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Review of Sandakozhi 2: Conveniently, this Vishal and Keerthy Suresh film is a sequel

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Review of Sandakozhi 2

Vishal-starring Sandakozhi 2, the sequel to 2005 blockbuster Sandakozhi, transports us back to a village in Madurai where keeping promises takes precedence over life itself.

While Sandakozhi was an endearing rural drama populated by captivating characters such as Vishal and Meera Jasmine among others, Sandakozhi 2’s tale remains lackluster; instead it simply recounts it without any attempt made at making it engaging or memorable.

Review of Sandakozhi 2
Review of Sandakozhi 2

Balu and Durai from the first film make an appearance in this sequel film. Vishal reprises his role as Balu; Vishal’s father Durai is highly revered in his village, his word becoming unspoken law that everyone obeys including rival camp members – no one can take on Durai effectively thus no one even attempts to challenge him.

Balu returns home after seven years abroad, leaving many to wonder what became of Hema, the girl he fell in love with during that period. Unfortunately, however, the makers do not find it important enough to show us. When Durai starts speaking of Hema with Chembaruthi (Keerthy Suresh), who manages to capture Balu’s mournful heart so beautifully, director Lingusamy opts for an ineffective no voiceover flashback that leaves viewers guessing instead. Poor audience.

Conflict in the film stems from Pechchi (Varalaxmi Sarathkumar) seeking revenge against those she sees responsible for his death: Durai accepts responsibility to protect Anbu (Johny Hari), setting in motion an eternal struggle between Pechchi and Balu.

What’s interesting is that Pechchi is shown as a strong and influential character; however, her influence over others is limited as the filmmaker opts for her male family members to make all of the decisive moves instead of Pechchi herself making statements or demanding they kill someone herself. Her sole function throughout the movie seems to be criticizing them for not being strong enough – one might ask whether this film actually needs Pechchi at all?

Chembaruthi, like Hema, is difficult to avoid comparison with. Balu is clearly taken with her character; throughout her stunts and her attitude she reinforces this. For instance, she does a wheelie and gets out of a jeep by hanging onto tree branches while showing great love despite not revealing much. Unfortunately, what Chembaruthi really feels is never made clear in this film.

Another noteworthy point should be mentioned, such as how effortlessly the director makes convenient choices – like borrowing scenes from popular Hindi films – to suit his script. While such actions may win him some fans in Chennai, such as when Balu and Chembaruthi start playing with colours in exactly the same manner that Ranveer Singh and Deepika Padukone’s characters in Ram Leela did; isn’t creating romantic scenes easier?

Moving on, another character is introduced midway to assuage the male lead’s ego – what a waste! Watching such scenes leaves one thinking that without these unnecessary yet convenient parts, we would still have Sandakozhi as our lead character.

The film’s climax is its greatest disappointment as its execution lacks conviction, leaving one to question if this was really what Pechchi had in store after seven years of anger, especially since her character is only partially developed – we never got to witness her deep-seated feelings as Pechchi remains obscure throughout. How deeply she loved her husband to hold onto such hatred remains unknown to us all.

Director Lingusamy’s greatest failure lies in his decision to begin with two factions fighting but never address its root cause: caste. A man from an upper caste protecting a boy from lower caste from being killed is an offensive notion which could have been avoided had Lingusamy not introduced the element of caste in the first place.

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