Kazhugu 2 Movie Review: This spiritual sequel does not soar as high as the first one
Despite having the exact same team as the interesting original, Kazhugu 2 ends up being quite underwhelming
Johnny (Krishna) and Kaali (Kaali Venkat) are thieves who are mistaken for hunters. They believe this cover can help them dodge the police and so agree to protect a group of woodcutters from a pack of blood-thirsty dholes. Oh, and they have a pair of guns with them. You would expect them to buy some bullets and learn shooting, if not to safeguard their cover, at least to safeguard their own lives. But all they end up doing is just roaming around the jungle with the guns uselessly hanging on their shoulders. Watching Kazhugu 2 I couldn't stop thinking about the similarities between the conmen's guns and Sathyasiva's script. Both have potential, but this potential is squandered by the men wielding them.
Cast: Krishna, Bindu Madhavi, Kaali Venkat, MS Bhaskar
Sathyasiva's debut film, Kazhugu worked mainly because of its realistic yet interesting setup. It was refreshing to see the story of a ruthless cadaver retriever who gets transformed by love. When an overjoyed Sera (Krishna) says, "Enna andha pulla katti pudichapo vandhuchu parunga oru sandhosham," it's genuine and organic. Even the tragic twist towards the end felt shocking rather than forced. But Kazhugu 2, despite having the same creator, feels so alien and staged. While Sera does simple, yet loveable things like cooking a meal for Kavitha (Bindu Madhavi), Johnny goes overboard and steals an ambulance to transport Merly (Bindu Madhavi again) from the hospital back home when she is in pain (Yes, you heard that right; he removes her from the hospital when she's in distress).
I strongly believe good love stories can only be created through memorable conversations between the lead pair. But here, we hardly see them talking and whenever they do come together in the same frame, a montage song pops out of nowhere and Johnny starts walking behind Merly in slow motion. Merly's reason for falling in love with Johnny is so shallow that even Kaali gets confused and says, "Enkita illadhadhu avan kita enna iruku? Edhuku ivana love panra?"
In a recent interview with us, Krishna had mentioned that death is the only common theme retained from the original. While the climax of the first instalment involving a series of deaths left us shocked and worried, the final sequence in Kazhugu 2, which is meant to be heart-wrenching, only had me in splits. The entire series of twists is so outrageous that the last act feels like a dark comedy with serious music.
The visuals of Raja Battacharjee and the soulful music of Yuvan Shankar Raja are the only two factors that keep us invested in the film despite the largely predictable narration. However, unlike Kazhugu, this time around, Yuvan's songs are not able to lift the film to the next level as the setting is already weak.
Whenever a sequel ends up being underwhelming, people tend to blame the change in director, cast or crew. But Kazhugu 2, made with the same exact team, has no such excuse to offer and the drop in quality is quite perplexing. Walking out of the theatre I wished the makers had thought about adding some content to their script before rushing to add the number 2 to the title.