One of the recent Tamil films that is firmly etched in our minds is the 2014 Mundasupatti, helmed by Ram Kumar. It had no great performances. It had no great writing. But the idea that the movie was woven around was just unforgettable.
It was about a village in Tamil Nadu whose simple people were scared to death, so to say, about being photographed. They believed that the moment they would be snapped they would drop dead. The basis of this illogical point of view or plain simple superstition emerges after some villagers die in 1947 soon after they are clicked by an Englishman.Ram Kumar is now busy with a sequel to the film and it will soon hit the screens.
There are some movies whose sequels we invariably look forward to. Mundasupatti is certainly one. Another one we look forward to is Neeraj Pandey’s Special 26 – about a bunch of crooks who pretend to be officers of the Central Bureau of Investigation and decamp with cash and jewellery from even the homes of politicians. Of course, the film takes place in the 1980’s India, when there were no mobile phones, no internet and no television channels to catch you in the act.
Pandey – who directed A Wednesday, produced Rustom and has written the upcoming Naam Shabana (with a whole lot of Special 26 actors in it) – once told me that some sequels were quite difficult to make. He obviously meant Special 26.
So, Mundasupatti may fall into the same bracket as Special 26. To begin with, Ram Kumar has to think of something as unique to get the sequel flying. And he has got his two lead actors from Mundasupatti – Vishnu and Kaali Venkat who played photographers – to don the khaki. And Venkat known for his comic roles will not be grinning in the sequel. He told the media some days ago that he would be a serious and upright cop. As will be Vishnu.
Mundasupatti had a fantastic climax. Chased by the villagers, Vishnu, his lover and Venkat are fleeing in a scooter, when it breaks down. Faced with the prospect of being beaten up, Vishnu’s character takes out his camera from the bag and points the contraption towards the mob. Startled out of their wits, the villagers make a double quick about turn and scoot.
One hopes that Ram Kumar will address all the shortcomings of his first work when he finally releases part two. Also, there is a need to think of something as fresh and catchy if the sequel has to work and even outshine Mundasupatti.
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