Nikhil Siddhartha’s Kartikeya 2 is a franchise of his preceding blockbuster Kartikeya which was the most different in his career. The second installment got a bigger budget, with two renowned production houses backing the film, gorgeous visuals, big cast and all. But it is not easy for the film till its release in theatres. After facing several postponements, Kartikeya 2 sees the light of day and let’s see his thoughts on the film.
Kartikeya (Nikhil Siddhartha) completes his medical studies and becomes a doctor. His quest for knowledge and devotion continues. He goes to Dwarka on personal work, but later learns that he is embroiled in a larger case involving the murder of Professor Rao. She is saved by Mugdha (Anupama Parameswaran) and learns that Rao has assigned her the task of finding Lord Krishna’s holy and powerful anklet (Gandapendram) who solves all the problems people face. Kartikeya is on a mission to find the ancient anklets of Lord Krishna. What obstacles does he face and will he overcome them? This forms the root of Kartikeya 2.
Nikhil Siddharth as Kartikeya is a perfect fit for the role. He knows his best abilities and makes better use of his powers. It played well. Anupama Parameswaran has a role (Mugdha) which is important in the story. But in the end, he is sidelined and the protagonist Kartikeya comes to the centre. They do not share romantic or intimate moments but the romance is subtle. Comedian duo Srinivas Reddy (Sadanandam), Harsh Chemudu (Sulaiman) did a good job. He left the audience divided in this serious and engaging adventure. Comedians Praveen and Satya get roles in the blink of an eye. Anupam Kher’s cameo did a good job. Aditya Menon as Baddi Shantanu is fine. Writing minimizes his role. As Nikhil’s mother, Tulsi served the purpose. All the actors have a role in taking the story forward.
TECHNICALITY Writer-director Chandu Mondeti
comes up with a good story, enhanced with a compelling narration. There is tension factor throughout the film. Kaal Bhairav’s background music has taken the film to the next level. He is a good asset to this thriller. There is only one proper song in the film which gives just good relief. The visuals are gorgeous and the VFX work is easy on the eyes. The editing is crisp despite a few slow moments here and there. Production wise, the film looks rich shot in picturesque locations of India and Europe.
Story & Direction
Slow in Some Parts of Cinematic Liberties
Kartikeya 2 is haunted by a major jinx. That is, many Telugu filmmakers in the past failed to come up with good sequels or franchises to the original. Naturally, this is what pricks franchise lovers. But here comes Nikhil and Chandu who successfully break the jinx. Congratulations to both of them who have come up with a taut thriller that has tense moments, adventure and some suspense. It blends all the elements well and adds to the narrative of the story.
The Dwarka parts are fascinating. Kartikeya’s journey where he is on a mission to find Lord Krishna’s anklet serves as the main layer that gives the seat good moments. The audience cheers, clapped at the dialogues spoken by the protagonists on heritage and history. Though Kartikeya and Mugdha don’t have much romance, their chemistry worked in finding the mighty Payal. The first half of the film sets the tone and mood of the film while the real story unfolds in the second half. Nowhere, the makers haven’t deviated at all from the main plot point which worked out.
Like any other film, Kartikeya 2 has its drawbacks. The villain has a strong desire but it doesn’t show up in his actions other than sending a few bunch of goons to locate the hero and tie the hero upside down to a tree. The villain is not as powerful as he was believed to be. He becomes a mute spectator. The climax seems drawn out. Trying to give Karthikeya 3 (the franchise) the lead can be a bit of a stretch. In addition, there are cinematic liberties that are readily used by the producers.
On the eve of 75th Independence Day, Kartikeya 2 is unintentionally a film revolving around Mera Bharat Mahan. The film is woven around our heritage. It throws light on the culture. It also emphasizes the connection between the younger generation and our history and tries to connect them. In the end the hero says that “Lord Krishna is our ancestor. Our God is our history.” This is the essence of the faith of Kartikeya 2 makers. To an extent, it all sounds didactic, but it’s told in a convincing way that’s where the director and protagonist succeeded.
Having said all this, Kartikeya 2 has one strong factor – the story and engaging narration. The tension factor remains the whole time. Dialogues work in favor of the film. The pairing of Nikhil and Chandu once again chose an interesting story – Devotional Treasure Hunt – backed by visuals and a brilliant background score. They were successful in getting the franchise which should be seen with families and children. Go for it, Kartikeya 2 gives you a thrilling ride. Overall, it hits the right chords.