Updated: October 18, 2018 4:48:18 pm
There was something about director N Linguswamy’s Sandakozhi that clicked with the audience. The 2005 film followed the story of a recent college graduate Balu (Vishal). One summer morning, he beats up the local gangster Kasi (Lal) in Chidambaram in full public view. Kasi vows not to stop until he gets his revenge against Balu. Kasi finally tracks down Balu to a village in Madurai. And with Kasi, the audience begin to learn more about Balu and about his highly powerful father Durai (Rajkiran).
“You know who my father is?”, this dialogue is usually used in defense of the bad guys in a movie. But, in Sandakozhi, Kasi gets advised not to mess with Balu. Because…you know who his father is? Still, Kasi continues to pursue his vengeance finally leading to a climax, where Durai gives him an opportunity to settle his scores with his son in a fistfight. As Kasi learns about Balu and his father, on the other hand, Durai also discovers about the unknown side of his educated son: He can take down 10 men single-handedly without breaking a sweat.
Sandakozhi had two interesting themes: a father who learns the unknown fact about his son and the villain who discovers the influence and power of his enemy’s father. The movie clicked. The sequel to the film Sandakozhi 2 is devoid of interesting themes or fresh ideas. The sequel is set seven years after Balu’s face off with Kasi. After living aboard all these years, Balu returns to his native to celebrate the village festival.
The celebrations have not taken place in the village because of the gang-led by Pechi (Varalaxmi Sarathkumar), whose husband was killed during the same festival seven years. She vows not to allow celebrations in peace until she avenges her husband by killing all men in the family of the man that killed her husband. She almost succeeds but Durai (Rajkiran) saves Anbu (Johny Hari). In other words, Anbu is spared so that director has something to work on.
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Balu enters the picture just in time so that he can add muscle to his father’s stable, which is already overflowing with machismo. The next two hours Pechi tries to kill Anbu and Balu saves Anbu. In an action sequence, Balu beats up his rivals in a crowded carnival saving Anbu. He sends his enemies flying in the air but surprisingly no single living soul in the carnival notices the fight. The crowd move like zombies around the action scene and don’t even contribute to the scene as a mute spectator.
Linguswamy has even included a throwback scene to the first Sandakozhi by bringing back Kasi. The fearsome villain gets a comical treatment in the sequel. He is now settled in Andhra Pradesh and dresses diffidently. But he continues to be a foolish gangster who comes to Madurai without doing a proper background check on his targets.
Keerthy Suresh plays the ‘loosu ponnu’, aka quintessential heroine of Tamil cinema, called Sembaruthi. She is prone to doing all the bizarre things right when the hero looks at her. Balu immediately falls for Sembaruthi’s loosu ponnu charms. Wait, what about Hema (Meera Jasmine), the loosu ponnu in the first film? The point of writing stereotypical heroine roles is to allow the filmmakers to replace them easily. Hema’s character was so insignificant to the film that Linguswamy doesn’t even find it necessary to give a backstory to justify her disappearance. Going by that standards, even Keerthy’s Sembaruthi is also expendable if Sandakozhi 3 happens.
Varalaxmi Sarathkumar’s Pechi is another one-dimensional character in the movie. She screams, screams and screams. And then she screams some more. Vishal has hardly attempted acting. He has relied on editor Praveen K. L and composer Yuvan Shankar Raja to make his scenes in the movie mean something with the heavy use of slow-motion shots coupled with interesting background score.
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