from the story, narration and dialogues, Kabzaa looks exactly like KGF.
Even the voiceover that drives the story forward looks exactly like KGF. In KGF 2, this is a car chase sequence where the makers used a blackout effect to increase the impact. In Kabzaa, this particular effect is not used once, but throughout the film, which annoys the audience to the extreme. It’s high time filmmakers get off their KGF hangover and understand that the elements that worked for a film won’t always work for other films.
That’s not all of Kabzaa’s problem. It has an age-old story where the protagonist enters the world of crime under unavoidable circumstances. The film lacks any emotion and therefore we do not feel the pain of the characters. The focus was all about making a larger-than-life movie on the huge screen, but unfortunately the storytelling took a back seat in all of this.
The second half is very hard to sit through. The love track between the lead pair is quite boring and the romantic scenes come intermittently, which adds to the endless angst. The modification required several serious changes. The fast cuts and clumsy presentation of the film’s scenes do not help at all. The movie is dragging on unnecessarily and the even scarier thing is the announcement of a sequel to this movie.
Ravi Basrur’s music is loud and the effect is sorely lacking. The story also doesn’t give him enough space to show his skills. The cinematography and production values are excellent. If it wasn’t for AJ Shetty’s brilliant camerawork, the film would have been unbearable. The editing is bad and the Telugu dubbing is bad.
When I approached director Chandra, he did a poor job with the film. He also handled the story and screenplay, but he didn’t leave a mark in any respect. Even for a full-fledged action entertainer, there must be some emotion. But this aspect is completely missing in Kabzaa. The protagonist taking over the underworld is a concept that has been beaten to death, so there should be something new here.
Overall, Kabzaa is a loud and boring period action drama that fails to live up to its expectations. Upendra and the cinematography are the only solace in this tiresome film. The routine story, uninteresting narration and lack of emotion make it a disappointment. You can easily skip this movie.