In 2005, when Rajinikanth’s “Chandramukhi” graced the silver screen, it became an instant sensation in Tamil cinema. Fast forward to 2023, and we have “Chandramukhi 2,” a sequel that brings back fond memories of the original, albeit with some notable differences. Directed once again by P Vasu, the film stars Raghava Lawrence in the lead role, taking over from the legendary Rajinikanth. Kangana Ranaut, Lakshmi Menon, and Radhikaa also join the ensemble cast. However, despite its attempt to recapture the magic of the past, “Chandramukhi 2” is not without its share of flaws.
A Familiar Template:
The sequel retains the essence of the 2005 blockbuster, incorporating the same elements that delighted audiences then. Vadivelu’s comedic antics, the catchy “Devuda Devuda” song, and even the iconic “Enna koduma Saravanan idhu?” dialogue all make a return. The story revolves around a troubled family seeking solutions to their problems, with a visit to their ancestral temple serving as the catalyst for the events that follow.
Raghava Lawrence Steps In:
Replacing Rajinikanth is no small feat, but Raghava Lawrence steps into the role of Pandian with gusto. His introduction scene, though incredulous, sets the tone for his character’s fearless nature. However, in the first half of the film, Lawrence’s presence feels somewhat lacking, as he attempts to emulate Rajinikanth’s mannerisms. There’s also a noticeable lip sync issue that detracts from his performance. Fortunately, Lawrence finds his stride in the second half, delivering a more convincing and engaging portrayal.
Kangana Ranaut’s Limited Role:
Kangana Ranaut’s inclusion in the cast adds star power to “Chandramukhi 2,” but her role is disappointingly limited. She sings a few songs and showcases her dancing prowess, but her character doesn’t contribute significantly to the plot.
P Vasu’s Clever Recapture:
Director P Vasu, who also helmed the original film, wisely retains the template that worked so well in 2005. The film recreates the beloved “RaRa” song, and even iconic dialogues like “Enna Koduma saravanan…” find their way back into the narrative. MM Keeravani’s music and sound design evoke a sense of nostalgia, taking us back to a different era in Tamil cinema.
A Sense of Superficiality:
While “Chandramukhi 2” offers a cocktail of entertainment elements, it struggles with a sense of superficiality and predictability. The transition between spooky and happy scenes is formulaic, and the plot essentially revisits the storyline of the original Rajinikanth-Jyotika starrer.