Sandakozhi 2 movie review: This Vishal, Keerthy Suresh starrer is a conveniently made sequel
Sandakozhi 2Director: LingusamyCast: Vishal, Keerthy Suresh, Rajkiran, Varalaxmi SarathkumarRating: 1.5/5
Vishal starrer Sandakozhi 2, the sequel to 2005 blockbuster Sandakozhi takes us back to a village in Madurai where staying true to promises comes before one’s life. While Sandakozhi was a charming rural drama with memorable characters played by Vishal and Meera Jasmine among others, the sequel is an insipid tale. It is a mere retelling of the tale with no effort made to make it engaging.
Two important characters from the earlier film – Balu and Durai – return in the sequel. Vishal is back as Balu, whose father Durai is a respected man in the village. His word is unspoken rule, obeyed by everyone in the village and this includes men from the rival camp as well. No one has the ability to take him on (so they do not even try).
Balu, meanwhile, returns to the village after spending seven years abroad. A question to ask: what happened to Hema, the girl Balu was in love with seven years ago? Well, the makers don’t deem it important to let us know. Durai starts to speak of Hema to Chembaruthi (Keerthy Suresh) who has managed to capture his son Balu’s mourning heart, but director Lingusamy chooses to go with the cliched ‘no voiceover’ flashback. Poor audience is left to assume.
Meanwhile, the conflict in the film is about Pechchi (Varalaxmi Sarathkumar) seeking revenge for her dead husband. Durai accepts responsibility to protect the man Pechchi wants killed -- Anbu (Johny Hari) -- and there lies the seed of the clash between Pechchi and Balu.
What’s interesting is that Pechchi is shown as a strong and important character. However, what makes her a prop more than a person who influences others is the fact that the filmmaker chooses to have the ‘men’ in her family make the important moves. All she does throughout the film is yell at them for not being ‘man’ enough to make one of them kill. One may even ask -- does the film need Pechchi at all?
Moving to the other female character, Chembaruthi, it is hard to not compare her to Hema and draw similarities. That is the sort of a girl Balu likes and the filmmaker affirms this throughout with her stunts and her attitude --she does a wheelie, gets out of a jeep by hanging on to tree branches and loves abundantly. However, what she feels is just not evident.
Another point that needs to be mentioned here is the ease with which the director makes convenient choices, like lifting scenes from a popular Hindi film. While such an act may have its fair share of fans in Chennai, it is not going to help anyone. For example, when Balu and Chembaruthi start playing with colours, they do it exactly the way that Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone’s characters in Ram Leela did. Is it really that difficult to come up with a romantic scene?
Moving on, a character is introduced mid-way just to assuage the male lead’s ego. Just a waste! Watching such scenes one is forced to think that if one was to pluck out the unimportant and convenient parts, we would be left with nothing but Sandakozhi.
The climax is the biggest let down as the execution lacks conviction. One is left wondering -- is this what Pechchi’s seven years of anger ends up being? And then it dawns on us that we were never shown the depth of her feelings as the character is hardly fleshed out. How much Pechchi loved her husband to carry this rage in her heart is something we never get to see.
Finally, the most disappointing part is how director Lingusamy begins with two factions fighting and never addressed the root cause of the conflict -- caste. The fact that a man from a higher caste protects a boy from the lower caste from getting killed is a regressive idea, one which could have been avoided had the director not added the element of caste in the first place.
Give me Sandakozhi any day!