'Bichagadu 2', produced by Vijay Antony Film Corporation, was released in theatres today.
A rich man named Vijay Gurumurthy (Vijay Antony) is in trouble, as his long-time friend and partners hatch a conspiracy to bankrupt his business conglomerate. They are hands in glove with an evil scientist who proposes a one-of-its-kind brain transplantation surgery to mess with Vijay's brain. The antagonists are in search of a suitable organ.
As fate would have it, Vijay's doppelganger Satya becomes a victim of their conspiracy in the process. The rest of the film is all about how Satya's mental footprint changes the course of Vijay Gurumurthy's public image and destiny.
Besides showing promise as the film's director, Vijay Antony delivers a towering performance. This is his most affecting performance since 'Bichagadu'.
Kavya Thapar sizzles in a romantic song and lets the antagonists take over from there. Hareesh Peradi, John Vijay and Dev Gill prove to be effective, in that order. The third one makes his villainy too obvious. Yogi Babu is fun to watch.
Radha Ravi as a political heavyweight and Mansoor Ali Khan as a cop fit the bill. The child artists are talented.
Om Narayan's cinematography is surprisingly good. The foreign scenes have been shot well. Vijay Antony's background score is mellow yet effective. Like Sricharan Pakala and a few other contemporary composers, he avoids loud BGM.
The Sound Design by S Vijay Rathinam is neat. Antony succeeds not just as an actor and composer but also as Editor. The police station scene where crowds are shooed away is a case in point. It ends before it turns yawning. Art director Arusamy's artwork doesn't quite transport us to the corporate building, but his work clicks otherwise.
The film's writers (Vijay Antony, K Palani, Paul Antony) and action choreographers (Rajasekar's and Mahesh Mathew's fights are ordinary) needed to match up to the talent exhibited by the technical team.
The script-related loopholes are glaring. The lack of an attempt to amass background info about Sathya makes the antagonists look like clowns. For the most part, they act clueless because they are clueless. A vagabond talking about Sathya's destiny is a cliche. Talking of cliches, there is a tattoo and a long-lost sibling, corrupt cops and evil capitalists.
Run-of-the-mill elements like a savage rape are used to heighten emotion. The most absurd aspect comes after the Anti-Bikili stretch is introduced. The film espouses the spiteful communist thinking that billionaires are enjoying their riches at the expense of the poor. In the name of philanthropy and socialism, entirely impractical ideas are offered. There is also a generic speech replete with outdated diagnoses and vague solutions.
On top of it, there is a lazily written courtroom sequence where jurisprudence and logic are killed by juvenile arguments.
To the film's credit, the edits are sharp. The visuals of wretched beggars and beleaguered children are moving. The trope of trauma is not deployed in a routine way. The use of the Gayatri Mantram and the 'Sambhavani yuge yuge' chant are rousing.
The first half is engaging consistently. The second half is riddled with many demerits, though.
'Bichagadu 2' doesn't aspire to be a classic. It tries to draw its emotional beats from 'Bichagadu' and its formula from several masala action movies. The result is average. The 'underdog turns saviour' template hasn't been written with novelty.