Behind the Movie Gaayam 2: Going back to History, Ramgopal Varma’s ‘Gaayam’ was a sensation which rocked entire Andhra Pradesh. With same Jagapathi Babu in the lead role and Varma’s protégé Praveen Sri taking the megaphone; there was good interest generated on this sequel which is of course presented by Varma himself. Let us see, how far this sequel matched the standards of Varma’s brilliance?
In the Movie Gaayam 2: Movies starts in Bangkok where in Ram (Jagapathi Babu), his wife Vidya (Vimala Raman), his brother-law Harsha (Harshavardhan) and their kid Chaitu are a happy family running a coffee shop leading a peaceful and affectionate life. During one of the violent situations, Ram kills two of the local criminals and shots away into local TV channels.
On shifting the focus to Hyderabad, Home Minister Guru Narayan (Kota Srinivas Rao), his son Shankar Narayan (Kota Prasad) and lawyer (Tanikella Bharani) get a glimpse of Ram on TV screens and were shocked to find his resemblances with Durga (Jagapathi Babu of ‘Gaayam’). Soon, Shankar Narayan and lawyer reach Bangkok to find the real identity of Ram. Their nightmare turns into reality. Yes, Ram is none other than Durga.
Now, it is turn for Ram aka Durga to explain his flashback to Vidya. (Here is where glitches of ‘Gaayam’ are shown once again establishing the old characters and their rivalry). In ‘Gaayam’ first part, after Guru Narayan has been sent to prison, he comes back and kills the entire family of Durga and Anitha (Revathi) in a bomb blast. To fulfill Anitha’s last words of living in peace, Durga changes his name to Ram and leaves to Bangkok along with Anitha’s only son Chaitu.
As Guru Narayan is now aware of Durga being still alive attempts to kill Chaitu and this makes Ram to once again become Durga and enter Hyderabad to settle the old scores. How did Durga take on Guru Narayan this time erasing both his son and lawyer? How did Durga with help of Ali Khan and ACP Prasad Murthi (Ravi Kale) blast the dreams of Guru Narayan becoming Chief Minister? form rest of the story.
Values of the Movie Gaayam 2: Thanks that Varma always leaves space in his climaxes to thread out sequels. Same do apply even for ‘Gaayam’ but that was from Varma and this is from Praveen Sri. This single line is enough for intelligent readers to understand the output of ‘Gaayam 2.’ Screenplay from Rajendra Reddy lacked the basic quality connection that could be hitched to first part. Camerawork by Anil Bhandari was good both in catching the beautiful Bangkok and dreadful Hyderabad. Edititng by Praveen Pudi was better. Gandham Nagaraju and Mallu Ravi Reddy seems to have tried their best to match the standards of ‘Gaayam’ dialogues but falls short in their abilities as only few occasions we feel the power and direct touch. Story wise, Praveen Sri has more concentrated on family drama and politics. By the time real Durga comes back, it was too late. Direction by Praveen Sri was okay but an obvious comparison comes into play and the set backs were clearly visible. Music by Ilayaraja was superb for one song ‘Endukamma Prema Prema…’ and background, re-recording, what a man he is.
Performance wise, Jagapathi Babu is still at his best handling Durga character with same elegance and as a family man in Bangkok, he was at the same élan. Vimala Raman was better match for the role and she has very less to perform except a scintillating number with too many lip locks and good skin show in erotic body postures. Kota Srinivas Rao is again at his best repeating the ‘Gaayam’ magic and same do apply even for Tanikella. Next is Late Kota Prasad, donned a fierce character which surely remains one of the highlights of the film. Comedy by Harshavardhan creates no impact and others like Ravi Kale, Ajay and others were apt.
Out of the Movie Gaayam 2: A sequel to ‘Gaayam’ requires guts to take it on par with abilities of Varma. Praveen Sri is appreciable for daring it. The way he conceived the story till first half was better and when Durga comes into picture, suddenly audience demand more of intense and gripping movements and this is where ‘Gaayam 2’ disappoints. Bringing a mix of worst side of politics and media, too many betrayals in these two gangs contemplated with rivalry has spoiled the real essence of ‘Gaayam 2.’ Praveen Sri tried the trick of Benarjee’s role in ‘Gaayam’ too many times in ‘Gaayam 2’ showing no novelty.
Jagapathi Babu has taken enough care of showing the differences in both the characters (Durga and Ram) that includes the settled expressions (with eyes), costumes and dialogue delivery. ‘Endukamma Prema Prema…’ song was too erotically picturized for catering the mass audience, of course doesn’t help the main story in any way. But, lyrical excellence like ‘Niggadeesi Adugu…,’ ‘Alupannadi Undaa…’ and ‘Surajyam Avaleni Swaraajyam Endukani…’ in 'Gaayam' is totally missing in ‘Gaayam 2.’
Movie begins with director’s brief view of story (a snake catching a frog and then saving its life from getting under a car) and then establishes the characters and love of Ram and Vidya. When Hyderabad comes into picture, movie grabs the interest and Praveen Sri has taken long time to get back the real link with ‘Gaayam.’ History comes back only in second half with less of emotional content build up, running to a poor climax seen many a times in recent movies.
Praveen Sri’s intelligent finishing of movie without showing the fate of Kota’s character doubt about intentions of coming with ‘Gaayam 3.’
Jagapathi Babu’s performance, Vimala’s hot sex appeal, Kota and his son’s performance, good cinematography, Ilayaraja’s back ground and re-recording are positives for ‘Gaayam 2;’ then lack of emotional content, comparisons with Varma and ‘Gaayam,’ poor dialogues serve as negatives with a subdued output for ‘Gaayam 2.’
Cinejosh Verdict of the Movie Gaayam 2: There can’t be a second Varma and there can’t be a second ‘Gaayam.’ This second injury is paining.
Reviewed by Srivaas