Tamil hero Vishal has decent following in Telugu states. Almost all his Tamil films are dubbed into Telugu and enjoyed good patronage at Box Office. Once again, Vishal is back with sequel to his first image setting hit Pandem Kodi teaming with director N Linguswamy. With original Tamil version opened to positive talk, let us see how far Vishal can make it big in Dasara festive battle?
Raja Reddy (Raj Kiran), a leader personality in Kadapa region and his son Balu (Vishal), who is back in India after 7 years, are indulged in a violent war with Bhavani (Varalakshmi Sarath Kumar) burning with vengeance to kill Gopi (Harish) and stop the traditional Veera Bhadra Jathara. Meanwhile, Balu also falls in love with Charumathi (Keerthy Suresh). Rest of the story is all about Balu rescuing Gopi, Charumathi and Raja Reddy from the clutches of Bhavani.
Pandem Kodi was a trendsetting hit for its gripping screenplay and tight packed action with Linguswamy’s brand treatment. However, Lingu lost his touch in middle unable to deliver a product of his standard. Pandem Kodi 2 can be called as a far better film from Lingu but surely not his best. Though movie starts off on absorbing conduct elevating key characters blended in action, romance and emotion, it derailed in second half with sluggish screenplay played spoilsport. Vishal being a mass action hero, Lingu made best use of his hero’s advantages. It’s the Tamil Nadu’s over stretched folk Jathara backdrop might miss the chord to connect Telugu audience. Hero being pulled into an action conflict which actually has no connection with him-self or his family is though a rehash of Pandem Kodi screenplay, unfortunately the follow up episodes aren’t magical as first part. Lingu’s little more scripting efforts in crucial second half portions might have lifted this sequel to next level. Writing part is fully Tamil flavored. Sakthivel’s camera work is astounding with brilliantly captured aerial, action blocks. Praveen’s editing should have been racy. While Yuvan Shankar Raja’s background is vibrating, songs are so-so. Production standards from VFF, Lyca are top notch.
Onto artists, Vishal is an apt-fit for Balu. His ease at stunts stood out to keep mass audience thoroughly entertained. Romantic track with bubbly natured Keerthy Suresh is really good and both managed a wonderful chemistry. One more time, Raj Kiran proves that he is a terrific actor with amazing screen presence. Vara Lakshmi did complete justice as riveting antagonist. Rest of the artists, completely Tamil rooted.
First Twenty Minutes
Overt Tamil Flavor
Basic strengths of Linguswamy films lie in captivating screenplay and dazzling action. He is repeatedly missing on execution part despite positioning his characters on remarkable footing. Same is the case with Pandem Kodi. Basic premise created and curiosity generated for action to shoot up went haywire after a certain point making whole second half redundant and repetitive. Of course, those masses who accept illogical action may enjoy the film.
First half begins with crowded festival Jathara setup where the key group clashes are registered firmly along with Vara Lakshmi role. Then Raj Kiran being conciliator, the pitch is clear for Vishal’s entry and the continuation with song. Entertaining love track of Vishal, Keerthy kept the narrative alive to large extent before the action filled interval block and the twist is opened.
Literally second half went hollow due to lack of substance. With Raj Kiran lying on bed, the game of action and wits between Vishal, Vara Lakshmi gets into iteration loop moving nowhere. The commercially raised level surface buckled minute by minute with plenty of fights leading to half baked, reasonably contrived climax.
All in all, Pandem Kodi 2 is worth a watch for Vishal Fans and action lovers. Linguswamy played to galleries in putting the best use of Vishal image definitely at the cost of lethargic screenplay. Though not on par with magical first part, CJ goes for 2.5 star rating. Chances are high for Pandem Kodi 2 to click with B, C centeres where Vishal has niche following.