Kaala (2018 film)
Kaala (transl. Black or Death)[a] is a 2018 Indian Tamil-language action drama film written and directed by Pa. Ranjith and produced by Dhanush, under his production house Wunderbar Films. Starring Rajinikanth in the lead role, the film was announced in 2016. The film's title and first look poster was released in late May 2017.
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Pa. Ranjith|
|Written by||Pa. Ranjith|
Makizhnan B. M.
|Music by||Santhosh Narayanan|
|Edited by||A. Sreekar Prasad|
|Distributed by||Lyca Productions|
|Box office||est. ₹150.40–159.56 crore|
The film was earlier scheduled to be released on 27 April 2018 but was postponed to June due to the standoff between Nadigar Sangam and Digital Service Providers on the increase of Virtual Print Fee charges along with the 2018 Tamil Nadu protests for Kaveri water sharing issue which also led to the delay in release of other Tamil films. Kaala premiered in Malaysia on 6 June 2018, followed by a release in 1,800 theatres in India on 7 June 2018. The film was also dubbed into Telugu and Malayalam languages and released under the same title and in Hindi as Kaala Karikalan. Kaala is the first Indian film ever to be released in Saudi Arabia, following the country lifting its ban on public theatres in December 2017.
In Mumbai, the people who had migrated from Tamil Nadu are living in the Dharavi slum. Union Minister Haridev "Hari Dhadha" Abhayankar (Nana Patekar), previously a gangster who had carried out attacks in Dharavi, tries to evict the people and seize their land. Over the years, he becomes a minister and plans to clear the area to construct buildings using his construction company in the form of government schemes with the help of his supporter Vishnu Bhai (Sampath Raj).
However, Karikaalan (Rajinikanth), living in Dharavi, opposes it to protect the area and his people. His ex-lover Zareena (Huma Qureshi) returns to her native Dharavi as a representative NGO that hopes to improve the living standards in Dharavi, unbeknownst of Hari Dhadha’s intentions. Hari Dhadha’s assassination attempt on Kaala, in order to take control of the area, kills Kaala’s wife Selvi (Easwari Rao) and elder son Selvam (Dileepan). Kaala then decides to take revenge on Hari Dhadha.
Hari Dhadha threatens the people in Dharavi by creating problems, but Kaala encourages the people to protest against the government in order to give up the scheme. Hari Dhadha creates a curfew in Dharavi by using the help of SP Pankaj Patil (Pankaj Tripathi), who is his supporter. Along with some policemen and Hari Dhadha's right-hand man Inspector Sunil (Ravi Kale), they raid the area. Kaala fights with Hari Dhadha's henchmen and the police. Kaala's younger son Lenin (Manikandan), daughter-in-law Charumathi "Puyal" (Anjali Patil), and brother-in-law Vaaliyappan (Samuthirakani) also fight alongside him. Pankaj gets arrested after a video taken by a reporter named Praveen (Ramesh Thilak) during the curfew provides evidence that the henchmen were brought into Dharavi to create problems with police's support.
Later, the police believes that Kaala is dead after his chawl is set ablaze. They inform the media, but the people of Dharavi deny the news of his death. Hari Dhadha again enters Dharavi at a function for constructing a new building. Here, he begins to hallucinate Kaala's appearance among the crowd and behaves erratically. He is then killed by the people of Dharavi, and the government stops the scheme. With Dharavi's success, many slums start to follow Kaala's way of protest to protect their neighborhood, irrespective of illegal occupation of lands.
- Rajinikanth as Karikaalan "Kaala", the head of the Tamil people of Dharavi who wants to protect the area and his people
- Nana Patekar as Haridev Abhayankar (Hari Dhadha), Union Minister of Acting Party and old rowdy who killed Kaala's father Venggaiyan
- Eswari Rao as Selvi, Kaala's wife who gets killed by Hari Dhadha
- Huma Qureshi as Zareena, Kaala's ex-girlfriend and a slum clearance builder from Africa who returns to Dharavi
- Samuthirakani as Vaaliyappan, Selvi's brother who fights alongside Kaala
- Anjali Patil as Charumathi (Puyal), Lenin's girlfriend and a member of 'Vizhithiru' group who fights alongside Kaala
- Dileepan as Selvam, Kaala's second son and a main goon of Kaala but gets killed by Hari Dhadha
- Nitish Veera as Kathiravan, Kaala's eldest son who runs his business
- Manikandan as Lenin, Kaala's youngest son and the founder of 'Vizhithiru' group who fights alongside Kaala
- Vikram as Kaala's third son
- Aruldoss as Mani, the MLA of Dharavi
- Aravind Akash as Sivaji Rao Gaekwad, a police constable
- Sayaji Shinde as Maharashtra Minister
- Sampath Raj as Vishnu Bhai, Local MLA and Hari Dhadha's silent goon
- Ravi Kale as Inspector Sunil, Hari Dhadha's sidekick
- Pankaj Tripathi as SP Pankaj Patil, Hari Dhadha's supporter who gets arrested
- Arundhati as Kaala's daughter-in-law
- Sakshi Agarwal as Kaala's daughter-in-law
- Suganya as Kaala's daughter-in-law
- Ramesh Thilak as Praveen, a TV reporter who was responsible in carrying out Pankaj's arrest
- Bikramjeet Kanwarpal as Manu Constructions Builder
- Dopeadelicz as Dharavi resident
- Kanna as Beemji, a Dharavi resident
- Suryakanth as MLA Candidate
- Anitha as Newsreader
- Vishalini as Devi
Following the commercial success of director Pa. Ranjith's gangster romantic drama Kabali (2016) starring Rajinikanth, actor-producer Dhanush announced that he had signed the duo to work on a new film for his production house, Wunderbar Films during late August 2016. Refuting reports that the film would be a sequel to Kabali, Dhanush announced that production would begin during mid-2017 following the completion of Rajinikanth's work for Shankar's science fiction film 2.0 (2018). In early May 2017, the producers received an open letter from Sundar Shekar Mishra, the foster son of gangster Haji Mastan, threatening that the makers should not depict his father in negative light and if they did, they would face consequences. In reply, Ranjith denied the film was a biopic of Haji Mastan and clarified that the film was based on fictional events, while revealing that Rajinikanth would play a man from Tirunelveli who escapes to Mumbai as a child and goes on to become a powerful don living in Dharavi slums. The title of the film, Kaala was announced in late May 2017, with promotional posters carrying the film's first look released in Tamil, English, Hindi and Telugu.
