Touted as a sequel to Jai Hind, the film isn’t one. Both films have different characters, issues and situations. If they share something similar, it’s a message and the mandatory dose of patriotic flavour.
While it was terrorism that was dealt with earlier, here it’s the commercialisation of the educational system. The film, a trilingual (Tamil, Telugu, Kannada), conveys a relevant message, but one that could have been better executed.
The introduction of the crucial characters who make a difference to the life of Abhimanyu, a karate instructor (Arjun), is depicted in an interesting way. A split screen depicts five people and then tracks the back story of each. Like the aged man, whose son Chandru, a daily wage earner, was forced to take a drastic step. Chandru’s aspiration had been fulfilled when his daughter got admitted to a prestigious private school. But the struggle to meet the exorbitant admission fees, left the man helpless and broken. His tragic story is the backbone of the plot, which triggers a chain of events. If this episode, highly melodramatic, does touch a chord, it is because of its message of distress of parents in similar situations. Deeply affected by the incident, Abhimanyu goes on a mission to rectify the flaw in the educational system.
His solution: nationalise private schools so that quality education reaches the lowest denominator. A laudable thought, but the message is delivered in a convoluted manner. The villains of the piece are naturally the confederation of private school owners. The karate master outwits them each time whether it’s a physical combat or a mind game. Abhimanyu holds a press meet on the issue.
We are later told that it had garnered him strong support from the students, the public and the media. But we get to see none of these. The romantic interlude of the hero with Nandini is a sweet cute one, Surveen surprisingly demure and coy here. The lip sync (at other places too) could have been looked into.
In the second half the plot shifts to London, where the children of the school administrators are studying in various colleges. In the midst of kidnappings and counter kidnappings, the screenplay takes a downslide never to recover. The whole comedy track of Brahmanandam-Mayilsamy falls flat. The sudden volte face by Rahul Dev who plays a baddie, lacks conviction. A dream song is forced in when one thinks it’s almost over, dragging the pace further.
The saving grace is Arjun who has penned the plot and screenplay, directed and produced the film. The actor tackles his role with cool intensity. His physique well toned, the action king is a delight to watch in the fights-stunt scenes as he packs a powerful punch at his tormentors. If only his screenplay had matched the lofty message.