OK, let’s make a checklist; haunted place… check, huge cast… check, trickster character artists… check, kovai sarala… check, ghostbusters… check, emotional revenge & flashback…ready, comedy…ready, the list could go on for a comedy horror movie and aranmanai 2 easily ticks all the boxes. sundar c on a quest to recreate magic, takes up most of the cast from part one and weaves together an almost similar story to thrill the audience, though there are some minor alterations like soori instead of santhanam, siddharth instead of vinay, etc. aranmanai 2 comes with a simple “done and dusted” story, but as always with sundar c, it’s always the script and the dialogue that take the front seat, let’s find out.
sundar c has this tendency to bring in a cast of whales, make use of them in every way possible in the wafer-thin plot, and aranmanai 2 is no different. a remote village with a large family begins to encounter sinister events suddenly, the family struggles to cope and enter the savior, who tries to get to the bottom of the chaos, discovers a chilling flashback and finally with the help of the powerful priests drives away the supernatural elements. no, this is not the story of chandramukhi or aranmanai, but the plot of aranmanai2 and sundar c adapt the same technique, so similar to the first that it takes a moment to realize that it is the sequel you are watching. but like again people who go into sundar c movies see it for the comedy that stems from a situation, it presents it with a super silly long script framework to tickle that funny bone. there is this scene in aranmanai 2 when the family goes out to a hotel and in the quest to run away from the ghost, they look for trisha to help them, but they don’t know that trisha is in fact the ghost. scenes like these make sundar c one of the best k-wood commercial directors.
During the first half, the director takes us through the usual stunts of mysterious deaths and strange activity around the majestic palace. the first half drags along with a predictable script, with soori entering the house goofing everyone off similarly to how santhanam entered in part one as well. no matter how many times she plays the same comedic roles in horror movies, it’s a privilege to see kovai sarala at her best, just when you get the feeling in the first half of “where’s the funny sarala we know” she gets retrieve. in the second half making us laugh out loud. Soori also fills the comic space well along with Saravanan by choosing well-timed one-liners.
aranamanai2 isn’t a great story, it’s mostly based on a bit of slapstick humour, performances by hansika, trisha, kovai sarala and soori, and some really good camera & artwork behind the scenes. the giant 103 foo statue of the goddess and the means of capturing it in detail deserve a special mention for the technical team, for a moment you cross your hands in prayer! aranmanai was praised for its comedic content, criticized for its terrifying moments, the second part has even less terrifying moments and there is hardly a terrifying scene throughout the film. Hansika appears in the flashback as the victim, who takes her revenge by stepping into Trisha’s skin. after a predictable first half, part two moves forward with the script, thanks to situational comedy and some action-packed thrills.
hansika is once again adorable as a bubbly spoiled sister, then menacing as the ghost. her role is quite brief, but it works quite well. the role of the talented siddharth is etched with shadows of what vinay had in the first part, she could have given herself more scope to demonstrate her abilities as well as accompany the story. Trisha does her part well, but the predictable script gives her character the element of surprise. sundar c is in the comfortable role of her, a brother who wants to get to the bottom of the chaos with a little twist at the climax. tamizha hip hop bgm is perfect and leaves its mark, however, the songs do not do much justice and rather slow down the pace of the film. adding sepia to the camera is simply senthil’s master stroke, one of aranmanai2’s best features.
verdict: go for the usual sundar c humor, not the thrill and horror