Battle of Biggies: ‘Kaabil’ versus ‘Raees’

by

Pankaj Kumar

- January 25, 2017


It’s a box office clash that has been widely spoken about — but there are high possibilities that Kaabil and Raees will do exceedingly well as they are both extremely watchable films.

Both movies are releasing on Wednesday.

This time, the level of engagingness in both the movies is high. Both are love stories. Intense love stories.

'Kaabil' versus 'Raees'

Kaabil

In Kaabil, Hrithik Roshan loves his wife to death and is ready to go to any length to avenge the wrong done to her. The last 20 minutes of Kaabil are so heart-in-the-mouth, you would be advised to hold your bursting bladders till the last drop of blood is shed and avenged on screen.

Kaabil is by far Sanjay Gupta’s best work, more emotional and dramatic than any of the violent sagas he has narrated in the past. Hrithik gives his finest, most searing and energetic performance since Kaho Naa… Pyaar Hai and Guzaarish. His intensity of emotional expression is haunting.

Raees

Raees is also a love story. What’s more, it has nothing to do with Mahira Khan. SRK’s character of a man of ill-gotten power and wealth from Gujarat in the 1980s, is in love. With himself. Since I believe Shah Rukh in real life truly loves himself, the merger of the performer and the character is so brutally complete, it’s like watching mirror images of two identical souls — one off camera, the other on it — dressed in very different clothes.

This is maybe the first time in his entire career as a leading man that Shah Rukh has found a co-star who is compelling in his own right. Nawazuddin Siddiqui does with Shah Rukh what a Rishi Kapoor or Vinod Khanna could never do with Amitabh Bachchan. Tit for tat.

The two on-screen characters keep us ruthlessly riveted to the screen. The movement of the plot is almost maniacal, to coordinate the manic energy and mutinous passion of the two men at each other’s throats.

More than anything else, the two films this week prove what Hindi cinema has known all along. Nothing can replace the cult of superstardom. The mysticism, magic and magnetism that Khan and Roshan bring to the screen, have to be seen to be believed.

Don’t pick one between Raees and Kaabil. Go see both.

 


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