Saamy2 is the third time actor Vikram and director Hari come together, for what can only be described as a ‘Hari padam’ (Hari film). While Saamy (2003) was a blockbuster and is considered a cult hit, Saamy2 isn’t necessarily in the same league, although it doesn’t fail to entertain. Keerthy Suresh plays Vikram’s underused love interest.
Saamy 2 begins from where Saamy (2003) ends, with inspector Aarusaamy in charge of a freshly goonda-free Tirunelveli. The movie though, revolves around Ram Saamy, his son, who somehow harbours the ‘spirit’ and memories (!!!) of his father, and avenges his death.
Masala Needs no Language
Hari worked under director K Balachander, who altered Tamil cinema in the 70s and ruled it up until the early 90s. What Hari probably took from his mentor is the ability to feel the pulse of the Tamil audience and deliver (almost) exactly what it craves.
Hari makes sure he ticks all of the necessary boxes; action, family sentiment (someone dies, someone cries, etc), romantic song and dance (yes, this is still a thing), action, and of course the main ingredient of all; alliterative punch dialogue. Also, action.
Even for someone who doesn’t understand the language, the movie will hold interest, because true to his name, Hari’s movies too move in a hurry (alliterative punch alert). There are GoPro shots, revolving helicopter shots, body harness shots, all sped up to twice or thrice the normal pace. He’s got this formula so pat, he’s known in the industry for churning out a big budget film in less than 45 days of shoot.
Saamy 2 is predictable, like Hari’s films usually are, but there is an effort to eliminate the familiar boredom of songs on cue.
Bleh Music, Blah Comedy
DSP (Devi Sri Prasad) scores music for Saamy 2. Like the movie itself, the music works, but isn’t original. At all. Or does it?
The songs are thumpy and make you want to dance, but all too familiar, and have visible shades of his previous tunes. ‘Pudhu Metro Rail’ is the one song that kind of sticks, for lack of a better option.
The background score though, is surprisingly good, and serves up the nostalgia of the original Saamy in goose-bumpy thumpiness.
Where the film truly fails, is in the comedy track, delivered by Suri, which is not just stale, but is also completely alien to the plot of the film. Comedy tracks that ran completely separate and parallel to the actual film went out of style in the late 90s. Hari was able to milk it up to Singam (2010), but no more.
Raavana Pichai and the Art of Villainy
Bobby Simha plays the arch nemesis, Raavana Pichai.
Bobby Simha is the poster boy of Tamil short films. Like Vijay Sethupathy, he too rose from director Karthik Subbaraj’s short films to feature films based on short films, to playing a full fledged hero in commercial Tamil cinema.
In Saamy 2, he plays Raavana Pichai, son of Perumal Pichai (the main villain in Saamy), who’s more cold-blooded than his father. His total lack of fear for Vikram, and utter loathing for everyone else makes him a delight to watch on screen. Despite some dubbing faux pas, he conveys real anger and villainy, in every second of screen time.
And no, the very politically loaded message, of ‘Raavana’ as the villain and ‘Ram’ Saamy as the hero wasn’t lost on the crowd, who simply chose to ignore it. After all, Thalaiva (Rajinikanth) is still Thalaiva, even if he played Raavana in Kaala.
Vikram as a 28-Year-Old?
Vikram plays Saamy’s (also played by Vikram in the 2003 film) son, who is a freshly minted IPS officer, all of 28-years-old. Vikram is currently 52 years old, and the wrinkles have begun to show. While the actor manages to work in some youth in his body language, the film requires the audience to exercise their ability to suspend disbelief. Keerthy Suresh, who is paired opposite him is probably half his actual age, so it gets a bit weird in some scenes.
But it is literally thanks to his on-screen presence that the movie works, father’s-spirit-in-son’s-body and all.
Saamy 2 is sure to appeal to the masses, and also move on to become a TV favourite, since it’s not necessarily a cinematic experience. But one hopes Hari has gotten the policeman sagas out of his system (5 police stories in all). The movie ends with the tagline ‘Saamy’s hunt continues’, so you never know!