Director: Sakthi Chidambaram
Cast: Prabhu Deva, Nikki Galrani, Prabhu
Composer: Amresh Ganesh
Director Sakthi Chidambaram made Charlie Chaplin in 2002. The film starred Prabhu Deva and Prabhu, Gayatri Raghuram and others, and was a roaring success, and was remade in Telugu, Malayalam, Hindi, Kannada and other languages. At the centre of the film was a very familiar plot: one we have seen in thousands of films and many more books.
16 years later, Sakthi Chidambaram’s Charlie Chaplin 2 released. Prabhu Deva and Prabhu return, along with a whole bunch of new actors – Nikki Galrani, Adah Sharma, Vivek Prasanna, Arvind Akash, and others. But why this one is called Charlie Chaplin 2 and dubbed the sequel is anybody’s guess. Besides the two lead actors and the director, nothing connects this film to the previous one. Perhaps the frozen-in-time sense of humour. The jokes, the plot situations are all 2002.
Prabhu Deva plays a young man in love. This is a role he has played many times in the past 20 years so he can draw on his rich experience. Nikki Galrani plays a young woman who doesn’t want to be in love. Prabhu plays himself – something he’s done for all his recent films. How did he settle for these nothing roles? Where he just has to appear, play some sort of genial fool, and then disappear? And why does Prabhu Deva want to do these roles? As an actor, director, he’s grown. Why would he still want to come back to play these basic roles which offer nothing at all?
Prabhu Deva is Thiru, who runs a matrimonial service. He’s got 99 people successfully matched and wants to be the 100th person to find love. He meets Sara, played by Nikki Galrani, and so immediately falls in love with her. But she doesn’t want to be in love right away, she has other more important things to do: save the world one dying woman at a time. This begins with Sumangali (Seetha), whose only purpose in the film is to be the object of mockery and shaming. A mix-up involving lots of flashing eyelids and a theatre audience rolling in laughter because, obviously Sumangali isn’t heroine material but Ramakrishnan (Prabhu) and Sara both think Thiru is in love with her. After much mocking of the girl’s looks, Thiru and Sara become lovers and a wedding date is fixed.
Then, there’s the other Saara, played by Adah Sharma. She’s a psychology student who pretends to love young men on the streets to determine what their reactions are – because that’s how psychology works.
Meanwhile, Thiru has a friend Dubai Raja (Prasanna Vivek) who suspects Sara is cheating on Thiru, and rushes over to save him. This involves blaming every woman in the world, sending Sara a long video message in which Thiru shames her, her father, and multiple other people. And so begins a wild chase through Chennai and Tada, and Tirupathi – with a brief stop to beat some people up and prevent sandalwood smuggling – because why not, when you’ve just screamed at the girl you’re going to marry?
More mix-ups, more cheap shots, homophobic jokes, body shaming, running around, some impersonation follow. The Psychology Saara lands up because the message has gone to her and not to Sara, and Saara has now fallen in love with Thiru the day before his wedding. Then for no reason ever, there are two song and dance sequences – because why not, when you have Prabhu Deva, some more beating up of goons, more mix-ups and we roll towards a climax. In this two-hour something film, every attempt at humour has been crude and dated, but who cares when an entire audience in a modern multiplex inside a big mall in a major city is laughing their heads off.
And so the film ends. And I wonder, why this sequel needed to be made 16 years later.
The Charlie Chaplin 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.