Billa 2 Official Movie Review
Billa 2 starts with Thala mouthing the famous dialogue about carving his own life every day, every minute and every second... One should have got the strong hint for what is to follow... the feeling one may get from watching Billa 2 is similar to staring at the seconds hand of your clock for 2 hours straight.
Tremendous potential of Billa 2
The Billa-2 teaser has made every viewer curious as to know who Billa was. Was he good, moral, strong? The only thing that we knew going in is that David Billa was a self-made man. Billa 2 is the first ever prequel in Tamil Cinema. The good thing about prequels is that they are not bound by the 'image'. The character does not have to be invincible. The character can be weak, vulnerable or anything the director wants him to be, giving the directors a lot of creative space for showing the transformation. Did Billa 2 deliver on this promise?
Direction, Story, Script, Screenplay, Characterization
Chakri Toleti's story travels along expected lines, narrated linearly without much twist and turns. Screenplay fails to engage the audience. Characterization is extremely weak for all the characters in the movie. After spending 2 hours in the theatre, one would not get even an ounce of insight into David Billa's character. The movie is fraught with poor characterization barring Ilavarasu. Era Murugan's dialogues show few sparks and appear forced.
Chakri struggles to carry the burden of massive expectations originating from successful Billa 2 franchise and Ajith fans expecting a fitting follow-up to Mankatha. The lack of experience shows in the bookish execution throughout the movie. The movie has too many redundant scenes and unwanted shots. For e.g., the famous "self made man" dialogue is repeated thrice in the movie. Ajith ends up in a blood-stained-white-shirt after almost every shoot-out scenes against a bunch of henchmen.
The action sequences lack motive; emotional connect is extremely low. The interval-block lacks impact when Ajith challenges the Villain and decides to break-free. Many scenes make you question the logics. e.g., why Parvathy is tied up in an open grassland by enemies guarded by dozen guys who were watching her at sniper shot range. Also, Ajith and two other accomplices enter the enemy's major Arm's factory and single-handedly shoot down a large number of machine gun carrying men. All happening when Ajith is perched up on a large disc exposing himself as an open target with rounds of bullets spraying from machine guns all around him.
Only thing that the director should be credited for is his sincerity in trying to make a film with no forced comedies or typical commercial sentiments. The best scene in the entire movie is when David Billa kills the local drug peddler who refuses to pay money.
Casting and Acting
It is not clear why the Director decided to cast too many unfamiliar faces and a slew of inexperienced actors in key roles. This has resulted in having an alien feeling throughout. Parvathy and Bruna appear in short roles wearing shorter clothes. The total number of dialogues spoken by many of the key characters can be written in an A4 sheet each. Also, the key actors deliver the dialogues flatly with no expression.
Manoj K Jayan, Ilavarasu, Sriman, Rahman are few of the familiar faces seen before in Tamil movies. Sriman is shown around half a dozen times like a junior artist nodding the head in the background and finally gets to mouth one dialogue in a scene and in the next scene, he is curled up and shot dead by Billa in the trunk of a car. Ilavarasu is the only person who stands out in otherwise nondescript characterization.
At a superficial level, Billa 2 may appear to be a slickly made technically savvy movie. The truth of the matter is that the lack of ability to engage the audience is partly because of the technical department failing to do their tasks well. RD rajasekhar's cinematography is good. Suresh Urs' editing is a let-down. Many scenes seem to have too much unwanted lag and lead frames before going for the cuts. It is not sure whether the director explicitly wanted it that way. The art direction in the refugee camp looks artificial. Most of the scenes happen in a beach resort type of environment or in godforsaken Georgia. There is not even a single scene that shows Billa in a location with common people around or a relate-able location.
Song and Music
Yuvan has worked really hard to move the story forward. However, the song picturization and placements further drag the movie. When the movie is moving at turtle speed in the second half, the director decides to introduce the slow song "Idhayam" picturized in ultra-slow motion with Parvathy Omnakuttan running endlessly in a beach. People who watch the movie after the first day may not get to see this song. This song is a strong candidate for deletion by resident editors at local theatres. There is a newly inserted song in foreign language which sounds good for first listen.
Ajith has taken risks in the final helicopter stunt sequence. Most of the dialogues are delivered by Ajith in monotonous style with no inflections. Ajith works hard to look cool by showing no emotions in most of the scenes. Despite all the hype surrounding the movie, it is unfortunate that even Ajith couldn't salvage the movie.
Verdict : Billa 2 will test your patience!