“Goli Soda 2.”… A sequel that remains interesting and inventive until it turns into… a Hari movie

Posted on June 14, 2018


Spoilers ahead…

Read the full review on Film Companion, here: https://www.filmcompanion.in/goli-soda-2-movie-review-baradwaj-rangan/

A sequel usually picks up where the earlier film left off, or catches up with the same set of characters a few years later. Vijay Milton’s Goli Soda 2 is different — similar enough to belong to the world of Goli Soda, but dissimilar enough to stand on its own. You don’t need to have seen Part 1 to follow the story. But then, you’d miss the parallels. If Part 1 was about four teenagers in Koyambedu, the sequel revolves around three North Madras twentysomethings: Maaran (Bharath Seeni), Oli (Esakki Barath) and Shiva (Vinoth). If Part 1 had a maternal figure in Aachi (Sujatha Sivakumar), Part 2 has a paternal figure in Nadesan (a dignified Samuthirakani), who wears a neck brace and manages a small pharmacy. (He knows each of the young men, but they don’t know one another.) Samuthirakani, incidentally, dubbed for the villain (Madhusudhan Rao) in Part 1, so he binds the two films tighter.

Part 2, meanwhile, gives us three villains, one each for Maaran, Oli and Shiva. The plot kicks off with Nadesan being questioned by the police. (Gautham Vasudev Menon cameos as a cop named — wait for it! — Raghavan, though there’s woefully no information on whether he possesses an instinct.) The charge? Three men are missing. And we cut to a flashback. Shiva drives an auto and dreams of driving a cab. Oli works in a mess (if you remember, the kids in Part 1 set up a small eatery) and plays basketball. Maaran, who is in love with Inba (Subiksha), wants to leave a criminal gang and begin life afresh. Their tracks race by like an express train. Like Goli Soda, the sequel is suffused with an energetic, documentary-like vibe (Vijay Milton’s hand-held shots are, at times, millimetres away from an actor’s face), and filled with natural light. Not a single image appears to have been retouched during post-production. It’s like CCTV footage, but framed with an artist’s eye.

Deepak, the editor, chips in with showy flair. I am not usually a fan of gimmicky transitions, but they serve this story well. As the three narrative tracks begin to converge, the pace picks up. The breathless cutting makes the dissolves look like the shot isn’t transitioning to the next one so much as being elbowed away by it, impatiently. Like the characters, the frames burst with youth. Part 2 carries over another stylistic signature from Part 1. The writing cuts away from events midway, and when we see the remainder of the event, it’s not what we thought happened. And remember the twist with the villain in the climax of Part 1? That’s reheated and served — with a twist.

Continued at the link above.

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Posted in: Cinema: Tamil