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‘Uriyadi 2’ review: Message-heavy film with little impact

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Uriyadi 2 is, arguably, a film that aspires to be Uriyadi.

Calling Uriyadi 2 a ‘sequel’ means two things; one, it’s a serious insinuation done to one of the best independent films that has come from Tamil cinema. And two, it’s hardly a sequel. The second instalment shares no similarities with its predecessor except for its lead, Lenin Vijay (Vijay Kumar), who seems to have been airdropped in a milieu that’s oblivious to him. One of the rewarding factors of Uriyadi was how unapologetic the screenplay was; no forced message, no pretentious subplot about social consciousness, no heroism and so on. It made a chilling comment about casteism, without explicitly spelling it out loud. In that sense, one could argue that Uriyadi 2 is a film that aspires to be Uriyadi.

Uriyadi 2

    The boys from the latter had a simple life. Their motive was simpler: “jollya irukanum”, as they put it. In fact, there’s a passing mention about this dialogue in Uriyadi 2. Their primary goal was to enjoy life. They didn’t go out of the way to help people. Which is why you rooted for them when they got caught in what could be termed as a ‘game of politics’. Uriyadi was about their world and their friendship. But here, it's more about people and classes. Lenin Vijay in Uriyadi 2 comes across as a serious person. You understand why he has a prefix ‘Lenin’ before Vijay. His parents are from different caste and are against discrimination. His house is embellished with photographs of Karl Marx, Lenin and Che Guevara, reflecting the ‘ism’ he believes.

    Uriyadi 2 is a far more dramatic film. The death of a factory worker in a chemical power plant sets things off. The owner of the plant, who’s settled abroad, is blamed for his death. Vijay and his friends land up working in the same company called Paksino. Within days after joining the company, they smell something fishy. Vijay Kumar seems to have modelled Uriyadi 2 after the recent Thoothukudi protest and the subsequent politics around it, but the film appears contrived for the most part.

    The remarkable quality of Uriyadi was its rootedness. Take for instance, the use of ‘Ennai Thottu Allikonda’ song. Everything was so organic in Uriyadi that it’s hard to digest its severely-underwhelming sequel. Maybe the canvas is bigger now (produced by Suriya). Uriyadi 2 suffers from the curse, wherein the filmmaker’s powerful debut becomes his own baggage.

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    Printable version | Dec 13, 2019 8:02:25 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/reviews/uriyadi-2-review-message-heavy-film-with-little-impact/article26742889.ece

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