Casting and crewEdit
Following the announcement of the film, Wunderbar Films sought to cast Vidya Balan in a leading role, but the actress turned down the offer. Actress Huma Qureshi was later added to the cast in early May 2017 to feature in a role opposite Rajinikanth. Marathi actress Anjali Patil also announced that she would be playing an important role in the film through a post on her official Twitter account. Several members of the technical crew of Kabali were retained for Kaala, with A. Sreekar Prasad replacing Praveen K. L. as the film's editor during its pre-production stage. Bollywood actor Nana Patekar has been signed to play a politician who is the antagonist. For the role of Kaala's wife, Kasthuri was considered before Easwari Rao was confirmed. Dileepan of Vathikuchi fame is playing as one of the sons of Rajnikanth and Huma Qureshi is playing Zareena, Rajnikanth's ex-girlfriend.
Shooting of this film started on 28 May 2017 at Mumbai and the lead actor Rajinikanth participated in this first schedule. Due to heavy rains in Mumbai, the team had taken a break and erected a set at Chennai with Mumbai as its backdrop.
Anand Mahindra, chairman and managing director of Mahindra Group, was interested in the jeep which was used in the first look poster of this movie. He tweeted that he would love to acquire that jeep for his company's auto museum.
K. Rajashekaran of GSR Vinmeen Creations filed a case claiming the title of this film against Pa Ranjith, Rajnikanth and Dhanush. His allegation was that he had registered the title Kaarikalan with the South Indian Film Chamber of Commerce. In response, Wunderbar Films filed a counter-affidavit saying the story was written by Pa Ranjith and the title Kaala is registered by M/s Mini Studio, a sister concern of Wunderbar Films, with Tamil Film Producers Council on 24 May 2017.
The soundtrack was composed by Santhosh Narayanan in his second collaboration with actor Rajinikanth and his fourth collaboration with director Pa. Ranjith. The soundtrack album consists of nine songs written by Kabilan, Umadevi, Arunraja Kamaraj, Arivu, Dopeadelicz, Logan and Roshan Jamrock, while the Telugu and Hindi version of the soundtrack consists of eight songs. The audio launch event of Kaala took place on 9 May 2018, at YMCA College of Physical Education, Chennai and the songs were simultaneously released on all streaming platforms in all three languages.
The Times of India rated the film 3.5 out of 5 and stated that Ranjith owes to his excellent technical crew for "helping him visualise and deliver this 51% Rajini-49% Ranjith movie". The Indian Express rated the movie 3.5 out of 5 and said that,''Ranjith stays true to his objective. The traces of what we saw in Kabali have been fleshed out and beautifully embellished.''. NDTV rated the movie 3 out of 5 stars and stated that Kaala is out and out a director's film with a strong political core. Rajinikanth, in a toned-down avatar, is a bonus.'. Meanwhile, The Hindu criticized the movie for its political elements and rated the film 2 out of 5, stating "an underwhelming film made for Rajinikanth, the politician. It’s difficult to think of Kaala as a film that was written for a star who claims to have had no political ambitions at the time. Now that he has become a politician, it’s Rajni the superstar that we long to see". The Hindustan Times gave its ratings as 4 out of 5 for the movie, stating "Rajinikanth lends his voice to Pa Ranjith’s political viewpoint".
Kaala had a worldwide gross of ₹150.40 crore in 45 days. It also collected ₹75.10 crore for its global distributors, who shelled out ₹165 crore on its theatrical rights.
Awards and nominationsEdit
|Date of ceremony||Award||Category||Recipient(s) and nominee(s)||Result||Ref.|
|16 December 2018||Behindwoods Gold Medal||Best Supporting Actress||Easwari Rao||Won|||
|5 January 2019||Ananda Vikatan Cinema Awards||Best Supporting Actress||Easwari Rao||Won|||
|Best Dialogue||Pa. Ranjith
Makizhnan B. M.
|Best Music Director||Santhosh Narayanan||Won|
|Best Stunt Director||Dhilip Subbarayan||Won|
|Best Villain — Male||Nana Patekar||Won|
|16 August 2019||8th South Indian International Movie Awards||Best Actress in a Supporting Role||Easwari Rao||Won|
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