The only reason to keep watching this film right till the bitter end comes right at the end. This is not a spoiler. It’s just a tip, which comes to you via gritted teeth, because you keep asking yourself in disbelief, just how bad can a Dhanush film get?
Going by VIP 2, let me tell you, it can get pretty terrible.
VIP 2 Lalkar is 99 percent tosh, created for the express purpose of getting Dhanush to sing and dance and ‘do comedy’ and fight, all the things a Hero is meant to do.
Given that the leading man is capable of terrific acting, and has done all kinds of interesting, edgy roles, this one should have been a snip. But he flubs it, essentially because of a hopelessly stilted plot and treatment that is all cliché.
Taking off from where the original VIP left off, we see Raghuvaran (Dhanush) crossing swords with the very toffee-nosed Vasundhara (Kajol), the former being the very proletarian, down-to-earth engineer and the savior of many working class young joes like himself, the latter being the very wealthy, arrogant owner of the biggest architect firm in the region.
‘Vellai’ (work) plus ‘illai’ (no) adds up to Jobless Raghuvaran, whose fight against Vasundhara is on the principles of fairness and justice and truth and saving the environment. That must have sounded good on paper, but is executed so ham-handedly, that you cringe.
And Kajol, who was so good in her big Tamil outing many years ago (Rajeev Menon’s Minsara Kanuvu aka Sapnay, ‘97) is all snarly and slit-eyed and power-suited here, snapping fingers at her underlings. She’s written with no variation, and you watch in despair: Kajol has much more in her; she certainly doesn’t need this. And we are expected to believe that Dhanush, the slender, lightweight Dhanush, can take on burly villains single-handedly, and send them flying, slo-mo.
All you can is to roll your eyes.
And one more thing. Given that there is a female director at the helm, it has surprisingly regressive lines, poking fun at wives and other women. These jokes have gone old, and more so in a film helmed by the next gen.
In the last few minutes, the film changes tack, loosens up, allowing the two leads to break out. Suddenly, we find the two talking to each other, measuring each other up for size, showing us two actors at work.
This could have been the film.