The first film in the Vellai Illa Pattadhaari (VIP) franchise was such an overwhelming success that it hightened the expectations from the sequel.
Just managing to meet the huge expectations that the first part triggered, by itself, can safely be considered an accomplishment.
To Dhanush's credit, he seems to have just managed to do so with VIP 2.
In this part, Raghuvaran (Dhanush) is a successful engineer, who is now married to the love of his life Shalini (Amala Paul). Shalini has turned into a dutiful daughter to Raghuvaran's dad, a disciplining sister-in-law to his brother and a demanding, but loving wife to Raghuvaran. In short, she is the soul of the family.
On the work front too, Raghuvaran has every reason to be delighted. His present company, Anita Constructions, rates him very high. And he's just won the Engineer of the Year award at a prestigious ceremony in which pretty much every other award has been bagged by those from a company called Vasundhara Constructions.
Vasundhara Constructions, which we are told is South India's largest construction company, is owned by Vasundhara (Kajol), a wealthy, arrogant, ruthless businesswoman who takes immense pride in the fact that she, as a single woman, has risen to such a position of power in this society.
Although Raghuvaran is not present for the award function and nominates his company owner's daughter Anita (Ritu) to receive the award on his behalf, his name catches Vasundhara's attention as he is the only one who is not from her company to win an award.
When she gets to know that he is the best in the business, she wants him on her company's payroll, assuming he will take up her offer as no one has ever said no to any of her demands.
So, when Raghuvaran calls on her the next day, she, without even raising her head, tells him to join her firm, absolutely certain that he will follow her instructions. However, the lady is in for a rude shock when Raghuvaran not only declines her offer of employment, but also gives her a lesson or two in behaviour.
Vasundhara's ego is badly hurt and she takes the insult a tad too seriously. She is determined to teach Raghuvaran a lesson by making him get on his knees and beg her for a job. She knows how to pull strings to get work done in the industry and begins to inflict huge losses on Raghuvaran's firm.
What she is unaware though is the stuff Raghuvaran is made of. The two powerful characters take on each other. What happens next is what the film is all about.
The film is thoroughly entertaining right from start to finish. The first half, in fact, is so enthralling and breezy that one doesn't even realise when intermission arrives.
A big chunk of this credit must go to Amala Paul, Vivekh and Samuthirakani. All three actors are just too good in their respective roles.
Amala shows what she can do if given a character with scope. She turns authoritative at times and caring at other points. She chides all the three men at home, her father-in-law, brother-in-law and husband, all of whom take her rappings with a smile knowing fully well that her ramblings are out of love and affection.
While the first half is pleasant, the next gets rough.
Soundarya Rajinikanth seems to have done a convincing job as director. She seems to have got everything including her casting right.
Ritu Varma, who made a mark with her performance in the Telugu film Pellichoopulu, plays the role that Surbhi played in the first part and Soundarya's judgement in choosing Ritu over Surbhi seems to be right.
The film also has some stellar performances coming from Kajol and Dhanush.
Kajol just lives the role of Vasundhara and hogs the limelight. She seems to have no problems delivering Tamil dialogues and looks every bit the part.
Dhanush, who has written the screenplay and dialogues, has, through this film, cleverly highlighted the conflicts that exist between corporates and smaller firms on the one hand and the gender battle that exists in society on the other.
Sean Roldan's music is very apt for the film. However, Anirudh's work in VIP was so impressive that it overshadows Sean's work in this one. Sameer Thahir's cinematography, too, is commendable.
While VIP was just too good, VIP 2 in comparison, looks a lot weaker. However, the film, if considered on its own merits, makes for an interesting watch.