Two years ago, when a jobless engineering graduate Raghuvaran brought onscreen his fight to come up in life despite the hiccups within his family and the construction industry and he was well received by the audience. More than that he was accepted by young unemployed engineering graduates for the way he connected with them. The screenplay, though predictable, stood out because of the connect it had with the people and the middle class audience. However, the same cannot be said for its sequel VIP 2, which fails miserably in the aforesaid aspects.
In most of the scenes, when Raghuvaran (Dhanush) opposes Vasundhara Parameswaran (Kajol) placing much stress on certain words in his dialogues, he tries to act like his superstar father-in-law. Dhanush's act of pulling a chair to sit in front of Kajol, like Rajinikanth does opposite Ramya Krishnan in Padayappa, is unnecessary. Dhanush also tries to imitate the superstar in more ways than one. What's worse is his character's lengthy dialogues about the characteristics of a woman, who is in power or higher position. It doesn't go down well with the audience.
The film is set in the backdrop of its prequel in which Raghuvaran, an unemployed engineering graduate, goes through a lot of hardship to eventually secure a job in the field he had graduated and wins his love Shalini (Amala Paul). It won the hearts of many because the plot and characters were relatable. In VIP 2, the movie opens to Raghuvaran being awarded the best engineer award, grabbing the opportunity that could have gone to Vasundhara Constructions. Here begins the fight between Raghuvaran and Vasundhara, but the fight doesn't have any twists and turns.
Vasundhara is character that have been played by female artists many a times in Tamil films, but lacks the expected wickedness. She doesn't instill fear in our minds. She is well-dressed, like a modern day corporate chairman, but her eyes do not carry the attitude of a corporate leader. She is the chairman of South India's biggest construction company, and has connections with influential people. However, a character of this magnitude comes down to the street to oppose an engineer only because she wants him to be a part of her company. The first look of the film's poster made it apparent that Dhanush and Kajol's characters will lock horns, but it doesn't guarantee any goosebumps.
The other female character Shalini is Raghuvaran's wife and her character has become boring. A dentist by profession, Shalini is now a housewife, an ill-natured, authoritative woman who controls her husband. She fights with him because he comes back home drunk. Raghuvaran's dialogues, written by Dhanush, portrays the wife's character in a poor taste, only to say that men always get beaten up by their wives. Wonder why a director like Soundarya Rajinikanth, who has the space in the film industry to shine, would clear the such a portrayal of the character of a wife.
When Raghuvaran loses his job after the first half, a fiercer fight is expected between him and Vasundhara, but the story takes a back seat, leaving the audience without any spice. VIP 2 doesn't fail to take references from the fierce jallikattu protests and the 2015 Chennai floods as well.
The few things worth mentioning are Raghuvaran's bike, his dialogues and exchanges between him and Samuthirakani's character and the coming together of the engineering graduates and helping each other are small tidbits that perhaps keep the audience stuck to their seats.
VIP 2 lacks flavour―a drama that doesn't work in reality and a screenplay that is outdated and misogynistic where a man tries to put the woman in her place. Let's just say that it doesn't quite suit Dhanush.
Movie: Velai Illa Pattadhari 2 (VIP2)
Director: Soundarya Rajinikanth
Cast: Dhanush, Amala Paul, Kajol, Vivek and Samuthirakani