Movie Review Double Bill – Taken 2 and Maattrraan

 

 

 

 

 

“I don’t know who you are. I don’t know what you want. If you are looking for ransom, I can tell you I don’t have money. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills; skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you let my daughter go now, that’ll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don’t, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you”

Anybody who has watched Taken will definitely remember this killer dialogue by Liam Neeson in the first part which pretty much summed up Neeson’s character and the rest of the movie.

Given the enormous success of the first part it was evident that a sequel would follow.  Taken didn’t find a release in India because the censors apparently found it too violent and hence was deemed unfit for a theatrical release in India. A very stupid and foolish decision, given the fact that most of our desi potboilers especially the box office blockbusters are filled with an unending supply of sleaze and violence.  Wonder how come it passes through the scissor of the censors?

Thankfully given the enormous popularity of the first part, Taken 2 has made it way to the Indian cinemas.

Taken saw Neeson take on thugs in Paris who kidnap his daughter with a view of forcing her into sex trade. Taken 2 sees the tables being turned on Neeson who is now kidnapped by an Albanian Gangster (Rade Serbedzija –  Remember ‘Borris The Blade’ from Snatch ) father of the Albanian leader who headed the gang that kidnapped Neeson’s daughter and was killed at the hands of Neeson.

There is a lot of family bonding happening in Taken 2. This film sees Neeson and his ex-wife (going through a rough marriage) getting closer. Unlike the first part, this film also sees some witty one liners during the most terse situations. However no one is complaining as it only adds to the fun of watching the movie.

A lot of situations do look improbable like the way Neeson instructs his daughter to help him in the rescue mission. Unlike the first part, Taken 2 is devoid of any surprises twists and unpredictability. However the brisk pace, non-stop action which includes hand to hand combats, car chases etc are total value for money and more than make up for the flaws and keeps you glued to your seats.

Liam Neeson continues playing his part with the same intensity and is still agile as he was in the earlier part. He also delivers the funny one liners with a deadpan panache expected in a standard actioner.His husky baritone also helps big time.

Director Olivier Megaton, Producer Luc Beeson and the rest of the team know they have a huge task on hand since the sequel will always be compared with the predecessor. However they more or less do a good job of delivering an engaging action which will keep the franchise and action movie lovers happy.

 

After the smashing success of Ayan , actor Surya re-unites with director K.V Anand for ‘Maattrraan’. Ramachandran’s (Sachin Khedekar) wife gives birth to a pair of twins – Extrovert Akilan & Introvert and studious Vimalan (Surya & Surya) a pair of conjoined twins. Since only of one them has a heart, the doctors say raising both of them would be a difficult task. However the pucca filmy mother of Indian cinema that she is, the mother of the conjoined twins decides to raise them with utmost love and devotion.

Meanwhile, their father after many filed attempts ends up building a food products company whose cash cow is ‘Energion’ a health drink that boosts the health and energy. With the enormous success of the health drink, Industrial espionage and corporate politics rears its ugly head. In the midst of this are the conjoined twins, a murdered Russian spy and Vimalan’s girlfriend (Kajal Agarwal).

When K.V Anand must have narrated the story to Surya, it must have sounded supremely exciting. With terms like conjoined twins, industrial espionage etc. thrown in the script must have sounded oh so cool. But what you get is a never ending incoherent mess of a film.

The film starts off pretty well and is pretty much on track till the first hour and a half. But thereafter the film slips into an unending yawn fest till the very last minute. Many members amongst the audience were simply bored after a point and kept saying ‘Bas Karo, please end it soon’

The bonding between the twins is nicely depicted in the song Rettai Kadhirae (which appears during the opening credits). Several other scenes between the two make for fun viewing like the ones in which the shy Vimalan gets help from his other twin to woo Kajal Agarwal. Oh how you wish the conjoined twins could have been given much more footage.

But soon the film gets into full thriller mode and the conjoined twins angle gets fully neglected. Which is initially fine, as you are enjoying guessing who could be behind destroying Khedekar’s empire? Alas the film goes for a toss. Even after revealing the culprit’s identity to the audience and the protagonist, the film goes on and on till Surya finally catches the culprit and the audience is finally saved from further exhaustion. The conjoined twins angle has been added unnecessarily into the film, for ample justice has not been done to the same.

Surya is one of the most dependable actors present in Tamil cinema today. With his likeable screen presence and acting talent, Surya is able to carry the burden of the film only to a certain point. Hope he selects his scripts more carefully in the future. Kajal Agarwal looks pretty , but beyond this, there is nothing much to write about her acting or role. Sachin Khedekar gets a meaty role and makes a good use of it to show his acting skills.

Harris Jayaraj’s music is average except for Rettai Kadirae and Naani Koni a nice romantic dream song shot very imaginatively. S Sounder Rajan’s cinematography is sleek especially in the Naani Koni song. The actions scenes are neat, especially the fight scene in the amusement park is superb.

K.V Anand’s earlier ventures which had a good combination of racy screenplay, topical themes and entertaining masala for the audiences has failed this time.  Had the film taken much less time to come to the point, it would have been a much more enjoyable fare.

 

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One thought on “Movie Review Double Bill – Taken 2 and Maattrraan

  1. Taken 2 is one of the most boring and slow action film seen in a long long time. I was also disturbed by the daughter throwing bombs all over the place, as if lives of Turkish people do not have any value to the Americans.

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