It is unreasonable to expect every sequel to be a 22 jump street, especially given the quality of sequels in Tamil cinema till now. But after Power Pandi, I genuinely had hopes for Dhanush as a filmmaker but VIP 2 hits every check box that you would expect that could go wrong with any sequel. It even has actual scenes from the first film to remind us of some of the “jokes”. Even as a standalone film, without comparing it with VIP, this doesn’t work out. It has an almost similar story, jokes and buildup elements as the first one that even someone who liked the first one (not me) would find it hard to digest it all over once again.
VIP 2 also has a big company that tries to jeopardize everything that Raghuvaran does and he somehow bounces back every time with lengthy and annoying monologues but the only difference is that (spoiler alert) in the end the villain realises her mistakes and becomes a better human being. Maybe even the people who worked in the film got tired of the kick that they thought was “iconic” from the first film. The jokes about his bike are beaten to death, the thangapushpam sequence is beaten to death, The institutionalized sexism even made Amala Paul an annoying character. VIP set a world of possibilities that Dhanush could have explored but I don’t understand why he decided to settle for the same formula.
I haven’t seen any tamil film being this self aware of it’s flaws and still not doing anything about it. Even the people in this film are annoyed by Raghuvaran’s Amma sentiment and the mugged up breathless monologues but these things keep coming up more times that one could digest. To be different, dhanush even gave Kajol a monologue and even that annoys the hell out of everyone. I could see people physically cringe every time someone stretched out their “madammmm..” or “amul babyyy..” or “thambiii..”. I kind of understood when people were excited about it the first time but, staying true to the sequel formula, even this was beaten to death. I don’t understand what Dhanush has against VIP because if there was anything that worked out with the masses in the first film, he made sure everyone is super annoyed by that in this film.
I know criticism about a character in a movie isn’t really constructive but I feel like I have to call out this hypocrisy. Staying true to his feminist in the streets and misogynist in the sheets colour, Dhanush says super uplifting dialogues about women outside, fights for them, gives them respect and even has explicit (pseudo) feministic (or was it anti feministic? I really don’t know the meaning of that word anymore) dialogues but in his house he treat his wife like shit. Even if we brush it off as just a character, it kind of hit my nerves when he keeps referring to himself as a guy with good heart and respects people because he clearly doesn’t follow any of that in his home. Maybe that’s how most of the men are? It would be great if it is an ironic character but I definitely don’t think it is.
I really feel bad for Sean Roldan. None of the BGMs or the songs work out. And the only scenes which had reasonable BGMs were the ones that used the music from the first film. The setting for this film is way out of his comfort zone and he clearly isn’t ready for something like this yet. Making Yogi B shout Lean and Mean and Buddi Kannadi every time Dhanush gives his superhero stance didn’t help with any kind of emotion with me. If, as an audience, even we are annoyed by the repeated use of a particular music in the film, how can the filmmakers and the composers not see it? VIP has even better BGM and even that film didn’t overuse it as much.
I hope Dhanush reconsiders his decision about making a 3rd part or at least learns from his mistakes in this one because another film like this would only affect the reputation he has earned till now as a filmmaker. And I really hope someone breaks the chain of bad sequels in tamil cinema. We have so many films that have amazing potentials for a brilliant sequels but nobody seems to explore that dynamic. I’m ready to forgive everything else in the film but in one particular scene when the students from all over are gathering to support Raghuvaran in his protest, a group of students from Sairam were shouting “Boys and Girls, namma ellarum sernthu poraduvom”. I mean, come on..