Sanjay Gupta is known for making action thrillers which do not carry heavy emotions. Rakesh Roshan, on the other hand, makes films which are laden with emotions. One expects to see a marriage of their sensibilities in ‘Kaabil’, a film directed by Gupta and produced by Roshan. A blind man indulging in heavy duty action reminds me of ‘Daredevil’, the American superhero which a film and a television show have been made on. In this film, Hrithik does not play a superhero but is blind and uses the rest of his sense to get even with people who have wronged him.
Rohan Bhatnagar (Hrithik Roshan) is a dubbing artiste who does not let his visual impairment come in the way of him leading a normal life. One day, a common friend arranges a meeting with Supriya Sharma (Yami Gautam), who like Rohan is bereft of vision but is an independent, working woman. Though Supriya is not keen on getting married, she likes Rohan. Soon enough, both of them fall deeply in love with each other and end up getting married. Tragedy strikes as Amit (Ronit Roy), minister Madhavrao Shellar’s (Ronit Roy) brother and his friend Wasim (Sahidur Rahaman) wreak havoc in the couple’s life resulting in something which leaves Rohan shattered. After Rohan realizes that the police are not going to help him get justice, he decides to take matter in his own hands and teach the wrongdoers a lesson.
A blind man seeking revenge does arouse some interest but then, when one looks at the plot points as revealed by the trailer, one feels the film takes the oft-repeated route taken by several films. Time to keep your speculations and apprehensions aside as the film leaves you surprised and how! After an engaging second half in which you see some heart-warming moments between the couple and witness the aftermath of the catastrophe that strikes in their lives, it is the second half that leaves you exhilarated, in a good way of course. The way Rohan, despite his lack of vision, goes about eliminating the bad guys, leaves you awestruck. The intensity and the drama continue to accelerate till the final showdown between Rohan and Madhavrao.
While the second half packs a solid punch, there are a few things in the first half that could have been taken care of. The way in which Amit enters Rohan and Supriya’s life is too random. A build-up to the incident that drives Rohan towards taking revenge should have been nice. The character of the two main antagonists (played by Ronit and Rohit Roy) seem to be straight out of a 90s potboiler. The way these characters have been etched reeks of lazy writing. Lazy writing is not something one would associate this film as a whole as it this revenge saga has enough twists and turns to keep you hooked and your get your heartbeat racing at several occasions.
Not for once does Hrithik Roshan make you feel that he can see. Apart from making one believe that he is visually impaired, he lends a great deal of emotional depth that makes you empathize with him and root for him. Yami Gautam delivers a highly effective and endearing performance and is equally convincing as a visually impaired woman. Though she is seen sporadically in the second half, she leaves a solid impact as and when she appears. Despite getting to play characters which do not have any novelty, Ronit and Rohit Roy put their best for forward and perform exceedingly well. Narendra Jha is good as the senior inspector.
Emotions have not played a crucial role in Sanjay Gupta’s earlier films but in ‘Kaabil’, they do. In fact, they are one of the film’s strengths. Sanjay strikes a fine balance between making a technically stylish thriller and lacing it with emotions. The film has its share of technical flaws too. The CGI is tacky, you can easily guess as to which of the scenes have been shot against a green screen. No other complaints on the technical front as such, as Gupta gets some of the best technicians on board for the film. Barring “Haseeno Ka Deewana”, the songs (Rajesh Roshan, Gourov-Roshin) blend in seamlessly into the narrative.
‘Kaabil’ might have been packaged as a 90s style revenge drama but who cares about the packaging of a film as long as it gives you a bang for your buck, right? I found myself thoroughly entertained, got teary eyed and had my adrenaline rushing at several occasions while watching the film. I am pretty sure lovers of true-blue commercial Hindi cinema will go through the same experience as they see this film.