Cast: Raghava Lawrencce, Taapse Pannu, Nitya Menen, Jayaprakash and Kovai Sarla
Director: Raghava Lawrencce
With the Kanchana franchise, which is now about eight years old, Lawrencce had opened the floodgates to several successful horror-comedies in Tamil cinema. The first two parts worked because it was the beginning of a trend and the audience dug the films, but slowly as filmmakers started milking dry this genre, something innovative was expected and that was missing in Raghava Lawrencce-directed Kanchana 2, the latest installment from the franchise.
The movie, which follows a very cliched and dated format of horror template, suffers heavily due to the lack of a good story. Forget great acting, which you really can’t expect from these films as their sole intention is to scare with sound and the ghost element. But we’ve had so many horror films of late; you wish these films offered better thrills! Some of these films have had great comedy, but slowly the jokes too are failing to keep us entertained. A possessed character beating some innocent people is not funny anymore.
If it was a transgender, played so fittingly by Sarath Kumar, who swore to avenge her killers in Kanchana; it’s a disabled character yearning for revenge as a ghost in Kanchana 2. Lately, all horror stories have been mostly about revenge, and sadly they’ve all been loud, over-the-top and extremely passe, though they’ve been successful at the same time. Maybe that’s why Tamil filmmakers continue to make more horror-comedies, which makes a great combination, provided one knows how to make a genuinely entertaining film that scares and entertains at the same time.
Raghava plays a cameraman in a television company in Kanchana 2, and typically you expect the envelope to be pushed in the sequel. Here’s an adult who wears diapers, pins slippers and brooms on his bedroom wall to ward off ghosts and sleeps under layers of bed sheets with images of different gods. The makers believe that the idea of pushing the envelope is making the lead character dumber and more likeable. It looked funny when Raghava came running and jumped onto his mother at the mention of a ghost in the last part, but now it seriously isn’t.
The addition of Taapsee and Nitya Menen to the cast hardly makes any difference. Initially, the former impresses when she gets possessed but despite the effort Nitya has put into making her disable character called Ganga stand out, you wish the writing was better; you wish Lawrencce hired a writing partner instead of matching steps with his brother in an introduction song for the ghosts.
There are about five ghosts in Kanchana 2, and Lawrencce gets to play all of them. This only proves that he can play any number of characters sans adding any value to the story. The visual effects are pitiful, and the climatic fight between two ghosts is a bad rip-off of the most popular series of Hulk versus Superman fights on Youtube.
Kanchana 3 is hinted at the end, and let’s hope it isn’t as bad as Kanchana 2, which is undoubtedly a weak film in the franchise.