Devi 2 Movie Review: When familiarity doesn't fail, almost
The horror-comedy doesn’t aspire or pretend to be anything more than a light-hearted, simple film, and that it is
In recent times, Kollywood’s track record with sequels is… questionable. The trend peaked last year with around eight films hitting the screen, and several others being announced. This year has already seen the release of five films. These ventures, with a rare exception or two, have turned out to be disappointments. Either, the sequel is a reshuffled version of the original or they are ‘spiritual sequels’ — films that don’t have a tangible connection to the original, at least in terms of the story. With the latter, the name is used to merely cash in on the familiarity and popularity. Devi 2, a sequel to the 2016 horror comedy, is one of the rare films that is a proper sequel, which also maintains the tone of the first part.
If you had watched Devi, you know exactly what to expect of the sequel. It is not the kind of film where you question why Devi wakes up with a head of perfect hair and flawless eye makeup, or why two ghosts decide to share a body — you just go along. Devi 2 functions in the same story-scape and uses the same running gags — there is the contract, the mistaken identity. They even use the same horror tropes — the revolving rooms, the afloat person… But just when it starts to get a little too predictable, there is a teensy-weensy surprise — like the throwaway comment Madasamy (RJ Balaji, who would have been more effective had he chosen a lower pitch to speak) makes about Devi’s skin tone. While Devi is visibly darker in the first instalment, in this film, Tamannah chooses to stick to her natural skin colour. Madaswamy’s line goes like, “Foreign vandhu veluthuta pola.” Mind you, these aren’t the kind of jokes you laugh out loud for, but, they extracted a chuckle out of me. Talk about little joys.
Cast: Prabhudheva, Tamannaah, Kovai Sarala
Devi 2 is filled with such small mercies. The ‘special song’ Ready Ready is more funny than seductive and also has a reason for its existence in the film. (Imagine my surprise!) When a possessed Krishna stalks and almost harasses Sarah (Nanditha Swetha) and Eesha (Dimple Hayathi), you have a Lalitha who at least calls it out. It did make me wonder if my standards have dropped too low, thanks to a disappointment almost every week. Perhaps my expectations have subconsciously adjusted their parameters. But then, I digress. Moving on...
Even though Prabhudheva gets the meatier role, the small smiles come mostly because of Devi. Her antics with Lawyer Lalitha (Kovai Sarala, in a refreshingly subtle version of her Kanchana role), are particularly enjoyable. Similar to the first part, Tammanah holds this film together with her low-key innocence and naivete. I couldn’t stop smiling when Devi borrows Lalitha’s glasses to ‘blur her vision’, as she imagines Krishna’s pretend love story. While this instalment gets more sentimental and religious (we see it from Devi’s perspective, so it does have some reasoning behind it), the film doesn’t dwell too much on it. Again, small mercies.
One of the major reasons why I liked Devi was it never pretended to be anything other than a simple horror comedy. Devi 2, as I said, functions on the same lines. It doesn’t aspire or pretend to be anything more than a light-hearted, simple film, and that it is. It might not surprise you, but it doesn’t bore you either. And if you liked Devi, you will most likely enjoy this one too.