The trailer has shown it all. And the message that delivers is borderline classy – “Crime doesn’t die, it just changes its form”. Satya 2 has been touted as a thematic sequel to epic Satya that spawned a new genre of noir crime thrillers in Indian cinema. Is the sequel built on the same lines or is it any close to the original. A bogging question would be “Is the set-up and scenes new or a decent rip-off from many of RGV’s cult classics in this genre. The answer will definitely hit the middle road of a YES and a NO.
Satya traces a common man’s forceful journey in the grim underworld and Satya 2 is a chronicle of an aam aadmi’s purposeful entry into this tainted place. He is crystal clear in his objective to strengthen the roots of the underworld and spread its pangs, and for this he treads a different path of giving a structure, process overhaul and maintaining an understated presence among sundry. Wait that’s not all! Here RGV tries to make cross of Gangsterism, Maoism and Capitalism. Though the Maoism angle doesn’t quite gel with the narration as it only flashes towards the end, it gives a course for the film, and may be fuel for Satya 3. Yes, there is one and RGV saves all his dope to unleash it later. And for the new one it’s better if he picks a different voice-over and not his.
In Satya 2 the consummate professional world of underworld finds a mirror – that of common man wielding the forces and his modus operandi to nail down his targets. Behind every such moment or character is a meaning, and in the back of everyone’s mind is still the crisis of the only product sold by the company – FEAR. What happens if this product misfires and engulfs them? That is very much visible on the faces of the people involved, and right here RGV cuts it to the interval driving the audience’s imagination for the events to follow.
RGV new found love is the eagle cam – the tiny little camera tied to a small helicopter gives the aerial footage of lanes and by-lanes when the actors are talking and moving beneath it. But this becomes jerky at places, may be due to improper handling. The GoPro shots with the camera placed near the car’s steering or its rear view mirror still find place in his films. Unarguably the camera angles and fixtures in Satya 2 are far better than Department and Not A Love Story because the camera here is stable for most of the time. Another hallmark of RGV is the slo-mo scene at the coffee shop – in which after a failed attempt to kill the protagonist, the scene immediately cuts to chase and action.
Sarvanand has grown as a remarkable actor after some fine performances in movies such as Gamyam, Prasthanam, Ko Ante Koti (he also produced the film). He shows grit and gumption in the titular role but for most of the time he’s stoic and he dishes out clinical performance with no expression to hold or withstand throughout the film. Anaika Soti with her lavish body exposure is so pain to the eyes. Yup, she is new to camera but so as others who were introduced by RGV. Then why this one is traumatic. Aradhana Gupta tries to may her way through some sizzle-worthy moments showing her curves resulting in a dingy performance. Another setback for Satya 2 is lack of any notable Telugu actors. Veteran actor Suresh comes and goes in a jiffy.
RGV says great films are not made but manufactured. He extends that thought in Satya 2 by pulling scenes and set-pieces from his previous films. The killing scenes bring some novelty and somewhere see him hovering on Tarantino-ish zone but that doesn’t stay long. A fatal flaw in the film is that when Satya can smell so many rats around then what stopped him to devise a defensive mechanism. He plots and masterminds things effortlessly but fails in planning his own defense and leaves many gaps wide open for the law enforces to creep in, or for that matter, walk in.
If a poorly lit, aesthetically downgraded film be called a documentary, then this film qualifies as one. And if you call this film a thriller, then you have some serious problems because the entire second half is predictable and the only interest left for few people in the audience is whether Satya gets killed or jailed? RGV takes a thread from the concept of sleeper cells among terrorists, which was well established in A R Murugadoss’ Thuppaki, and extends the same to make a company of organized crime. He cements that further with the line saying company is a thought and none, including me, can stop it.
Somewhere he says no one understands the essence of this company and labels it as a crime syndicate. But the reasoning he provides calling it a system to cleanse the existing system and provide a ray of hope for poor and helpless is not established or justified properly. Many such aspects couldn’t seep into the narrative thus making it more sudden and haywire-ish. And it’s better not to talk about the jarring background score in the film and the editing bloopers that push the film into a song and dance sequence out of nowhere.
Sergio Leone created a new identity and a series called ‘Man with no name’ in his much famed Spaghetti Westerns genre. RGV too tried to get there by creating ‘Man with no history’ and leaving him the underworld ecosystem to thrive in. One was successful in doing so in the 90s and the torch bearers afterwards are pushing it into abyss.
Still many people and fans are hoping to see ‘The return of the great RGV!!’