Velaiilla Pattadhari 2
Velai Illa Pattadhaari 2: A Predictable, Plastered and Unfunny Sequel
Movie Review by Trijai Nerthi (Rocheston Certified Movie Critic)
Do you remember that story Rajini discloses in Arunachalam? In that film, Rajinikanth’s father leaves him to smoke a room full of cigarettes until he finally gets repelled by the very idea of smoking. This repulsion due to overdose is what Velai Illa Pattadhaari 2 leaves you feeling. By constantly trying to milk the popular aspects of its first installment, this sequel becomes overridden by predictability.
After successfully re-housing a slum with the help of numerous unemployed engineering graduates, Raghuvaran (Dhanush) comes face to face with another deadly enemy yet again. In this second installment, Raghuvaran who continues to work at Anita Constructions is soon at the face of jeopardy when he dismisses Vasundhara’s (Kajol) request to join their multi-national architectural firm. The manner in which he overcomes the hurdles she creates for him with the support of his mighty-willed engineers culminates the cusp of this plot.
VIP 2 largely follows the ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ formula. Unfortunately, this very formula leads to the suction of any remotely existing freshness in the film. Every storytelling segment used to take the film forward comes across as plastered and overdone. For instance, initially, we are told that Raghuvaran’s wife yells constantly and takes it upon herself to pick fights out of seemingly meager situations. This nit-picking tendency of his wife supplemented by Raghuvaran’s counter dialogues is funny only up to a point. When Raghuvaran doesn’t know when to stop, he eventually crosses the line by constantly comparing her actions to that of his mother’s.
In terms of screenplay, dialogues and script-writing the film rarely demonstrates originality. It is as though the scripting crew sat down and decided to string along every significant incident that caught the public’s eye in the past year. These incidents are then sealed with signature VIP elements to make for a barely entertaining mish-mash of a sequel.
Director Soundarya Rajinikanth’s intention to address the Chennai floods or the Jallikattu protest isn’t wrong but wanting to include a newspaper’s worth of content in one film is where the problem lies. The film would’ve been impactful if she had stuck with just one incident backed by a unique perspective. After all, no story can ride on relatability alone. Not if it isn’t backed by a substantial and convincing plot.
The first half is full of slow motion, ramping shots used to build up the heroism of Raghuvaran while also acknowledging the arrogance of Vasundhara. If this heroic establishment occurred once, that would’ve been sufficient to hold visual power. But by re-establishing their entry over and again, it becomes strenuous for the viewer to witness.
The film gradually takes a contradictory route as it misses out on properly establishing what is vital to the story. It goes about reiterating already entrenched instances. For example, through-out the first half, we are told many times that Raghuvaran’s wife is a yeller. We are also lent preachy dialogues, heroic power-walks and many self-building monologues. Unfortunately, the vital details like why the engineers trust Raghuvaran or why Raghuvaran’s wife suddenly stops fighting with him is conveyed ineffectively through the use of just one dialogue.
From the beginning Vasundhara’s character never comes across as a worthy contender. We are told that she is egoistic and arrogant but these characteristics of hers are never convincingly established. Her dialogues too lack crispness and free-flow. The dubbing artist’s slow pace and inconsistent delivery brings down the credibility of the character furthermore.
In one scene, Raghuvaran gets involved in a fight and without proper reasoning, the audiences are entrusted with the responsibility to side with him and cheer him on. Why ask the audiences to blindly indulge in worship? Why not actually provide a believable reason instead. In a few scenes, the lead character also tends to overtly worship his mother. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But he builds up his mother by putting his wife down; this troubling behavior could’ve been avoided.
The relatability of Raghuvaran and his relentlessness to overcome unemployment all the while holding on to his individuality is what made him a success. Sadly, all these characteristics we loved about him are exploited and made to be increasingly preachy and annoying. VIP was naturally relatable; VIP 2 on the other hand desperately tries to be relatable. This significant difference is the reason behind its predictability. Due to this desperation, Raghuvaran’s dialogues including his infamous Amul baby punch line becomes fairly ordinary and overused in this sequel.
The first half and second half of VIP 2 should have ideally been a part of two different stories. An effort to blend the two only fetches poor results. All these screenplay segments seem to be put in place just to cover up the plot-holes of a weak story. In a few scenes, VIP 2 becomes shockingly crass. The scene in which the protesters pass comments of Vasundhara’s appearance is offensive to say the least. Such degrading scenes could’ve been done away with.
As Raghuvaran, Dhanush fares well as far as humor is concerned. But matters become dull when he cites one Thirukkural after another. His Rajini and MGR references take away from his credibility. If he had stuck to his own palette of emotions, his performance would’ve been more relatable. As Vasundhara, Kajol is neither arrogant nor pleasant. She delivers a restrained performance that lacks proper lip-sync or authenticity. Amala Paul’s character could’ve held relevance to the current scenario. Her character’s ideologies are incredibly outdated.
Even though music director Sean Roldan has tried his best, Anirudh’s absence leaves a humongous hole in pertinence to the film’s theme. His pulsating notes could’ve increased the impact of the heroism demonstrated in the film.
Cinematographer Sameer Thahir’s visuals lack authenticity in many places. In certain shots, we never grow to understand what he tries to tell us. Many frames lie disjointed. One particular frame of the lead character’s forehead is especially distracting. Cinematographer Velraj’s absence is felt largely due to the film’s hit and miss visual-storytelling.
On the whole, Velai Illa Pattadhaari 2 is a whole lot of fluff enclosed in repetitive heroism. This unoriginal, unfunny sequel is bound to disappoint you due to its predictability.