Movie Review: Kaabil (2017)

kaabil0.5 Stars (out of 4)

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Kaabil (“Capable“) is stupid and gross. The movie’s biggest problem is that Yami Gautam’s character exists solely to be raped, an act which serves as a catalyst to transform Hrithik Roshan’s character into an avenging hero.

Roshan plays Rohan, a blind voice actor. One of his producers wonders how Rohan is able to deliver his dialogue in sync with the cartoon characters he voices when he can’t see the footage, but the question is offered as praise rather than a legitimate plot concern writer Vijay Kumar Mishra and director Sanjay Gupta simply ignore.

Gupta and Mishra also elect not to explain what preexisting relationship Rohan has with Amit (Rohit Roy) — a politician’s sleazy brother — and his toady, Wasim (Sahidur Rahaman). Events of the second half of the film make no sense unless Rohan has extensive background information about the two men and their families, which we’re not given any reason to believe he would have. It would also go a long way to explain why Amit and Wasim terrorize Rohan and his new wife, Supriya (Gautam), in the first place.

Most of the film’s first half is the establishment of Rohan’s romantic relationship with Supriya, with whom he’s setup by a mutual acquaintance based on the couple’s mutual blindness. They’re both kind people, but Supriya emphasizes how much she values her job and her independence, and says she is loath to sacrifice either for marriage. If only she’d stuck to her guns.

Instead, Supriya marries Rohan, with whom she enjoys a brief period of happiness before Amit and Wasim rape her because of some unexplained animosity toward Rohan. Throughout her ordeal, the movie gives no consideration to Supriya’s feelings, focusing instead on how her assault affects Rohan. She tells her husband, “Now I am not the same person for you.” Rohan doesn’t contradict her, his silence confirming her worst fears. He later claims he needed time to process what happened. You’d almost think he was the one who’d been raped.

Not long after Supriya’s assault, director Gupta inserts an item number into the film. The audience is supposed to pivot from being disgusted by a rape to now being titillated by closeups of Urvashi Rautela’s thighs and cleavage while Amit sings. It’s repulsive.

Rohan’s revenge is built on a number of conveniences, including his aforementioned intimate knowledge of Amit’s and Wasim’s families derived from who knows where. Rohan is also a master of hiding in the shadows, which is pretty amazing considering that he’s blind! He’s been blind since birth, so he’s never so much as seen a shadow, let alone learned how to use them to conceal his whereabouts.

Kaabil is so dumb that it would be tempting to laugh it off, were it not guilty of creating a confident female character just for the purposes of turning her into a plot device. It’s a textbook example of the offensive “Women in Refrigerators” trope, explained brilliantly in the video below:

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29 thoughts on “Movie Review: Kaabil (2017)

  1. Harkirat Singh

    I absolutely agree with you. Its a no-brainer movie, with logic flushed down the pipe. Now, THAT would’ve been fine if that’s what the movie was supposed to be, but that’s not the case. I found Rohit Roy’s character to be very one- dimensional. The songs can be thrown out the window… and while Sara zamana is a favourite of mine (being a Bollywood golden oldie), Rautela gyrating to it was frankly irritating and the rest of the songs were meh at best.

    1. Kathy Post author

      Thanks, Harkirat! Both Roy’s got stuck with one-dimensional characters: the evil politician and the evil politician’s brother. Same with Suresh Menon as Zafar, the friend who is magically always there when the main character needs him but otherwise doesn’t exist.

  2. Natalie

    I’m sorry but I think I’ll disagree on this review because it rather seems like a paid one! No ‘genuinity’ found !

    1. Kathy Post author

      It has the same “genuinity” as every other review I’ve written for this site, Natalie — as in, all of them.

    2. Vivek

      How can this review be a paid one? Just because Kathy hated it, you think review is not genuine.
      She did not give Raees 4 stars which she would have done if she was “paid” for it.

  3. Harkirat Singh

    Hrithik deserves a better script as a hero, IMO. ZNMD, Lakshya, and the likes have showcased his talent. Too bad he gets stuck with Krrish and other bummers most of the time.

    1. Kathy Post author

      Since both of the films you mentioned were produced by Farhan Akhtar, maybe Hrithik would’ve been better off starring in Raees. 😉

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  6. Rinkesh Bhojwani

    i m totally disagree..from u miss kathy this movie is classy specially acting of both yami and as usual hrk… story was different and i m not only who is saying imdb and some more critics are evidence…..

  7. Yours Truly!!

    I’m not sure about this review, as couldn’t disagree with it more. It was an amazing movie, full of emotion, action, and the performances made the characters believable. Everyone I know who’s watched the movie say they couldn’t help wiping the tears in their eye’s because of the beautifully love story and emotion delivered by the characters. Any movie that stirs such emotion, gets 10/10 from me. A truly wonderful movie.

    1. Kathy Post author

      I develop my own opinion independently, YT, not by consensus. I don’t wait until the movie is over, then say, “I’d better check the popular opinion on Twitter to see how I feel about what I just watched.” I struggle to be moved by a love story in which a husband doesn’t immediately comfort his raped wife and tell her, “It’s not your fault. I will love you forever.”

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