Actor Shiva aka Mirchi Shiva is fondly called Agila Ulaga Superstar. In perfect form, CS Amudhan gives Shiva a name card just like his ‘namesake’ Rajinikanth. If you haven’t seen the promos, which is a sin, the tone is already set for the rest of the film. If Tamizh Padam’s farces sent us squealing in laughter, Amudhan doesn’t miss anything or anyone in the sequel. Every pop-reference in the recent past finds a place. In fact, if someone wakes up from a coma and wants to know what they have missed, Tamizh Padam 2 could be a good primer, to begin with.
CS Amudhan’s writing and gags are ruthless. That is one of the main reasons why they work. Whether it is Rajinikanth, Kamal Haasan, Vijay, Ajith, Suriya, Vikram, Vishal or even Sivakarthikeyan for that matter, the ‘brutality’ of the jokes has no relation to their star status. The film also takes digs at the media and politicians, but it doesn’t make a villain out of anyone. From elaborate parody sequences to off-hand references, Tamizh Padam 2 is a pop-culture stew that is all-encompassing. And I mean all-encompassing. As seen in the trailer, the film doesn’t spare Hollywood as well. From Bond, Hannibal to a cameo by Khaleesi, the Tamizh Padam franchise has officially taken a leap to the ‘next level’.
Spoofs generally tend to be a mosaic of caricaturish recreations of popular scenes and Tamizh Padam 2 also doesn’t go much beyond it. There is a story but the fun lies more in spotting these references and recognising the films that are being spoofed. Spoof films cater to a niche audience and Tamizh Padam 2 is a film that knows and serves its audience well.
The best part of Tamizh Padam 2 is taking on tropes and subverting them, making relevant, valid points. A personal favourite is CS Amudhan’s take on the ‘loosu ponnu heroine’. One of Shiva friends says that the heroine basically has no choice but to fall in love with him. “You’re a hero. No matter if you stalk or pester her, she has to fall in love. “ “Adhu thappu Ilaya da?” asks Shiva, his baby face dripping with innocence. He gets guffaws of laughter as the answer. While the ‘mental’ angle could have been handled with more grace, the film makes a point.
The music in Tamizh Padam 2 is similar to its writing, it has to remind us of a particular film but can’t ape it. N Kannan has used the arena smartly, even though it doesn’t give him exemplary creative liberty. The songs are subversions themselves and CS Amudhan takes a quick gag about song placements with an unnecessary item number as well.
However, not all jokes work — there is an Irudhi Suttru parody that doesn’t work. But thankfully, there are plenty of ones that do. So the damage is minimal. In fact, it would be great if CS Amudhan keeps the franchise running. After all, who else can think of using an actor’s rise to stardom story as the background for its villain?