Director: N Lingusamy
Cast: Vishal Krishna, Keerthy Suresh, Varalaxmi Sarathkumar
Composer: Yuvan Shankar Raja
Keerthy Suresh as Sembaruthi replaces Meera Jasmine in Sandakozhi 2. This seems to be the custom with Tamil film sequels. Even the word sequel is loosely associated with these films. They don’t make a big deal about continuity or any form of story progression. They build upon the cult status of the earlier films. Saamy Square, the most recent example, where Trisha didn’t make an appearance, her role taken over by Aishwarya Rajesh only for a couple of minutes. Meera Jasmine’s character’s history is brushed away in a few illegible words in this N Linguswamy directorial. Keerthy Suresh is the star now. So, no matter the strength of your cult status, you need her to do the things expected of the lead women in films of this genre – always be chirpy to the point of unbearable din, be of no consequence to the story, fail to even make an appearance in the final scene of the film. Imagine being that brazen in admitting the trivial nature of this character. Oh, also can you take a selfie while wheeling in your TVS 50? That can come in handy.
Sandakozhi 2 has the other woman too. Its own Neelambari. Varalaxmi Sarathkumar plays Pechi, and she plays it like she’s possessed by the Amman named after her. In some shots, her eyes dart to some faraway place, her head thinking about the revenge that she has been planning for seven years. Maybe playing it over because she, the film, the audience know that it is not happening. Sandakozhi 2 has all the caste pride and son of soil narrative that ruled the first. An altercation to that effect leads to the cancellation of a festival, and Pechi and the men in her family vowing to end the lineage of a lower caste man. There is one from that family, named, with a hint of mischief, Anbu, still alive seven years later and they are baying for his blood when Durai (Rajkiran) and other villagers plan to restart the festival. Durai, his men and Balu (Vishal) are tasked with protecting Anbu at all costs and make sure the festival has a successful run without any untoward incident. What follows is a series of the eponymous fights, one set piece after another, ten lost minutes of our lives, one after another.
Linguswamy makes sure Sandakozhi 2 remains unwatchable from beginning to end. The fights are his biggest USPs and they are not filmed with any sense of style. They are a chore, dragging along with no energy or pace. Durai and his men seem to be ruling over a village of blind men and women. When Balu is beating people up, dragging men around the festival grounds, people apparently turn their faces away. The second half falls into a different realm of ridiculousness. Durai gets injured and Balu organises the theatrics of pretending that nothing is wrong with his father. A ubiquitous man suddenly disappears from the scene and no one seems to notice. This even leads to Balu treating Sembaruthi worse than Linguswamy does, but we are made to sympathize with Balu. Oh, what great men! What greater sacrifice! We really feel for Anbu.
This film would last only ten minutes if Anbu was shipped off to some other place – maybe Rayalaseema (yes this has all the clichés) from where a character from the earlier film reappears – but prudent decisions are not part of Durai clan’s culture. The word vamsam – clans – is thrown around as casually as people in Sandakozhi 2 wave around a sickle – even a child wields it, proudly. But Anbu effectively has no say in anything, no lines, and his plight in the climax is hilarious if not miserable. He is made to sit on a stone and keep watch as we are treated to yet another headache inducing fight sequence. Anbu watches. Anbu looks bored. Anbu doesn’t even move an inch when a knife comes at his throat. It finally dawns upon us. We are Anbu. We take the likes of Sandakozhi 2, film after film, sitting numb in front of them. We are the ones miserable and taken for granted.
The Sandakozhi 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.