Uriyadi 2 movie cast: Vijay Kumar, Vismaya, Sudhakar, Abbas
Uriyadi 2 movie director: Vijay Kumar
Uriyadi 2 movie rating: 2.5 stars
Written and directed by Vijay Kumar, Uriyadi 2 is the sequel to the 2016 political thriller Uriyadi. I liked the first part because it was quite rich in terms of storytelling, detailing and execution. Uriyadi 2 begins on a promising note but doesn’t travel that way. Though not really a sequel to the earlier film, Uriyadi 2 reflects the lead character’s anger towards society. You understand why the protagonist has ‘Lenin’ in his name. The walls of his house are adorned with the pictures of Vladimir Lenin, Karl Marx and Che Guevara. If the original was set in the 90s, the sequel is set in the present day.
A businessman establishes a dangerous chemical plant in Sengathirmala, a rural pocket in Tamil Nadu, with the help of politicians and bureaucrats. The factory, banned in other countries, gets environmental clearance. Thanks to the corrupt officials who issue a NOC (No Objection Certificate). Lenin Vijay (Vijay Kumar) works with a couple of friends in a chemical factory, Paksino. Due to the leak of Methyl Isocyanide, one of them dies. Eventually, the toxic waste from the plant results in a number of deaths in the locality. How Vijay fights the injustice forms the rest of the story.
It’s evident Uriyadi 2 is based on two things — India’s largest biogas plant tragedy and the recent Sterlite protests. In 1984, poisonous gas leakage from the factory of Union Carbide in Madhya Pradesh killed thousands of people directly, and it’s one of the worst industrial mishaps in the world. Uriyadi 2 comes in the time of parliamentary elections, and the film seems a gentle reminder to people about caste-based politics and greedy corporates. Vijay Kumar applies a similar formula that has been quintessentially identified with Pa Ranjith’s style of filmmaking. The reds and blacks used on the frame that befits the theme.
Despite serious storytelling, Uriyadi 2 doesn’t work. When you see the film, it feels like you’re sitting in a chemistry classroom. Produced by Suriya under his banner 2D Entertainment, the film is more an image-boosting exercise for Vijay.
As for acting, Vijay Kumar does a convincing job. I enjoyed Uriyadi because it never forced ‘heroism’ into the script. The best part about Vijay’s character in part 1 was he was his natural self—no gimmicks, no heroism—only naivety and helplessness. Whereas in Uriyadi 2, his character becomes melodramatic. Also, the film has many scenes aimed at playing to the gallery.
The writing is good. The 119-minute film doesn’t waste time. Vijay Kumar makes each of his characters believable, even if we don’t know them. Uriyadi 2 gets its share of terrific music from Govind Vasantha. Thankfully, songs don’t slow down the film’s pace.
There is this scene where Isai Vani (Vismaya) gets introduced. Some astrologer, who’s invited to her home, says she’d end up in a love marriage. I wish Uriyadi 2 had more such subtleties. But it doesn’t have them. The film is direct and the effort of storytelling is washed away by those ‘messages’ to the audience. I’m not saying sending out messages is wrong. But there’s a method involved in it. For example, Lenin Vijay says we have “Apps that update us on cricket scores.” Valid, all right. But how does it sound when he points out, “We don’t have one to tell us about the quality of the air we breathe?”
In one of the scenes, actor Vijay Kumar says, “We speak chemical terms. To educate the masses, we must explain things in simpler terms.” If only the same idea hit the filmmaker Vijay Kumar. A lot of thought has gone into the screenplay, but the loose ends aren’t tied up towards the end.