2 Harihar Nagar Malayalam Movie
It's good to see that 'In Harihar Nagar', released almost two decades back (in 1990), still enjoys immense popularity among film-viewers in Kerala. It is this popularity that has resulted in people thronging to the theatres in large numbers to watch the sequel, '2 Harihar Nagar'. Whether or not Lal (who directed 'In Harihar Nagar' along with Siddique) has been able to do justice to the original is a question that will elicit a mixed response.
The film begins by showing how the four friends Mahadevan, Appukuttan, Govindankutty and Thomaskutty, the four unemployed youths of 'In Harihar Nagar', had come together to form an tightly-bonded group right from their childhood. And then, amidst big applause from the viewers, the credits are shown along with clippings from the 1990 hit.
Govindankutty, who is in Bangalore and Mahadevan, who is in the Gulf, reach Kerala and is met by their friend Appukuttan, who now is a dentist. They are here to give a pleasant surprise to Thomaskutty by attending his betrothal ceremony. They stay on to spend a few days together before Thomaskutty's marriage. They put up in Govindankutty's villa in Harihar Nagar, where they had stayed as tenants years back. To make the most of their stay together they decide on pulling some pranks. It is at this juncture that a young girl, Maya, comes to stay in Harihar Nagar.
Maya leaves flowers at their doorstep, with a card stating that she had come to see them. They are reminded of the Maya who had come into their lives years back and go seeking her, but when they meet her they realize it's a different girl. They are hell bent on wooing her just the same, like they used to do years back. From here the story of '2 Harihar Nagar', takes off with several twists and turns along the way.
The film, as a whole, of course takes you back to the good old days of 'In Harihar Nagar'. Lal has succeeded in recreating the same kind of humour that made 'In Harihar Nagar' a roaring success. The lead actors score full marks as far as comedy is concerned. Jagadeesh is to be specially singled out in this regard.
The film however, is not without its minuses. The mood and the tempo that is there in the first half, is lost somewhere in the midst of the proceedings in the post-interval section. In all the films that Lal directed along with Siddique - 'Ramji Rao Speaking', 'In Harihar Nagar', 'Godfather', 'Vietnam Colony' and 'Kabooliwala - what attracted you most was the presence of humor all through. Even the action sequences were laced with humor.
Lal seems to have kept that in mind and has tried to put some humor into all the drama in the second half. But at many places he forgets the comedy streak, and hence the film doesn't come out as a full-fledged comedy like its predecessor. Lal should have tried to weave in a little bit more of humor in the second part. That would have gone down better with the audience.
The songs "Unnam marannu thenni parannu…" and 'Ekantha chandrike…", remixed by Alex Paul, have come out well. You tend to love those songs simply because you still love the original versions composed by S. Balakrishnan. Seen as independent compositions, the remix versions won't probably impress you as much. The lead actors, Mukesh, Siddique, Jagadeesh and Ashokan impress you with their performances and timing, but it is Jagadeesh who steals the show. Lakshmi Rai as Maya is good. The same can be said of the rest of the cast. Technical aspects sync perfectly with the film as a whole.
To sum up, '2 Harihar Nagar' is a film that you ought to go and watch with your whole family. Don't compare it with the original. Just carry on from where that left off. You'll love watching it. But somewhere in the midst of it all, you'll sigh and wish that Siddique and Lal would team up once again, at least for old times' sake!