Oru Second Class Yathra Review
'Oru Second Class Yatra' isn't a damaging film, especially since being flat certainly cannot be considered offensive. For the most part, it restricts itself to telling a mundane story that holds few revelations in store, and does not aspire to be a fabulous entertainer that throws in style with substance.
Balagopal (Sreejith Ravi) and Jolly Kurien (Joju George) are two police officers who have been entrusted with the task of transferring two prisoners from Kannur to Trivandrum. They board the Parasuram express with the handcuffed inmates and at Kayamkulam, one of them - Nandu (Vineeth Sreenivasan) - escapes. The cops along with the other prisoner Maran (Vinod Jose) disembark at the next station hoping to track down Nandu before the end of the day.
'Oru Second Class Yatra' is more of a road movie in the sense that the action which starts at the northern tip of Kerala culminates at the southern end. Much of the sequences have been shot inside a train, with the rest of the passengers turning out to be characters who intend to make some impact on the narrative.
It's another matter altogether that they seldom succeed in doing so. For instance, there are the two north Indian labourers who are brought into the plot, and a detour of sorts that ensues for a few minutes. There is also the much vocal politician who wouldn't care to close his mouth for a while; all of whom appear to be cardboard characters who are merely wedged onto the plot without any specific purpose.
Plenty of such individuals merely pass by, like the girl who appears in Nandu's flashback; his school mate who steadily advances up the academic stairs, while he is forced to assist at a grocery shop. His sister (Nikki Galrani) who is around, driving a bicycle, suddenly turns out to be imperative to the plot however with a twist of sorts appearing out of nowhere.
Maran's story is even more synthetic, and though intended to bring in some laughter to the proceedings does not succeed in doing so. With the two stories laid out on a platter before us, it's time for the climax that is almost as tame as it gets. The film makers opts for an easy way out, and it all ends noiselessly without much of a flare-up.
There are a few moments in the midst of all these instances which light up on account of the actor that Nedumudi Venu is. Though cast in a brief role, Venu makes his presence distinctly felt with a stealthy act that gives you the creeps.
Performance wise, it's perhaps the cops who impress more than the prisoners, and Joju George and Sreejith Ravi deliver bravura feats. Vinod Jose is impressive as the jovial prisoner, while Vineeth underplays his part for a change. Nikki Galrani who appears in an extended cameo needs to get her act straight and hams it up in a couple of scenes.
'Oru Second Class Yatra' is one of those movies that could be considered nontoxic, and yet which severely lacks the dynamism and vigor that make some movies markedly dissimilar and pleasurable. Lacking in subtle nuances and some real tension, it's an indifferent exercise that does not much impress.
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