Sandakozhi 2 movie review: A conventional mass entertainer, Vishal's film fails to outshine original
Sandakozhi 2 is not in the same league as the first Sandakozhi, due to its uneven plot and abrupt song sequences
Sandakozhi 2 is an entertainer which follows the same template as any other Kollywood rural actioner but has some thrilling moments. Once the forte of Vijaykanth, such commercial films were given a makeover by Rajinikanth and Kamal Haasan in late 1980s and early 90s. Till a few years back, these films released exclusively around festivals and always had a minimum turnout guarantee in Tamil Nadu’s Tier 2 and 3 towns and villages. Similarly, the Lingusamy-directed film is a sequel to the super-hit Sandakozhi (2005) and falls in the rural entertainer genre. Sandakozhi 2 is also being promoted as Vishal’s 25th film.
Lingusamy is a specialist in what the trade calls a 'family full meal' film. There is something for everybody in the film packed with sentiments, festivals and superstitions that come with its rural setting, a larger-than-life hero who comes as a saviour, loud and unbelievable action scenes, slapstick comedy, songs of the kuthu type, a terrific interval block and a showdown between the protagonist and the antagonist using an aruval (sickle) as a weapon. In between, you have a hero introduction scene and top angle shots of a fleet of SUVs (an upgrade from the humble TATA Sumo) kicking up dust on village roads to show the villain’s power.
Balu (Vishal) returns home to his village in south Tamil Nadu, after spending seven years abroad. His dad Durai Ayya (Raj Kiran) is a local chieftain and a good Samaritan. Seven villages around this area, the people of which respect and love Ayya, are all set to celebrate Thiruvizha (a week-long temple festival), after a court ban is lifted. The festival was stopped when a war between castes became a law and order issue after Pechi’s (Varalakshmi Sarathkumar) husband was killed. Pechi has sworn revenge against the men and eliminated all of them except Anbu (Hari), the last male in the rival clan. Pechi has sworn that the festival will take place only after Anbu is killed and plans an attack on him. However Ayya comes to Anbu’s rescue and in another instance, Balu comes to his rescue at the last minute. Ayya and his son's battle against Pechi and her family takes an ugly turn, leaving Ayya seriously injured. Now Balu has to not only save Anbu but also safeguard the family's honour by conducting the Thiruvizha.
Sandakozhi 2 is a fast-paced action film with some terrific scenes. The scene in which Balu saves Anbu’s life and the cross cuts of the son and father fighting their assailants have been superbly choreographed. The story is nothing but old wine in a new bottle; there have been other films with a similar storyline. Lingusamy has tried to cash in on the father–son bonding in the first half with a bit of romance thrown in. Keerthy Suresh is pleasant in her scenes with Vishal, particularly when she mistakes him for a driver. Thankfully, she does not play to the loosu ponnu (crazy girl) stereotype and is refreshing, especially in the 'Kambathu Ponnu' song sequence. Varalakshmi as Pechi the antagonist is a revelation and has done it well, but her character and motives could have been better written. Raj Kiran is at home as he has played a similar character in many films.
On the whole Sandakozhi 2 is not in the same league as the first Sandakozhi, due to its uneven plot and songs that come as speed breakers. But if you are in a mood to watch a conventional masala entertainer, it fits the bill.
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