Kabali is much more than Rajini’s swag, here’s taking a closer look at all the sub-texts and surprises strewn across this deceptively simple gangster flick.

Spoiler alert

1. Defiance by dressing:

You can just dress up Superstar in a stylish coat and uber-cool sunglasses and get away with it. But, Ranjith chooses to make a statement, of breaking the stereotype of ‘class’ dressing.

2. Breaking the gender code:

We have heard master classes from our heroes on how women should ‘behave’ or dress. And here, Ranjith casts Dhansika in a brilliant offbeat daughter character, who happens to be an assassin by profession!

3. Legacy by policy, not blood:

From politics to caste system, we have had one generation rule another, by bloodline. Ranjith takes on it, introducing thalaivar as an outsider ousting the obvious choice by being the ‘logical’ heir.

4. No-nonsense romance:

We had our apprehensions too when Radhika Apte inked the deal for Kabali but the romantic portions have been ably crafted. Imagine, Rajinikanth in the flashback portion wooing Apte around the trees. Nope, not going to happen here. Their chemistry is powered by a great screenplay instead of awkward hugs and grooves.

5. The Malay framework:

From using authentic Malay accents to juxtaposing a fictional do- gooder to real-life gangster history in the country, Ranjith scores with his research. We get to see lot of references to historical happenings such as people losing jobs in rubber plantations.

6. Brilliant song placement:

When the album was out, many wondered how a slow song like ‘Mayanadhi’ would work in a Rajini movie. But Ranjith puts Santhosh Narayan’s work to the best use with truly gripping montages.

7. ‘No humour’ stance:

At a juncture when even Kollywood ghosts are expected to tickle your funny bone, the young director took a bold move to stay clear of a forced comedy track.

8. Voicing against social hierarchy:

From portraying support to income equality to Superstar mouthing dialogues that convey the rise of the oppressed in the climax, the director has ‘Ambedarkism’ written all over his film.

9. Naivety of school dropouts:

Troubled teenagers brainwashed to become terrorists, sounds familiar? Well, the film shows how teens are used by gangs to sell drugs, guns and even kill. That’s Ranjith – raw and real for you!

10. Thalaivar in a new dimension:

This don ages, apologies for his mistakes, doesn’t preach much, holds a bar to break his kick and even breaks down. The best moments of the film are not reserved to slow-mo walks but is left to a very real-life like Kabali admiring his daughter one second and waiting anxiously for his wife in another.

Ranjith’s success lies in the fact that at one point Kabali and Rajini, become one and the same. If Kabali didn’t appeal to you the first time over, we believe you might get lucky, the second time.