Titled as sequel to surprising horror comedy hit Raju Gari Gadhi, director Ohmkar made the franchise big by roping in Nagarjuna and Samantha for the top production houses of PVP, Matinee. It’s a solo release… let us see what’s hidden mystery in this second room?
Narrative begins with questioning on existence of evil spirits as three good friends Ashwin (Ashwin), Kishore (Vennela Kishore), Praveen (Praveen) purchase a sea side resort starting their new business. Very soon, they experience strange and eerie happenings thus approach a Church Father (Naresh) who recommends Rudra (Nagarjuna), the modern day saint cum Mentalist to crack the case. On the very first visit to resort, Rudra confirms the existence of a woman soul Amrutha (Samantha) dying to take revenge.
Upon unearthing Amrutha’s flashback from her childhood in Siricilla who grew into a Law College topper has committed suicide. Who, why and what did the culprits gain from Amrutha’s death is rest of emotional ride with a strong social message.
Inspired or remade from Malayalam hit Pretham, director Ohmkar took care in scripting the film to remain as true as possible to his franchise. An emotionally charged message, usage of strong casting and technically well graded, Ohmkar did not miss much. Rather than making crucial flashback fell flat on regular point, entire episode behind Amrutha’s suicide sounded sensible but went weak on execution. As a director, Ohmkar missed to leave a mark in this crucial portion and at the same time, second half devoid of comedy created an imbalance.
Writing from Abburi Ravi stood the key pillar for second half. Painful drama and delicate message elevated through his writing. Camera by Diwakaran traveled through picturesque beaches and colorful resorts. VFX presenting the ghost are truly concept oriented. Madhu’s editing was crisp without any lags. SS Thaman’s background score is superb, sets a perfect mood for horror and emotional occurrences. Production standards from PVP, Matinee and OAK are first rate.
About artists, any actor other than Nagarjuna could not have bought the required depth into refreshing Mentalist character. His composure in body language, tranquility in eyes and simple styling easily bought in believability though his Mentalist acts went overboard at times. Nevertheless, the relevant communication he had with Samantha in climax had more impact. Samantha though has short screen time haunts us for while in painful portrayal as Amrutha. Her expressive eyes were a big asset. Comedy on Ashwin, Kishore and Praveen was fine and entertaining. Shakalaka Shankar is just ok in plenty of spoofs. Seerat Kapoor is red hot and her glamour show serves the demands of target audience. Rao Ramesh is dignified. Naresh is alright and Abhinaya, Nandu formed a critical part. Others made their presence felt.
Lack Of Comedy
Raju Gari Gadhi from Ohmkar was a hit because of its spookiness soaked in hilarious comedy. However, Ohmkar mandatorily has to change this framework because he had stars like Nagarjuna and Samantha on board for sequel. Automatically, focus on slapstick comedy is lowered here to heighten the characterizations of his star artists designed on novelty and emotional lines.
Balancing both the threads, Ohmkar began his first half purely on comic quotient introducing Ashwin, Kishore, Praveen and Shakalaka Shankar along with Seerat Kapoor’s Suhanisa skin show taking the lead. Comedy scenes in these portions are though not on par with first part, yet forcibly manageable. Meanwhile, ghost scenes scattered here and there in between evoke interest. Visual effects are in fact neatly done. Entry of Nagarjuna as Mentalist accelerated the proceedings seriously. Meaning of Mentalism is in detail explained with few scenes. Nag’s chasing the case and confronting Amrutha aka Samantha leads to a decent interval block overall closing the first half on satisfactory note.
Second half kick starts directly as Nag tries to connect with purpose of Samantha’s soul residing in resort. Narrative becomes engaging with Samantha offering a clue and Nag goes all the way to Siricilla to unravel the identity of Amrutha. Childhood sequences with Rao Ramesh displayed the affectionate father-daughter bonding are jaded. As horror quotient fell to new low, emotional drama and social issue on women abuse, suicides in present society sentimentally got highlighted. How come people and society around abuse an innocent Amrutha when her nude bathroom video shot and posted by anonymous person goes viral leading to Rao Ramesh’s death went total non-judgmental and does not serve the real motive behind suicide and revenge. A message from Nagarjuna on women in college and the important climax addressing the causes behind suicides like feelings of pain, rejection and victimization are neatly presented.
All in all, Raju Gari Gadhi 2 isn’t on the same terrain as first part. There are no wow factors here. Rather a partially impractical unrealistic and thoughtful social point around women is played on a strong casting. Nagarjuna, Samantha made the difference for Ohmkar’s faithful remake cut down on its forte of comedy. RGG 2 is worth a watch once. Box Office verdict depends on how family audience and youth embrace the second half. CJ goes for 2.75 stars rating.