Film Review: Kabzaa

 Director R Chandru's Upendra, Kicha Sudeep, Shriya Saran starrer Kabzaa hit theatres on March 17th in several languages.

Arkeshwara ( Upendra) is the son of a freedom fighter who later becomes an air force pilot. But one time when he returns to his village,he he gets embroiled in a situation when his brother is killed by dangerous thugs. Things spiral out of control and the outcome is that now Arkeshwar, in fighting against the injustice to his family, soon becomes one of the most powerful dons in the country.  He marries his childhood sweetheart, a  princess (Shriya Saran), and the duo have twins.

But all is not well.  He has big enemies across the world as well. One of them is his own father-in-law who was against his daughter marrying a commoner. The police led by a senior official ( Kicha Sudeep), is also after him, all leading to a life threatening situation for him and his family.   Will Arkeshwar survive? Who is the new entrant in this already grim siruation? 

The making is lavish and grand. Characters come and go,  as the film moves between the 1940s and 1970s. The narrative is led by a voice over, as each character and the backstory of Arkeshwar is revealed to us. 

There is action galore for lovers of the genre with Ravi Basrur's BGM upping the thrills. But watch out for gory violence as well, such as flying heads cut off from writhing bodies, bloody gunfights and knives drawing blood.

The dark shades of the movie, literally, on screen, the full -on action and bloodbath, and the rise of the hero as a Don,  keep reminding one of similarities with KGF, as does the lavish grandeur and set pieces.

Upendra,as Arka, makes his presence felt,  transitioning with ease from fighter pilot to don. There are ample action sequences for fans, as Upendra wields knives and guns with equal aplomb as he packs a punch with physical combat. He shines in the emotional scenes as well, with his wife played by Shriya Saran who brings grace, elegance, charm and beauty to her performance. The romance scenes are played out with a quiet dignity.  

Kicha Sudeep impresses as usual with his stylish, strong presence as the cop out to get Arka.

The rest of the supporting cast is well chosen and add to the drama. A lot of effort has gone into re- creating the period settings of the film,  all on a larger- than- life scale.

On the flip side,  there seem to be one too many characters to keep track of and as many fights and killings,  which means that one is not given enough time to let it all sink in and feel for the characters.  However, in the second half things do speed up leading to a grand climax with the promise of more than just sparks flying in Kabzaa 2, the sequel.

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