There is comedy, there are spoofs, then there is C.S. Amudhan’s style of film making. How far can you stretch a spoof without making the viewer feel jaded or irritated? Maybe there is no one in Indian cinema, perhaps even world cinema who has pushed the limits to the extent that C.S. Amudhan has done through Tamizh Padam 2 Spoofing is not that complicated an art form; it is sophisticated sarcasm done in detail. But, putting together a series of spoofs, weaving them seamlessly into a single story and writing out a script where not even a single spoof stands out as a sore point is definitely a complicated tightrope walk. Thamizh Padam 2 is a glossary or reference manual of almost all the clichéd hero scenes of Tamil cinema over the past decade and some even before. I am tempted to compare this to the erstwhile Lollu Sabha series, but this is far more sophisticated, finely written, shot and performed. From Devar Magan to 2, nobody has been spared in this laugh-a-minute ride.
But, Tamizh Padam does not stop or is not content with being just a spoof of Tamil cinema’s clichéd scenes or usages, it goes beyond, takes a dig at ‘explosive’ mobile phone companies, the Modi government, a resort near Chengalpettu that hogged headlines a year or so back and a variety of other such contemporary issues that everyone can identify with. Tamizh Padam 2 is a running commentary on contemporary Tamil cinema, society and politics. When you read the word commentary please don’t imagine Ravi Shastri or Navjot Sidhu bellowing clichés into their mikes by the second, this is far more nuanced. The best part about Tamizh Padam 2 is that it does not compromise anything at any point of time. It is clear that Amudhan wants to make a spoof from the first frame to the last, but he also has a story to tell, and he does not let go of either. The story keeps travelling ahead while the spoofs keep popping up in every scene without feeling like unnecessary hindrances. It is the seamless integration that makes Amudhan a genius!
Tamizh Padam is fully loaded. From the first frame to last, there are references to one film or the other. In fact, one can say with conviction that the film can be fully enjoyed by only those who are avid Tamil cinema viewers, who watch every Tamil movie, faithfully scene by scene. For all you Tamil cinema lovers who have sat through hours of viewing without sometimes knowing why you are enduring it, this is your prize. All those hours are finally bearing fruit in the form of Tamizh Padam 2.0. You are the only ones who can enjoy this film frame by frame, line by line. If you are not a Tamil cinema buff and still want to watch this movie, we strongly suggest you take along someone who can explain each and every scene to you.
This time however Amudhan is not happy spoofing just Tamil cinema. He has strode into Hollywood, taking generous swipes at blockbusters like Speed, Hannibal and Terminator. The James Bond scene where Siva orders a vodka martini shaken and stirred in Tamil is hilarious, especially with Skyfall playing in the background.
It feels like a disservice to the movie to be writing a normal review like this, but not everyone can be as creative as Amudhan, especially when faced with deadlines. He started this journey in 2010 when he made Tamil Padam, and he got it spot on by casting Siva in the lead role. It was a no brainer that Siva should return this time too and he repeats his act with absolute effortlessness. In fact it is his effortlessness that makes his character hilarious. Even in the flashback, which is one of the most hilarious portions of the movie with a Bahubali twist, he pulls off his dance moves with stupefying ease ROFL! He makes his lack of expressions his biggest strengths, mouthing the most hilarious of lines, spoofing the most famous of scenes all while maintaining a dead serious face! The high point is definitely the ‘Vedalam transformation’ scene. This time however, the friends trio has not had the same impact as the Vennira Adai Murthi, MS Bhasker combo of the first part. Special mention to Siva’s grandmother, played by Kalairaani, her dialogue delivery is spot on. Iswarya Menon too understands what is required in such a movie and delivers accordingly – a dance step in the beach duet highlights that she has grasped the idea behind the movie quite well. Sathish has a ball donning all the different get ups that villains have done over the years in a single movie, and one particular get up that is yet to arrive on the big screen.
The best thing about Tamizh Padam 2.0 is that it does not take anything from granted. The team knows they are making a spoof and can rely on the audiences’ connection to each of the original scenes to create the impact. Most spoofs make that compromise and go low on production values and technical perfection hoping that the content and dialogues can make up for it. Amudhan does not settle for that. Each of his scenes are shot with almost the same perfection that the original scenes were made, even the visual effects, colouring and locations. This is not a cheap movie made to cater to the audience who love a good laugh. And, if you watch Tamil cinema very closely, you will find that even camera angles, the way the camera moves over a hero’s face have been captured here. This is really obvious in the Vettaiyaadu Vilaiyaadu inspired proposal scene. The BGMs too have been integrated into every scene to make it a complete experience.
We could keep talking about almost every scene of the movie and from where it is inspired, but that would take hours. What we would like to say is, don’t miss this, because Amudhan doesn’t make movies too often and if he has to make another spoof he might have to wait a few more years so that he has enough Tamil padams to make a full length spoof on! There was a lot of talk about the courage of Atlee and team when they criticized the Modi government over GST in one dialogue of Mersal. Amudhan takes out all stops and does not hold back from pointing fingers at anyone. Go and have a great time in theaters. And, finally, do not leave the theatre the moment the credits start rolling, there is an absolute delight right at the end. Hats off to CS Amudhan! Hope to see more of your movies soon.
TalksOfCinema Verdict : 100 Tamil Padam = Tamizh Padam 2
TalksOfCinema Rating : 3.5/5
Tamizh Padam 2 Movie Review Retrospect