Sandakozhi 2: A Predictable Screenplay Made Worse By Superficial Execution
Movie Review by Trijai Nerthi (Rocheston Certified Movie Critic)
You could have the biggest production value, the best technicians in the industry and great actors to anchor a film and yet not be able to stop it from sinking. Why? Poor direction and a lack of fresh ideas. This is Sandakozhi 2’s problem. Even after watching the film, you find no solid reason for the necessity of a sequel. The film is centered on the same old formula in the same old style, packaged in the same old manner. Sure, it is better than the director’s Anjaan. But this fact alone cannot make your experience worthwhile, can it?
In efforts to quench their thirst for a decade old revenge, Pechi (Varalaxmi Sarathkumar) and her clan set out to murder Anbu (Johny Hari), the last male standing in his family. However, Durai Ayya (Raj Kiran) is determined to disrupt this cold-blooded plan. He demands that his son, Balu (Vishal) intervene in their spiteful mission and protect Anbu at all cost. Durai Ayya also hands Balu the responsibility of successfully seeing their reputable Thiruvizha through without their dispute coming in the midst of it. Whether or not Balu succeeds in this mission forms the crux of the story.
For any film that attempts a sequel, it is important for the story to answer the question ‘Why does this tale demand a second installment?’ Sadly, Sandakozhi moves in warp speed without ever giving you an answer to this question. The original was backed by a worthy mission. It wove together family sentiments, action and comedy in such an interesting manner. So much so, that you didn’t mind it tooting its own horn every now and then. But this sequel does nothing but toot its own horn. What makes this intolerable is the predictability that accompanies it.
Starting from the story centered on revenge to the unraveling of each and every plot twist, everything about Sandakozhi 2 is predictable. There are so many new perspectives that an extreme passion for revenge can bring about. So, why thrust such an interesting motive into a screenplay that is so bland and done to death in Indian cinema? Is it the film’s sole purpose to simply become one among many? Unfortunately, these are not the only questions the film raises in your mind.
As you are taken through the plot, you wonder, what happened to Meera Jasmine’s character? One would think, the presence of Sembaruthi (Keerthy Suresh) would answer this. But Sembaruthi’s character is so disconnected from the film that if she went missing, the story would’ve just gone along fine without her. This is another convention the film follows blindly: Insisting on the presence of a heroine character even though there is no need for it in the story. To make matters worse, the director makes the said heroine’s character a stupid one. For a considerably long time, she assumes that Balu is Durai Ayya’s driver even though it is so obvious that he is the son. The questions and patience-testing conventions do not end here, remember Lal’s character from the first part? His presence in this installment is perplexing to put it subtly.
There is such a big difference in the way the audience and the director have percieved Sandakozhi. The audience placed it in the ‘harmless entertainment’ section of Tamil Cinema. But director Lingusamy derives a rule book from it to apply to this sequel. He blindly proceeds to set boundaries, barriers, and rules from the aforementioned book and this is predominantly why the film appears incredibly staged. In a mundane manner, it jumps from a punchline to some action and a song. This rhythm gets repeated over and again leaving you bored to death.
As Balu, Vishal delivers what is expected of him, no more, no less. As Pechi, Varalaxmi Sarathkumar’s performance is repetitive. All through the film, she maintains the same tone and nuances, never exhibiting variations in her character’s psyche. Keerthy Suresh’s character is disconnected from the film. Her performance proves to be adequate but her Madurai slang appears put-on. Raj Kiran’s character is one of the driving forces of the first installment, but here it is terribly underwritten.
Yuvan Shankar Raja’s background score uplifts the film in many scenes but his songs are placed badly. K.A Shakthivel’s cinematography definitely fits the bill. But sadly, these technicalities alone aren’t enough to save the film from its own blandness.
On the whole, Sandakozhi 2 is predictable, superficial and simply tiring. It is best if you sit this one out.