There are some things you might do after exiting Thiruttu Payale 2. You’ll first go through your friends list on social media and start wondering how and when you allowed some people into your life. Then, you’ll prune your list to keep just those people who actually matter and those you trust. Three, you’ll stop being a slave to selfies and ‘likes’.
That’s the kind of effect Susi Ganeshan’s film has. The director, back after a break, proves he’s in sync with the times with a film that rides high on technology. There’s nothing really private anymore, and the film drives home that point. You can spy on people, snoop into conversations, ‘clone’ numbers and listen in to every dirty detail in the room. But, what if the dirt enters your life? What if you start using the dirt you get to listen to as a source of income? What if you end up being on the good side of bad, tackling someone who claims he’s already residing in your house in the many things he’s helped your wife choose?
Or, like the director, in a cameo says, ‘What if both of them were bad?’
Susi Ganeshan continues in the same zone where his hit Thiruttu Payale was set — what happens when a private, sanctified space is under threat? Only, this one is far snazzier, shuttling between a well-decorated bachelor’s pad, a government quarters that has been given new life by a girl who loves the arts, coffee shops and a room where a cop listens in to dirty secrets.
While the issue of privacy loss in social media is commonplace, what is not is the extent to which people allow strangers an intimate peek into their lives. And, that’s what the director has focussed on. In a sequence where four friends speak over a liquor session, one of them says that there’s dirt everywhere, even within you and me, if you listen in. That’s what Selvam, the cop played by Bobby Simha discovers, when he sees that everyone has a dual face, one for the outside world, and the other that is real. Friends backbite, parents crib about their children over the phone but smile in person and sexual harassment is rife. After a point, he pulls out all the bugs he’s fixed at home. They’ve done nothing but spoil his peace.
And, if the new Rs 2,000 denomination has been brought in to curb black money, a theme the director familarised us with in Kanthaswamy, this movie shows how easily this fits into the boot of a car, or a box, ready to come back into circulation, like “juice from a straw”.
Thankfully, not a single comic sequence has been fit in to cater to the masses. The songs, sadly, impede the thriller. But, the background score is as addictive as it was in the original movie in the franchise.
The cast drives home the message well. Prasanna is a revelation as Balki, a tech whiz who lives in a palatial house, but takes public transport. You never know the reason why he does what he does. Is it the high of reading up a girl’s history and slowly entrapping her? Is it the high of clandestine midnight conversations? The actor shines in a role that calls for his voice to be used to maximum effect. It helps that Prasanna is one of the few actors here whose Tamil diction is perfect.
Bobby Simha is Selvam, the husband, the cop who insists he’s honest before morphing into someone who’s honest-corrupt. He is competent, but after his life-altering role in Jigarthanda, no director has got him to open up that way in front of the camera. His chemistry with Amala Paul should have been palpable, but it’s not quite. But, he’s the yin to her yang, and theirs is a relationship rooted in friendship. She’s comfortable enough to tell him that he might be her husband, but Facebook is her boyfriend.
Amala Paul shines in every scene, her face lit up like her character’s name — Agalvilakku. She’s effective in portraying the agony of someone caught in a web of her own making. Be it cooking with social media open in the kitchen or video-chatting with a stranger sitting in her bedroom, you’re dying to tell her she’s walking down a path fraught with danger, but she’s oblivious, happy in all the attention and likes.
The film has been shot using sync sound, and that contributes to the mood and feel. But, if only a little attention had been paid to Bobby and Amala’s pronunciation — the much-maligned ‘zha’ is missing in their dictionary — after a point, it grates when vaazhkai and azhagu become vaalkai and alagu.
I’ll still vote for TP2. It is a film that shows you in close-up what really happens with all the data we put out on social media and how they can be mined by those with wrong intentions. And, it’s time we saw the real picture.
The Thiruttu Payale 2 review is a Silverscreen original article. It was not paid for or commissioned by anyone associated with the movie. Silverscreen.in and its writers do not have any commercial relationship with movies that are reviewed on the site.