Charlie Chaplin starring actors Prabhu Deva and Prabhu that released in 2002 became so popular that it was remade in Hindi, Telugu, Marathi, Malayalam, Kannada and Bengali! Actor Prabhu, in fact, won the Tamil Nadu State Film Award Special Prize for his performance in this film.
Can the same be said for Charlie Chaplin 2 that has just released? Not in a million years! Besides, it was not as though the 2002 film was a particularly great one either. Charlie Chaplin was inspired from the 1975 Tamil film Yarukku Maappillai Yaro, directed by SP Muthuraman and starring Jaishankar, Jayachitra, Sreekanth and Fatafat Jayalaxmi.
The plot-line of both the films revolved around a lying husband and his suspicious wife. In Charlie Chaplin, Prabhu and actor Abhirami played the husband and wife roles respectively.
Now about Charlie Chaplin 2 - what does it have in common with the original? Both the films have been directed by Sakthi Chidambaram. They have Prabhu and Prabhu Deva and they retain their names from the first film, Ramakrishnan (Prabhu) and Thiru (Prabhu Deva). Then there’s plenty of lying.
Perhaps Charlie Chaplin 2 is a little late to the party (2018 saw Saamy 2, Maari 2, Vishwaroopam 2, Sandakozhi 2, etc), but the makers probably thought that a film with elements from a dated plot-line, which traces its inspiration to a 1975 film, is one that 2019 desperately needs.
Charlie Chaplin 2 begins with ‘Agila Ulaga Superstar’ Shiva’s voice-over, and for this, the team has a ‘thank you’ card during the title credits, which one thinks is quite justified. Because, as it turns out, his voice-over is the only portion during the entire film that sounds mildly funny.
The rest of the time, the jokes are so poorly written that it might want to make you exit the theatre immediately. Do we feel sad for Prabhu’s character who calls his son-in-law ‘Maro’ because brother = bro, marumagan (son-in-law) = ‘maro’ and then laughs at his own joke and worse, continues calling him that for the rest of the film? Or do we laugh out loud when Prabhu Deva dances from a precarious height because a mouse has got into his pants? We’ll not spoil it for you any further.
Thiru, who runs a matrimony website, falls in love with Sara (Nikki Galrani), who is doctor Ramakrishnan’s daughter. The scenes that involve actor Seetha (of Goli Soda fame) are in terrible taste and it is high time that writers and directors understood that body shaming jokes are passe.
Here, in Charlie Chaplin 2, Seetha plays Nikki Galrani’s friend who is diagnosed to live for just 15 days. A weird love triangle is formed when Seetha’s character Sumangali is led to believe that Thiru is in love with her, but her character is disposed of quite conveniently...because she's not the heroine?
As the film proceeds, Thiru and Sara prepare to get married to each other but a misunderstanding we cannot begin to care about threatens to ruin everything. What happens next, how does Thiru escape from this disaster waiting to happen forms the rest of the story.
Adah Sharma plays Saara (same name as Nikki, but with an extra 'a'), a psychology student whose character actually borders of ‘loosu ponnu’ but she’s gutsy because she carries a gun. Also, note to the director: no psychology student is travelling in a convertible and stopping random people on the roads to propose to them for a “psychology experiment”. Adah’s dubbing looks more convincing that Nikki’s in several parts of the film.
The film’s cinematography makes it look like a television soap opera, with too many colours in the frames. The frame movement also makes the stunt sequences look less impressive. There are quite a few of ‘from the leg up’ shots when it comes to shooting the women in the film - which we can only say is ugh.
The dance choreography for the songs ‘Chinna Machan’ and ‘I want to marry you mama’ might be the only redeeming factor in CC2, but given that Prabhu Deva is the actor, that isn't saying much. The film’s background score only reinforces the soap opera feeling.
Actors Aravind Akash and Chandana Raj play Prabhu Deva’s friends and have terribly written characters written. While we know Aravind plays a faithful friend, Chandana plays a woman so besotted with Thiru, that she confesses her love every time possible, offering to be his “second hand”.
If you thought the film cannot get any worse, you must sit through till its bizarre ending and then tell us what was worse. We hope CC2 is not remade in any other language.
Disclaimer: This review was not paid for or commissioned by anyone associated with the film. Neither TNM nor any of its reviewers have any sort of business relationship with the film’s producers or any other members of its cast and crew.