What happens when an young film maker wishes to fuse two films, one a classic in its language and another a thriller from another language, and tries to play on the nostalgia of the audience? Well, the result might be a great film or else a film which has no legs to stand on its feet. But strangely, Gaayam-2 happens to fall in the middle. It is neither a great film nor can be called bad by any standard.
Made out as a sequel to Gaayam which came around 17 years ago, Gaayam-2 happens to be a fusion of “History of Violence” and also of its prequel, ‘Gaayam’ (from which it heavily borrows many scenes).
In a Snake eats Frog world, Ram (Jagapathi Babu) is leading a peaceful life with wife Vidya (Vimala Raman) and son Chaitu (Pawan Sriram). He runs a restaurant in Bangkok and has a happy life. Enter two thugs into his restaurant who threaten his female employee. Ram saves his employee and kills off the thugs mercilessly as a professional. He becomes a darling of the media in Bangkok and is hailed as a hero.
Soon, his images are flashed on Indian television and seen by Shankar Narayan (late Kota Prasad). He tells his father, Guru Narayan (Kota Srinivasa Rao) that Ram is none other than their arch-rival, Durga who is presumed dead. Guru Narayan sends his Lawyer saab (Tanikella Bharani) and his son to trace the truth and find out whether Ram is really Durga or not.
Once in Bangkok, Lawyer and Shankar start to harass Ram to come out with the truth. They manage to bring out the true colours out of Ram’s life and this revelation divides Ram from his wife Vidya. As soon as Vidya tries to patch up with her husband, the family is targetted at and their son is shot. Ram alias Durga flies back to Hyderabad and settles his old score with Guru Narayan and in the process comes out as a victor with the clever use of his brains and muscle. How he accomplishes the victory is to be seen on the screen.
For all those fans of “Gaayam,” this sequel comes off as a disappointment. The rawness and brilliance of the original is completely missing. Added to that the film appears as two different films, one in the first half and another in the second half. The first one take a blame for this mess should be director, Praveen Sri who wished that his fusion of the two films he loved most would bring a delectable fare. He had no grip on the characters which are already in the memories of the audience. What Praveen could have done is to make a true sequel of “Gaayam” rather than modifying it to suit the storyline of “History of Violence.” The touch of the director is glaringly different for this sequel.
In the original film, Durga and Guru Narayan never meet each other though they talk over phone. They come into contact only in the end scene. But in the sequel, Durga and regularly meet as long lost buddies and greet each other, which is not their true characters. The director has to blamed a lot with regards to the screenplay which could never engage the viewer. But some credit should be given for the way he has shown the current political scenario through Guru Narayan’s character. Praveen Sri tried hard to recreate the magic but could not do it for the choice of screenplay he chose.
Coming to the performances, Jagapathi Babu tried to live his career-best role of Durga once again. He could do justice to it in his own way. He was sincere in his effort and succeeded. His emotions in some scenes are to be lauded. The hospital scene where he feels the pain of watching his son in death bed are to be noticed and clapped.
As in the original “Gaayam”, the real scene stealer happens to be Kota Srinivasa Rao. The veteran showed to the world about why he is called the best in business. His continuation of Guru Narayan’s character is a treat to watch. He brought in rich texture to the already memorable role with his own patented language and diction. Kota shows why he is such a great actor with just one scene when he says ‘maaf karna lawyer saab‘ to Tanikella Bharani. Conisdering that Kota suffered the loss of his son mid-way during the shoot elevates the performance to even more higher levels.
Tanikella Bharani puts his best effort to bring life to Lawyersaab’s character. Late Kota Prasad showed what he was capable of in his short role. Vimala Raman fills up the glamour quotient of the film and she would raise the pulse rate of the audience with a steamy song.
Coming to the technical departments, Ilaiyaraja’s music is a dampener and unlike Gaayam, it does not have a signature tune. The maestro could not recreate his magic of the yore. The camera work of Anil Bandari could have been much better. The rustic look which was required could not be brought out and the fault should lie with the director instead of the cinematographer. Editing was crisp and so were the dialogues by Gandham Nagaraju and Ravi.
All in all, Gaayam-2 is a film which might appeal to those who have not seen the first part directed by Ram Gopal Varma and for those who have seen it, better catch a DVD of “History of Violence” and imagine Jagapathi in the hero’s character. That’s about it guys.