Noted cinematographer Vijay Milton’s breakthrough moment as a director happened with 2014’s Goli Soda, which was an unexpected blockbuster. The film was centered on a group of teens who overcame powerful adversaries on the path to prosperity. The second part is a sequel in spirit (young underdogs taking on mean baddies) featuring a different bunch of characters.
Plot – Maran (Bharath Seeni), Oli (Esakki Barath) and ‘Auto’ Siva (Vinoth) are three youngsters who live in North Madras; none of them know each other. Nadesan (Samuthirakani), a mentor to all three, is the only common link between them. The film is about the obstacles they face, how their paths cross and how they unite to take on what is standing in their way.
- Composer Achu Rajamani is the backbone of the film. He has understood its requirements and given it his best. The background score suits each scene’s mood and his riveting theme track got a rousing response during the action sequences. His romance melody ‘Pondatte’ is a chartbuster; dance choreographer Sridhar makes a special appearance.
- The young actors (Bharath Seeni, Esakki Barath and Vinoth) are energetic and suit their given parts. Viewers can expect a novel experience as these fresh actors have no prior baggage. We can connect with their stories easily thanks to Vijay Milton’s presentation. As a cinematographer, he keeps it raw and vibrant with some of his trademark visual gimmicks.
- The interval block, when conflicts in the three characters’ lives build up dramatically, is the best part of the film. Editor Deepak’s transitions for this segment are fluid and enhance the viewing experience.
- Of the heroines, Subiksha does justice to her bubbly part, while Krisha’s beautiful, expressive eyes serve her well.
- Gautham Menon has a cameo as an intense, stylish cop named Raghavan (remember Vettaiyadu Vilaiyadu?). His screen presence is extremely arresting. His ‘khaki’ attire and the beard add a macho edge to Gautham’s look. If only his part were longer!
- In a welcome change, Samuthirakani isn’t as preachy as he usually is. He plays his part in a restrained and mature manner throughout the film. His artificial beard looks obvious though!
- The second half is packed with loud and over-the-top action sequences, in which the actors deliver dramatic dialogues that they don’t quite have the experience or screen presence to pull off. Action choreographer ‘Supreme’ Sundar’s work was spoken about highly, pre-release, but the outcome did not live up to the hype.
- The three villains, their characteristics and activities are stereotypical. The manner in which they come together in the story seemed convenient. Of the three, Chemban Vinodh Jose will be a fresh face for Tamil audiences.
Final Word: Goli Soda 2 looked extremely promising at the halfway mark, but dipped slightly due to the exaggerated action scenes that followed. Vijay Milton, however, largely succeeds with his ‘Goli Soda’ recipe.