The most common thing you see with directors when they fail with a couple of movies, they go back to their basics. It works with a few directors but for the majority, it doesn’t – case in point, the 80s and 90s directors.
Venkat Prabhu had a meteoric rise but the last two movies didn’t work for him in the way he expected them to be. The reason Chennai 28 became a big hit was it didn’t take itself serious. The frivolous nature of the movie and diverse characters made it colourful. It’s an impossible task to bring back the magic in a sequel. Unlike other directors, Venkat Prabhu is conscious of that fact and that’s why he didn’t make a sequel to emulate the original but he has given us a little brother to the original.
Chennai 28 Second Innings is simple, frivolous and funny enough to hold you back in your seats. The main storyline has a resemblance to Grown Ups but I don’t think this movie could have been made in any other way. The story follows the same characters of Karthik (Shiva), Pazhani (Nithin Sathya), Raghu (Jai) and others. They embark on a journey to Theni to attend Raghu’s wedding. They enter into a tussle with a local cricket team led by Maruthu (Vaibhav) to help Aravind (Aravind Akash) and the post-match party (oh, I love that IPL term) affects Raghu’s wedding and splits the team. The rest of the movie shows how the team comes back to help Raghu defying all odds.
When Venkat Prabhu starts by introducing all the characters, he makes sure you are ready for a jolly ride. The straight-faced comedy of Shiva and the way his online movie reviewer videos been used is brilliant. Everyone in the movie has their own way of dialogue deliveries and modulations that make even the stupidest statements comic. As I said earlier, the movie is frivolous. The most surprising of all was Vijay Vasanth and he scores throughout the movie and I have started using “Ulle Jao” and “Veliye Jao” (Tamilindi or Hindamil – how should we call it?). Venkat Prabhu scores when he brings his best characters at the right moments. He delivers the surprises by bringing in all those interesting but tiny characters from the prequel at the appropriate moments. Badava Gopi, for instance, was brilliant as usual and I don’t want to spoil surprises in the name of a review.
The movie does lag a bit when they try to take themselves serious. And they get trolled by their wives for the same. The movie has its own pitfalls – Soppanasundari vanishes into thin air, the timeline is haywire and sometimes logic takes a back seat. There are so many drinking scenes in the movie and you wonder whether the movie has been sponsored by Tasmac and beeped out words are not U worthy too. Venkat Prabhu also has fallen into the wife cliches and he could have been more imaginative with those sequences. The team was definitely imaginative in the way cricket is shown in the movie. Having said that, the movie doesn’t fail to entertain you and you enjoy identifying those subtle references that Venkat Prabhu has hidden for you.
Yuvan Shankar Raja was the crowd puller for Chennai 28 First Innings and he is the Virat Kohli in the second one too. While Soppana Sundari and Boys are back are enjoyable (other songs are mobile phone check worthy), he shows his mettle in background score like a master. His remix of themes from the prequel is a stroke of a genius and the background scores will rule the mobile phone ringtone world for quite some time.
Chennai 28 Second Innings is not going to be a cult movie like its predecessor. Venkat Prabhu also knows it and he has made sure he went to his basics to give an entertaining movie. It’s a worthy sequel.
I go with 3/5 for Chennai 28 Second Innings – Go watch with your friends, have fun and enjoy those easter eggs 🙂