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Kabzaa: Did R Chandru’s last-minute edit chop off 40-minute run-time and ruin the film?

According to a source, the first cut was just over 3 hours long, which the filmmaker thought was way too much

Kabzaa: Did R Chandru’s last-minute edit chop off 40-minute run-time and ruin the film?
Upendra, Sudeep and Shiva Rajkumar in Kabzaa

Last Updated: 08.25 PM, Mar 18, 2023


When director R Chandru’s Kabzaa was being prepped for its big day with audiences, one of the major discussions surrounding it was about its length. At first, it was reported that theAr film would be 2 hours and 25 minutes long, which, after the censor was revealed to be 2 hours and 16 minutes only. Considering that Chandru had to present the rise of a gangster effectively and do justice to the massive ensemble cast he had onboarded, it seemed a too little time and now that the film is out, the film’s tight run-time is one of its biggest banes, as it left the filmmaker with no scope for character development, including his leading man. Every few minutes a new villain was introduced through a voice-over by Kiccha Sudeep, and he’d be promptly dispatched too, to make way for the next one.

Even Kiccha Sudeep’s much-publicized cameo, which was reported to be around 17 minutes long, turned out to be less than 5 minutes, with the actor only serving as narrator and not contributing much to the action. His character, Bhargava Bakshi is introduced as the cop tasked with hunting down Arkeshwara (Upendra), but there’s no real conflict between them either, with the action, if any, supposed to take place in the next edition of the tale, which is supposed to take off with Sudeep and Shivarajkumar’s characters.


Given that Kabzaa opened to largely disastrous reviews and has been widely panned for being nothing but a heap lift of KGF, it remains to be seen if Chandru will return to make the next edition after all. But what we are now hearing is that Chandru may have just dug the hole he is in right now himself. According to a source close to the film team, Chandru’s first cut of Kabzaa was 3 hours and 2 minutes long, which he thought was way too much and began chopping away vital scenes that would have lent gravitas not only to the protagonist, but the villains as well, all of who now come across as caricatures. If this is indeed true, the filmmaker should, perhaps, release a director’s cut when the film eventually comes to OTT.

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