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A new era, Tamizh padam II

2018 was one hell of a year and one of the movies that made mine was Tamil padam 2.

Though the first was raved for being the first of its kind I never connected quite well with it. I found it very bland while the second installation had me from the get go.

The Sequel was introduced during the time Tamil cinema saw several mindless sequels and reboots hitting the silver screen and the small screen (HaHa). Unlike the sequels it shared the market with the movie did more than what it aspired to.

The Story continued the same thread it left behind a decade ago but didn’t stay too long with it and continued with a steady screenplay. One of the important aspects of the first movie I thought that lacked the appeal hence didn’t age well for me was the plot. The Plot was very loosely crafted while the spoofing of each scene took up all the importance.

Whereas Tamizh Padam 2 had a compelling plot just on its own exploiting its illogical universe it was crafted out of. In simpler terms it was a David vs Goliath journey (one of the basic plot lines) where the protagonist ‘the archetypal Tamil Nadu police officer – Assistant commissioner’ had to annihilate the evil force who was the all in immortal being ‘P’.

The Basic thread was then layered with all the spoofing but with unique twists which catches our attention. These twists unlike any spoof were more in lines of a sociopolitical satire and even went on to mock certain timeless superstitions of the Kollywood industry.

The jarring spoofs served multiple purposes and is the reason why this movie will age better than most of its peers. The Female lead role being a replaceable one denoted with the numerous deaths, the look alike and the unforgettable nature of the role (written intentionally) yet the movie didn’t fall into its own trap by repeating these tropes – The female lead played by Ishwarya Menon was one of the best portrayals I’d witnessed. The Booze centric agonising folk number in every typical Tamil movie was a replacement to the item number we usually come across or the choreography heavy folk dance in rolling hills. This evolution of the liquor song from objectifying skimpily clothed supporting actors to loathing and shaming the female lead for every fissure in the relationship. The film in fact showcases both of these songs to imply the same and intensify the effect, I believe. The Female lead though seemed to be a superficial character it was the one that exaggerated the flaws of the Male lead more than his opponent did. The inconsequential assumptions the hero trope of Tamil cinema always carries that heaves our generations into conclusions.

I’d like to emphasise on the negative role played by Actor Satish which was chiseled quite well (even better than the male lead) that allowed each of his scene presence strip away new layers that was funny and intriguing in equal measure. In apparent ways we see every scene the negative role occupies pays homage to iconic villain characters. But those scenes are well crafted with the camo (camouflage) lungi clothed minions (men and women – no gender bias :D), the upgraded corporate criminal kind of suite cum office unlike the 90’s villain den as seen in the first edition, Quirky gadgets and symbolism. Not many villains in Tamil cinema were designed with such varied elements and symbolism. I’m not sure if they referred it to any p[articular villain role but I’d like to point out what It reminded me of – Chirag from the movie Kaththi. The Set design of Chirag’s pristine lair atop the glass clad building was strewn with several farmer’s wheel. This particular detail was pointed out by a YouTube channel Avant Grande while they reviewed the hidden details in Kaththi. The Farmer’s wheels as we see in the final combat and within Chirag’s cabin were symbolic of his triumph over several villages and hamlets that fell prey to his corporation. They stood as trophies similar to the ones a serial killer collects after every kill. Similarly P’s

Hideout had several potties and water closets to amplify the effect.

A few reviews for the movies did concluded on the movie being long and didn’t have to necessarily included the period based flashback but I beg to differ. That was the most memorable portion of the movie for me. Tamil padam 1 was quite all over the place for me and the major plot was diluted with several of the spoof scenes whereas Tamil padam 2 was very focused – It was a Cop on the chase for a notorious international criminal who was immortal. The screenplay was also broken down similarly and the period drama filled us in for the immortal aspect. It was perfectly acceptable within the illogical universe of Tamil Padam and that was the kind of stretch we are expecting it explore unlike a main stream cinema. The Eye for innovative art direction was at its best in this movie with all the varied symbolism in the period drama as well. The Story was wrapped well towards the end with the Thevar magan scene of Repentance which was a philosophical ending for a cop movie. The kind of approach we should all aspire to see from action films yet fail to.

It was a wholesome movie of self-reflection and one of the few good movies to be successful in breaking the 4th wall.

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பேதை நானே இன்பம் தேடி அலைந்தேனே, நீர் வீழ்ச்சியை கான வானம் எல்லை சென்றேனே.