Cast: Prabhu Deva, Prabhu, Nikki Galrani
Director: Sakthi Chidambaram
Watching films like Charlie Chaplin 2 gets you to do a bit of soul-searching. No, not because it presents us with thought-provoking adages such as… thappu panradhu thappe illa. Aana antha thappu marakarthaku panra thappu iruke, athu than ulagathile romba migaperiya thappu (making a mistake is not a crime. But the crime you commit to hide that mistake is the biggest crime of all.) The self-doubt is because we realise that we’re all guilty of once enjoying films like these. So when an entire comedy stretch is written around a “love at first sight” moment involving Thirru (Prabhu Deva) falling for what the film perceives to be an undesirable woman, we recall the many times we have already laughed for similar scenes in similar movies.
The relief, though, is the realisation that we’ve all matured and grown up to understand why those jokes were problematic. But what about the directors and actors who make these films? Haven’t they grown with the times? Haven’t we come too far to accept blatant sexism and homophobic behavior in the guise of comedy? Or is there still an audience who seek out such films without thinking about its political correctness. Or is the problem with us, for expecting maturity in the sequel to Charlie Chaplin?
Let’s assume the latter is true. Even if we’re willing to accept the offensiveness as a given, shouldn’t the jokes at least try something new? What do you say when even the offensiveness of a film is unoriginal.
Much like its plot, which is about a desperate Thirru trying to retrieve his fiancé’s mobile phone, after having sent an abusive video message. And her fault? A video emerges of her kissing a man. In the moral universe of this film, the only way she manages to be marriage-worthy again is when it’s proven, beyond doubt, that all she was doing was saving a breathless man’s life.
What’s the deal with the women in such films anyway? Of the two main characters, one is a well-educated social worker and the other is a psychologist. Despite their intelligence and educational qualifications, can anyone explain why they are so easy to fool and cheat?
Tackily made with over-the-top performances and pointless songs (even Prabhu Deva himself can’t do much about it), Charlie Chaplin 2 is a disgrace to the comedy legend it takes its name from.