Pichaikkaran 2 Movie Review (2021)

Vijay Antony

Vijay Antony’s ‘Pichaikkaran 2’ is a sentimental, speech-heavy take on how the rich should help the poor

Pichaikkaran 2 Movie Review

Pichaikkaran 2 Movie Cast & Crew

Production : Vijay Antony Film Corporation
Director : Vijay Antony
Music Director : Vijay Antony

Vijay Antony has co-written, edited, directed, and composed the music for Pichaikkaran 2 – and he appears in a double role in this spiritual sequel to his 2016 hit. He doesn't play the same character here, but he's, again, a beggar: this time, his name is Sathya. In the other role, he is a super-rich businessman named Vijay. There's an element of sci-fi in this story, which involves brain transplant. For a bit, I started asking "logical" questions like this: If I get someone else's brain, do I also inherit their memories? But it doesn't matter because the transplant results in a terrific twist on the Robin Hood narrative: taking from the rich and giving to the poor. Only here, Vijay takes his own money and gives it to the poor. 

But the writing, as usual, plays spoilsport. Surprisingly, for a premise that seems so novel, the (relatively) better parts are the most old-fashioned ones that show the love a brother has for his sister. Cinematographer Om Narayan shoots these portions in deep, burnished browns, and the child actors do their jobs well. There's as much melodrama here as in the rest of the film, but what works is the honesty of the emotion. But instead of making this the fulcrum of the screenplay, Pichaikkaran 2 just keeps looking back at it while it keeps jumping between a dozen other plot threads. Wouldn't it have been better had Sathya's memories come back to him slowly, after he has agreed to act as Vijay? Why make him realise his truth instantly? Wouldn't it have been better if the villains who appear at the beginning of the story stayed on till the end, instead of having a brand new batch of equally ill-defined bad guys?

And given how important the heroine (Kavya Thapar) ends up in the scheme of things, shouldn't her role have been written better? The second half becomes quite an endurance test, with endless sentimentality and speechifying about how the rich should help the poor. This is a good thought, sure, but it has not been written with conviction. And in the midst of all this, no one seems to worry that one of the country's richest men has vanished. Scene after scene is set up to portray Vijay Antony as a saviour named Anti Bikili. He even gets a fight like a mass-hero. Pichaikkaran 2 runs two-and-a-half hours, and after an okayish start, it quickly runs out of steam. I kept thinking about how Shankar's Mudhalvan handled a similar issue with a gripping screenplay that showed us both the personal and the political. Why struggle with a brand new screenplay when a working template exists?

Rate Pichaikkaran 2 Movie - ( 0 )
Public/Audience Rating
Baradwaj Rangan

National Award-winning film critic Baradwaj Rangan, former deputy editor of The Hindu and senior editor of Film Companion, has carved a niche for himself over the years as a powerful voice in cinema, especially the Tamil film industry, with his reviews of films. While he was pursuing his chemical engineering degree, he was fascinated with the writing and analysis of world cinema by American critics. Baradwaj completed his Master’s degree in Advertising and Public Relations through scholarship. His first review was for the Hindi film Dum, published on January 30, 2003, in the Madras Plus supplement of The Economic Times. He then started critiquing Tamil films in 2014 and did a review on the film Subramaniapuram, while also debuting as a writer in the unreleased rom-com Kadhal 2 Kalyanam. Furthermore, Baradwaj has authored two books - Conversations with Mani Ratnam, 2012, and A Journey Through Indian Cinema, 2014. In 2017, he joined Film Companion South and continued to show his prowess in critiquing for the next five years garnering a wide viewership and a fan following of his own before announcing to be a part of Galatta Media in March 2022.