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The boys of the first film are uncles now and still hilarious.

Review The sequel to Chennai 600028 is fun but takes second place to the originalFacebook/ Chennai 600028
news Film Review Friday, December 09, 2016 - 18:10

Karthik Keramalu

After driving super cars for a couple of years, Venkat Prabhu seems to have returned to his good old Maruti Omni.

A sequel to his star-driven films such as “Mankatha,”or “Massu Engira Masilamani,” would have generated much more energy. But he comfortably brings his gang of Chennai city boys back, with a sequel to his directorial debut. Vaibhav and Subbu Panchu are the noteworthy additions in “Second Innings”. 

Prabhu reintroduces his cast members via a voice-over in the beginning. It works well to get the second part of the franchise started. Just before entering the narrative, he takes a minute to speak about the ‘heroes’ of the Chennai floods. Though his latest film has got nothing to do with it, he brings it up to remember the brave-hearts. 

For the filmmaker, cricket unites us under one umbrella. I’m pretty sure cricket unites his team of cast and crew members, too. You’ll have to wait for the end credits for the proof. Everything that made “Chennai 600028” an amiable watch is a part of the sequel as well. He has ticked off most of the items on his checklist – friendship, humor, item song, party song, and a surprise factor in the climax. 

All the boys from the first installment have become uncles now. Their camaraderie, however, remains intact. The only actor who looks a bit out of place is Jai. His one-note expression cries of listlessness. It’s awful because the whole plot revolves around his wedding. The married men (Siva, Nitin Sathyaa, Vijay Vasanth, and Ajay Raj) along with their wives and children, and eternal bachelor (Premji), go to a picturesque village to make merry at Jai’s wedding. The women act like high-society apartment buildings sometimes. They keep laying down conditions for their husbands to follow (none of which the smart men comply with, of course). 

The element of conflict is squeezed into the movie through the “Soppanasundari” song. As the point of intermission heats up with such an occurrence, it makes it easier for us to sit through the latter half. That said, the fun that the movie was offering us until the interval, takes a bumpy road to reach the end. Siva’s initial wisecracks are replaced with Badava Gopi’s cricket commentary during the last few portions. Gopi’s lines fall flat making us sorely miss Siva’s brand of sarcasm.  

“Second Innings” also lacks the flavor of the punch that Prabhu threw at us in the climax of his earlier films. Even the last scene of “Chennai 600028” had a whoopie moment. That’s entirely absent in the sequel. 

In Prabhu’s films, usually, Premji gets a larger share of the pie in terms of screen presence. That’s not the case here. And, as far as casting goes, this movie is a pristine example of how an ensemble cast should function to hold up a film. 

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