Film: VIP 2: Lalkar
Cast: Dhanush, Kajol
Director: Soundarya Rajnikanth
This titular sequel, (a bilingual), to Dhanush’s south side hit ‘VIP,’ has him essaying the role of a do-good engineer who teams-up with his out-of-work fellow engineering graduates to design and construct mega projects for the welfare of the lower classes. Having won the award of Best Engineer under the Anita Constructions Banner, this young man is hoping to rise up to the heights of owning and running a company of his own. But Vasundhara (Kajol) the CEO of Vasundhara constructions, covets his engineering ability and is not willing to let him achieve his ambitions. The film is all about how the two clashes and the topsy-turvy direction their lives take from thereon.
Typically, southern treatment makes a mountain of the contrived and stylised bickering between the two that degenerates (implausibly I might add) into a war of egos between the elite Engineering Entrepreneur and the wily young commoner. To add a little more traditional woe to the turpitude here there’s love-fear-hate relationship between Raghuvaran a.k.a VIP and his wife (Amala Paul). In a weird turnaround probably meant to please the womenfolk, his wife is shown as loving him when he is out of a job and bickers when he is working and bringing home a salary. She is way different from the genial girl-next-door love interest she was in the first. This one’s not a crafty take on gender politics.
It’s quite clear, coming as it does from the family factory, that this film is aiming for a pro-poor Rajnikant like demi-god affect. But Dhanush doesn’t measure up to that stature yet- so whatever antics he displays here, be it action, dance moves or comedic acting chops- feels stale and unsavory. Kajol looks ill-at-ease in a role that has her constantly scheming for her competitor’s downfall. Directed by Soundarya Rajnikanth, this sequel to Velraj’s Tamil hit ‘Velaiilla Pattadhari-VIP’ neither retains the elements that endeared the former to the masses nor does it generate any distinctive ones of its own. The film’s characterizations are caricature heavy and don’t enliven to a real-life beat. No mercy to be had here!