Thiruttu Payale 2 movie review: Amala Paul, Prasanna's performances make this thriller work
Director Susi Ganesan is trying to create a franchise around his 2006 super hit Thiruttu Payale — a thriller based on characters with grey shades. The sequel — Thiruttu Payale 2 — with all-new characters on board, delves into Facebook addiction, blackmail and cyber stalking. All the characters in this film have something to hide, and like their predecessors in the original film, don't fall into the black and white zones.
Ganesan has tried to retain the essence of the first film, while contemporising the milieu — but the novelty of the original is missing in this sequel. The first film told the story of a rich businessman’s wife, who was cheating on him with his close friend. A boy from the slums records her tryst and uses it to blackmail her satisfy his cravings for a luxurious life. In Thiruttu Payale 2, the premise is how modern technology, social media dependency and audio leaks have made us vulnerable to cyber bullying and stalking. There is nothing private in anybody’s life anymore, due to modern technology — the film posits.
Selvam (Bobby Simha) is a cop who is managing the cyber cell of the state police. His boss — intent on becoming the DGP and wanting to help his friends in politics — is busy playing dirty games; he instructs Selvam to put his rivals under surveillance. Selvam, a hitherto upright cop who has been transferred repeatedly, decides to turn rogue. Selvam then starts using the resources of the cyber cell to spy on corrupt politicians and businessmen, and extorting money from them.
Meanwhile, trouble is breeding at home — Selvam’s wife Agalvilakku (Amala Paul) turns increasingly to Facebook to assuage her loneliness. As her husband spirals deeper and deeper into his plot, he has little time for her; she becomes addicted to social media attempting to fill her days. This is fertile ground for a hacker Balki (Prasanna), who lures Agal by becoming her Facebook friend, and then becomes obsessed with her. What happens as each of these characters becomes entrenched in a trap of their own making forms the sum and substance of the film. Expect several twists and turns before the film nears its end.
Now the plot may seem interesting, but a slow narration — the film's runtime is around 150 minutes — hampers it considerably. One wonders what a more careful edit might have accomplished. Similarly, the first half is well-paced, but post-interval, the film falters. The climax feels abrupt and contrived and leaves you with many unanswered questions. Further souring the experience are the songs, which don't do the pace any favours, and act as speed-breakers rather than pleasant interludes.
The cast has a major role in holding together a story like this, and Prasanna steals the show, with his turn as Balki — the dangerous cyber stalker and bully. As the object of his obsession, and a lonely wife and social media addict, Amala Paul makes for a convincing Agal. Unfortunately, Bobby Simha is just about adequate in his part as Selva. Susi Ganesan himself plays a pivotal cameo like Subash Ghai does in his films, as a private detective who has the last laugh.
On the whole, Thiruttu Payale 2 entertains to a certain extent, but one wishes it was crisper. There is something in the film about modern day life and the dangerous times we live in, where everybody who matters is under surveillance that will certainly touch a chord.