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“KAABIL” is elementary but gripping!

Held together mainly by the exceptionally brilliant Hrithik Roshan, this revenge drama, although well-paced and visually pleasing, is mostly predictable and absolutely simple in its treatment. Nevertheless, it’s totally watchable and deserves to be seen for Hrithik’s awe-inspiring performance.

The story is about the visually-disabled Rohan (Hrithik Roshan), a 31-year-old dubbing artist, with a simple dream -- to lead a normal life and to find someone with whom he can build a happy home. His journey leads him to meet the independent and level-headed, but also blind, Supriya (Yami Gautam). Together, the two discover love, happiness, laughter and passion. Until one fateful day, changes it all. A grave tragedy leaves Rohan isolated and completely in the dark. Driven by his loss, rage and his undying love for Supriya, Rohan is propelled into a no holds barred battle of strength and wit against the powerful people responsible for destroying his perfect life.

The main flaws of the film are its heightened melodrama, caricaturist characters and a clichéd plot. While the idea of a blind man being able to avenge his grief all on his own is different and could’ve been tapped into very intelligently, Director Sanjay Gupta chooses to go the formulaic way with stock villains, corrupt cops and a predictable storyline. Warts and all, you are never bored of the screenplay and are kept involved throughout. As a matter of fact, post the interval, you do feel something novel is going to transpire when you realize the method Rohan employs to clawback justice from the wrongdoers. But even that eventuates into nothing really special. Also disappointing is the fact that most characters are, as I mentioned before, reduced to clichéd caricatures. The bad guys are politically powerful and also control the local police to prevent justice for the protagonist. The songs are average, but visually the film seems fresh, although there are a few scenes where the Mumbai backdrop evidently appears created with CGI.

Eventually it falls on the lap of the immensely real Hrithik Roshan to sail this leaky boat. He makes you invest deeply into his character and feel the grief, despite all the implausibility of the script. It’s amazing how he’s unperturbed by the mediocrity of his surroundings and excels each time. Playing a blind man convincingly can be tough and he does it with the ease of a seasoned performer, that he has proven to be, time and again. Alas, the film doesn’t do complete justice to his talent. In fact the film qualifies as a watchable affair only by the virtue of his presence in it. Yami Gautam is satisfactory, but the Roy brothers are reduced to mere exaggerated impersonations of the stock bad-guy. All others are just passable.

In all, KAABIL is an average revenge drama elevated vastly by its leading man. It’s gripping but never gritty. Worth a watch nevertheless!

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