Film: "Pizza 2: Villa"; Cast: Ashok Selvan, Sanchita Shetty, Nasser and S.J. Surya; Director: Deepan Chakravarthy; Rating: ***1/2
Film franchise is something new to Tamil cinema, which usually consists of commercial potboilers and senseless comedies, but Karthik Subbaraj's "Pizza" is an exception.
What most Tamil filmmakers couldn't achieve, C.V. Kumar (producer of "Pizza") did in just two years. He not only envisioned an opportunity to introduce the concept of a franchise, but also used it effectively to deliver a gem like "Pizza 2: Villa", which is undoubtedly even more deceiving and complex than the original.
A struggling writer Jebin, who is on the lookout for a publisher to back his debut novel, is going through the worst phase of his life. His father's (Nasser) untimely death has not only made him lonely, but emotionally weak.
Arthi, his girlfriend, tries her best to support him emotionally as well as mentally and helps him in his search to find a publisher.
Meanwhile, Jebin learns about a villa his father has left behind through their family lawyer. Having faced rejection from numerous publishers, he is forced to self-publish his work, and therefore, plans on selling the villa for a hefty price.
He goes to inspect the villa, but falls in love with it and eventually decides to stay there and work on his second novel. But Jebin's life takes an ugly turn at the villa, which paves way to more unfortunate events.
If you have ever wondered how could films possibly deceive us, then you ought to watch "Pizza 2: Villa", which in no way is a sequel to "Pizza".
There are layers of deception in the film and as you start peeling it off, you'll be surprised to find more.
The more you try to compare both the films, higher are your chances of getting disappointed.
What I really liked about the film is the fact that it gives hints to understand its climax, which is not easy to comprehend in the first viewing.
As the saying goes, 'devil lies in the details', everything brilliant about "Pizza 2" lies in the most unexpected scenes and only when you look back at them afterwards, you'll understand its purpose in the film.
At one-hour-and-42-minute, "Pizza 2: Villa" is perhaps the shortest Tamil film. But the irony is that despite being short, it has few dull moments that might turn off a few.
Nonetheless, kudos to debutant Deepan for narrating an engaging story in less than two hours.
Ashok and Sanchita live up to the occasion and deliver outstanding performances.
Music and the background score heightens the overall visual experience, while occasional use of visual effects is fitting.
"Pizza 2: Villa" ends with the room for a sequel in the offing, which let's hope is even better. The film is an underdog that deceives you to eventually finish as a winner.