'Sandakozhi' that released in 2005 was an important film not only for director Lingusamy but also for Vishal, who was launched as the son of the soil for the very first time and was accepted as a mainstream hero who could carry a movie on his own. Then he went on with his 'Maduraikaran' image in films like 'Thimiru' that helped him reach the masses to a certain extent.
'Sandakozhi 2', the namesake sequel to the original one has once again united the core cast and the crew. Of course, heroine Meera Jasmine is not known to many now, so she has been replaced by the currently popular Keerthi Suresh. However, the rest of the cast largely remains the same.
The movie being a rural action masala doesn't bother too much to pick up from the point it had left. Of course, this time the plot is slightly different but had the same template. The village headman, Durai (Raj Kiran) faces a tough challenge to conduct the village festival. The reason being Pechi (Varu Sarathkumar) and her siblings. Then, the effervescent Balu (Vishal) comes into his father's rescue. Moreover, while he is in the thick of things, Sembaruthi (Keerthi Suresh) falls for him. So, Lingusamy has tried to keep things straight and simple, with an overdose of masala.
Before, delving into the sequel, let's try to recollect the reasons for the success of the first part. The narrative was more organic and refreshing. The villain in that movie had a massively dented ego, and that was reason enough for him to go after the hero. There was this cutely knitted family of the heroine and their initial inhibitions to accept Balu as their son-in-law. On the other hand, the hero's family was also portrayed as the one with rich traditions and two desperate girls who want to get hitched to Balu. Lastly, Meera Jasmine's free-spirited portrayal. These were the underpinnings that made the first part work.
However, in the sequel, we get some bits and pieces of all these, but there was no clear establishment. For example, the real reason for Balu not getting married all these years and suddenly falling for a random girl (even if she is as beautiful as Keerthi Suresh) mocks the romance in the first part. Also, Vishal seems to have locked himself into a tiny virtual 'image box' and so, many of his scenes seem to glorify him. Right from the introduction where a cab driver sings hymns of him to the song where he is equalised to a deity (Karuppu) and is glorified to the hilt, there seems to be a discerning urge for the actor to up the ante offscreen.
Also, the real reason for the initial conflict and for sustaining the same was weak and hard to believe. Varu playing a negative role was a decent selection as she seems to be 'built' for such roles. As a trivia, this is Vishal's second time in having to deal with a female antagonist (the first one being 'Thimiru'). There were fights and more fights. Swearing, punching, sandstorm and what not. There was minimal action, but more noise.
Keerthy Suresh in the most naive of roles seemed to be refreshing mainly because of the way she carried herself. It was disheartening to watch a heroine who desperately wants to make a name for herself being tied down to such cliched roles. That's the curse of the Indian heroines, and Keerthi Suresh is not an exception.
Vishal and Raj Kiran in their respective roles as the son and father have had an established bonding, and so Lingusamy made sure to carry it forward with some element of theatrics. There was absolutely no room for comic reliefs as 'Ganja' Karuppu found it hard to grind down the lines. Certain links to the movie's first part, like the scene where actor Lal appeared, was well thought through. However, other than that, this one could be called as a spin-off, rather than a sequel. Yuvan's music was nowhere near the album he dished out for the first part.
The movie would most certainly appeal to the fans of rural action based masala that doesn't genuflect before logic or sensibility. It is an all-out mindless action fest for Vishal and Lingusamy fans alike. For the rest, please do not blame me for not warning!
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