Goli Soda 2 movie review: A collection of well-intentioned dialogues that don’t really come together as a film

‘Marangal aada maruthalum kaatru viduvathilai’ (The wind refuses to let the trees alone, even if they refuse to sway to its tunes.) The line seems to be earmarked by Maaran (Bharat Seeni). When we get introduced to the line, we think it is about him. Maaran works as a driver to the usual amalgamation of the politician, rowdy, and businessman, Thuraimugam Thillai. And, Maaran’s girlfriend isn’t okay with him working for Thillai. Maaran stops working for him but Thillai makes sure he doesn’t land a job anywhere else. But as the movie progresses, you see the emotion extend to the other two – Oli (Essaki Bharath) and Auto Siva (Vinoth). They refuse to be bound by their current situations. As Siva says, “Naanga thaguthi ku meeri aasa padla. Thaguthi a valathika than aasapadrom (We are not aspiring for a life that is beyond our means, but rather looking for ways to improve our value.). In short, they are the trees Milton is referring to.

But they aren’t left to be at peace – their lives controlled by individuals with more political and financial clout. ‘Who are they to decide my actions and aspirations?’ is a constant question that the film asks. The frustration leads them to the same destination. The shared desperation for a way out, brings our protagonists together, Natesan (Samuthirakani) becoming the link and eventually, the spine of this group.

Vijay Milton makes sure that his protagonists are the personification of haplessness. When Madhi steps out and the enemies find her, it isn’t for some luxury. She is out to buy some sanitary napkins. And hence, there is a lot of anger, similar to Goli Soda 1. But it lacks the plausibility. Mere anger can’t turn three young lads into superheroes who can jump off trees and land on running autos perfectly. Nor does it give them numerous vats of money to spend. Second chances are also a recurring theme as well. Every character gets an opportunity that serves as a revenge/redemption moment. While all this might sound good on paper, it gets a bit too much when a mother and daughter get matching love stories. Goli Soda 2 is riddled with several logical inconsistencies that the anger hits a wall and the result isn’t emphatic as well.

The film has been edited rather interestingly — one of the things I found intriguing. It fades/dissolves from one story into another one without warning, looking like pieces of jigsaw puzzles that find its match. There are also a lot of minor cuts that fasten the pace of the film. This works the best considering most of the film rolls out in Natesan’s narration. We aren’t watching the film, rather we are listening to Natesan say it. However, it becomes a bit too clunky towards the end as moments, where the narrator is unreliable, are not marked out properly.

Gautham Vasudev Menon makes gets an extended cameo as, wait for it, IPS Raghavan. Though he doesn’t get much time (even more limited in uniform), knowing Gautham’s fascination for cop stories, it is quite something to see him play one himself. A small part of me began wondering how it would be to see him in a full-fledged role – a minor respite from a film that is a collection of well-meaning moments that stay as that. Just well-intentioned monologues.

This was first originally published on https://indianexpress.com/. You can find it here.

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