Goli Soda 2 Synopsis: Three youngsters who are related only by a common friend are on the cusp of having their lives changed for the better. But circumstances lead them to a fate where they lose everything they hold dear. How do they reclaim their lives and identity?
Goli Soda 2 Review: In this thematic sequel to Goli Soda, one of this decade’s entertaining masala movies, Vijay Milton gives us protagonists who are similar to the ones in the first film — ordinary guys facing improbable odds in their battle to reclaim their identity. Milton gives enough variations in the problems that these three underdogs face — Siva (Vinod), an enterprising auto driver, becomes a victim of a politician-loan shark (Saravana Subbaiah); Maaran (Bharath Seeni), a gangster who wishes to leave his violent life for his girlfriend Inba (Subhiksha), is unable to escape the iron-clad grip of Thuraimugam Thillai (Chemban Vinod Jose), a don. The romance of Oli (Esakki Bharath), an aspiring basketball player, and Madhi (Krisha Kurup) becomes a casualty of casteism.
All these three men are related not only by their problems, but by a common friend/guide, Nadesan (Samuthirakani, in a role that is tailor-made for him).
Pacing is Goli Soda 2’s biggest plus. Like he did with the first film, Vijay Milton maintains a relentless pace that keeps you engrossed in the film. More importantly, unlike a filmmaker like Hari, he does not use just editing gimmicks to make things racer (Although, unfortunately, that happens — much later, when the film sort-of self-destructs). But until then, he gives us clearly etched backstories for all his protagonists. And with nifty editing (by Deepak), he makes these stories bleed into each other, subtly indicating how connected they all are.
This is what makes the first half of Goli Soda 2 a riveting watch. We get a couple of romantic tracks that manage to feel fresh despite the slightly raw performances. We get whistle-worthy dialogues. Like the scene in the bank, which is filled with sharp lines that take a dig at how the system is not favourable to the underprivileged, and is solely interested in maintaining the status quo.
But some time into the second half, we begin to get a different film — one, as we remarked earlier, with the sensibilities of a Hari film. The pacing becomes frenetic, with hyper-edited visuals, and dialogues that are drowned in the din of the overloud score (the composer is Achu, who makes up for this with a lively romantic ballad in En Pondatti). The efforts at hyper-linking do not succeed as much as they should, especially in how the villains become part of the same fabric. We do get a few nice touches — the way Samuthirakani’s backstory is linked with the youngsters’ current problems, Inba’s predicament mirroring that of her mother’s (Rohini), which is narrated through paintings.
The film also falls short when compared to the first one in others ways. The exile of the boys in that film felt convincing; here, they hide in plain sight, which feels implausible. There is also the problem of too many villains. All three feel similar and underwritten, and the performances aren’t as forceful as Madhusudhanan’s was in the earlier film.
More importantly, the way in which the protagonists fought back after being pushed to the edge was one of the highlights of Goli Soda. But here, Milton disappoints, giving us hard-to-believe scenes (one where they manage to take down hordes of gangsters is so over-the-top even for a masala movie) that bring down the overall smartness of the film. Perhaps, Milton was forced to think of novel ways because the heroes in the first film were teenagers. Here, he ends up giving us commercial cinema clichés.