Comedian turned hero Sunil is passing through leanest phase of his whole career. With a proven subject like 2 Countries a super hit in Malayalam and producer, director like N Shankar at the helm of affairs, let us see is there any minute chance for Sunil to re-lighten his career in the following review.
Ullas (Sunil) living in Venkatapuram with his friend (Srinivas Reddy) village is greedy for speed money. He uses every small opportunity to make money out of nothing. Accordingly Ullas decides to marry the disabled sister of local money lender (Sayaji Shinde) but changes plate at last minute when he comes across his childhood friend Laya (Manisha Raj), living in USA. In no time, Laya lands in Venkatapuram for wedding and a big secret revealed here is she being an alcoholic. Unknowingly Ullas ties the nuptial knot to fly USA en-route to know Laya’s drinking habits. Story shifts to USA where Ullas understands the reasons behind Laya’s addiction through well wisher (Naresh). How Ullas expresses his real love for Laya and when she realizes it getting back to Venkatapuram is the rest.
Original Malayalam version 2 Countries was a blockbuster and a 50 Crores Box Office churner. Reason is simple, from artists to technicians and the whole narrative travels on beautiful lines with complete immersion of audience into concept. Unfortunately, producer cum director N Shankar failed to rehash the same magic or it is worth to say not even 1% of essence in original is captured. Resultantly, every scene is either half baked or over cooked. Adding more to our woes is the over action from artists. Blame it on pathetic screen writing, except spending good money on production, N Shankar fumbled on every step. Missing the core emotion in sympathizing with lead characters is the basic drawback 2 Countries went directionless. Sreedhar Seepana dialogues are totally disappointing. Ram Prasad’s cinematography is the saving grace with arresting visuals shot in USA locations. Kotagiri Venkateshwara Rao’s editing is incoherent and scenes end abruptly. Music by Gopi Sunder is decent for couple of songs while BGM is just ok. Production standards are above the current state of market for a Sunil film and N Shankar’s guts are to be appreciated for this.
About artists, time for Sunil to accept that he is no more a hero material. He clearly lost the focus and was irritative in many occasions. Though a regular character with plentiful references to Dileep in original; Sunil never matched to the standards. In fact, his comic timing turned disgraceful. Manisha Raj is a fresher and well tried to distinguish herself from the rest of lot. She is beautiful and expressive too. Srinivas Reddy is loud and so are Sayaji Shinde, Dev Gill, Prudhvi in Venkatapuram and Naresh, Sithara, Raja Ravindra, Siddhu, Sanjjana Galrani, Jhansi in USA. Despite having enormous casting, N Shankar could not ripe even a minimum dose of healthy fun factor.
Both First and Second Halves
2 Countries is a loathsome remake with total dishonesty towards original. Nowhere audiences are relieved from the torment. One does not know how come a sensible and socially responsible film maker like N Shankar made this pale attempt.
Right from the first frame in first half, Sunil makes it uncomfortable for audience. Every act in his characterization from raving for money to contesting in elections against the candidate of same name (Dev Gill), every episode leaves a disappointment. Entry of Manisha Raj brings some freshness but soon that too is evaporated with her chronic alcohol addiction. In between Srinivas Reddy, Sayaji Shinde added some fun. Key scenes like exposing Manisha Raj’s alcohol weakness or the spat between Sunil, Srinivas Reddy went ineffective. Boarding the flight to USA, the slap in between and then interval… nothing is interesting.
Into second half, narrative turns a little engaging but it took no time for N Shankar to divert. Entry of Sithara, Siddhu, Raja Ravindra, Sanjana, Naresh and Jhansi only lets us to remind the old treatment followed in 80s and 90s. Even the justification given by Naresh to accept Manisha Raj’s characterization is unconvincing. Sacrifices from Sunil, the court room scene and the final realization leading to Manisha Raj and co back to India is more of silly stuff for a happy climax.
In totality, 2 Countries is one more gross failure for Sunil. With N Shankar showing his weakness in handling an entertaining and feel oriented script, 2 Countries will go down as a final slap for Sunil’s dwindling career. CJ goes with 1.75 stars and a strict no-no for weekend cinema lovers.