Kabza 2023 Kannada Movie Review
Cast: Upendra, Shiva Rajkumar, Kiccha Sudeepa, Shriya Saran, Sudha, Murali Sharma, Nawab Shah, Suneel Puranik, John Kokken, Dev Gill, Kabir Duhan Singh, Danish Akhtar Saifi, Kota Srinivasa Rao, and Posani Krishna Murali
Cinematography: A. J. Shetty
Music: Ravi Basrur
In 1947 a Gandhi follower and a freedom fighter were brutally attacked. Due to unavoidable circumstances, the freedom fighter’s son gets trapped in the mafia world and the story revolves between 1942 to 1986.
Kabza 2023 Kannada Movie Review
Kabzaa brings three superstars together: Upendra, Kichcha Sudeep, and Shiva Rajkumar. The biggest is, of course, Upendra Sir, who has defined Kannada cinema with some of his pathbreaking works way before anyone would have imagined it.
I am a fan of that Upendra sir, not this. R. Chandru’s Magnus opus has no head and no tail. Action, loud BGM, and grandeur that’s all there is to it, and it’s intolerable. What an absolute waste of time, money, and talent.
Just because KGF did wonders at the Indian box office doesn’t mean that Sandalwood should have tried to make another one of it and forgotten about itself. KGF is not even in the top 10 best films in the last 5-6 years from Kannada cinema, forget in the decade or all-time.
Then who had this silly notion that one could try to replicate it with different superstars and directors? Kabzaa is not KGF, but it is a wannabe KGF. While doing so, it did not become either one.
Kabzaa Part 1 kicks off in the pre-independence era with the child of a freedom fighter, Arkeshwara, living with his mother and brother. Soon India gets independence, and the next thing you know, you are in the 1970s with the adult version of Arkeshwara, played by Upendra.
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He is an Air Force soldier now, but he is forced to join the dark world of the Underworld as his brother is killed by a powerful gangster. To take revenge for his brother’s death, Arkeshwara kills the local gangster and becomes a sort of protector, a big-time gangster in Amarapur.
Madhumati (Shriya Saran) marries Arkeshwara against her father’s wishes, who is a political giant. Arkeshwara’s fear spread way up North, and the biggest of gangsters are now after him, alongside a strong cop, Bhargava Bakshi (Kichcha Sundeep). There is a surprise element in the climax, but you’ll have to wait for part two of that (including Bhargava’s full-fledged role).
Written by R. Chandru alone, Kabzaa is a terrible script for today’s era. The conflicts are so old that even your grandpa will call them outdated for his era. And don’t ask about logic, because there isn’t any.
From where it begins to where it ends, there is no connection to it. Kabzaa proves how scattered a screenplay can be. With those overdramatic pauses, irritating blackouts, constant knockout moments, and whatnot, Kabzaa tests your patience every minute for two long hours.
Who’d expect a romance during this black massacre? But Kabzaa has it. Who’d expect twists from the 1950s? Kabzaa got them. An over-elevated action becomes boring in the first quarter only, but then you have to endure it for the next three quarters. Poor you, you just need a mobile and good Internet to have some distraction as a moment of relief.
I am still confused about whether or not we should talk about performances, as this is not a performance-driven film at all. You’ll see a lot of acting in “UI” from Upendra, but Kabzaa is not the same tonic.
He gets into the mass action zone, and a very hardcore one; if that pleases you, then you are lucky. But don’t expect anything else. Kichcha has a small role, and he’s mostly a narrator, so let’s wait for his performance in the second part.
Shriya Saran looks gorgeous in her traditional avatar and dances well on one song, and that’s the best you get to see. Those pauses for dated dialogue could have killed me without any weapon.
Murali Sharma, Nawab Khan, John Kokken, Tahaa Shah, Pramod Shetty, and others are there only to deliver the dialogue in a typical accent and show machoism. guess the Kannada audience has some good ears for them.
I still don’t know what “loud BGM” means. Does it indicate aggression, expression, or anything else? The cinematography captures good frames of big-screen grandeur, which is indeed big for Sandalwood.
As mentioned above, dialogues are too cheesy to digest in 2023. R. Chandru’s direction is extremely hardcore and is only and only focused on larger-than-life commercial filmmaking, and that’s far from logical and intelligent cinema.
Verdict: Kabza 2023 Kannada Movie Review
Kabzaa makes you uncomfortable and leaves you restless to leave the auditorium unless you enjoy such mindless masala flicks. Even commercial cinema is changing nowadays, so you better be aware of what’s good and what’s crap. Kabzaa isn’t the former, for sure.