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Gaalipata 2 review: Ganesh and Yogaraj Bhat combination is passable, but does not soar high this time around

Diganth and Pawan Kumar get better written roles.

Gaalipata 2 review: Ganesh and Yogaraj Bhat combination is passable, but does not soar high this time around

Last Updated: 11.07 AM, Aug 12, 2022


Story: It’s a shame that a Karnataka MLA’s son, whose mother is a Kannada novelist can barely read or write the language. So, funster Gani/Ganesh (Ganesh) is packed off to Neerkotte to remedy this, along with his friends Diganth (Diganth) and Bhooshan (Pawan Kumar).


At the college, they run into Kannada professor Kishore, who takes an instant liking to the trio. Gani falls in love with classmate Shwetha (Vaibhavi Shandilya), Diganth has a complicated relationship with another classmate Anupama (Samyuktha Menon), while Bhooshan falls for the hot teacher Sharmila (Sharmiela Mandre).

After the course, everyone goes their separate ways, only to reunite a couple of years later for a mission.

Review: Director Yogaraj Bhat, it would seem, had a couple of ideas and then found some bizarre ways to string them together. He knew he needed something to do with kites to justify the title and then there had to be something about learning Kannada. It also had to be a premise that would work for his 42-year-old leading man, Ganesh.

The Golden Star may not look his age, but he definitely can’t pull off a 20-something role, so, here he is Gani, who got his MBA degree a few years ago, but is still required to head back to college to brush up on his Kannada reading and writing skills. The son of a Karnataka MLA and a Kannada novelist, Gani’s birthday message for his father (in terrible Kannada) had gone viral and brought shame on his folks. The remedy, they reckon, is to have him complete the course and then head to Germany to work at the Kittel Library (Ferdinand Kittel wrote the Kannada-English dictionary).

Why they would send him to a college with 20 students that is in such bad shape that students have to work on the repair work of its roof is a question only Yogaraj can answer. The only reason I could think of was that it was a location that worked for the filmmaker and his penchant to shoot amid rain. Diganth and Bhooshan joining him for the course also serves no other purpose other than to have a trio of friends together and allow the filmmaker to write some fun and naughty moments involving the three of them.

When they meet professor Kishore (Anant Nag), a man who is still hurting from having lost his son decades ago at a fair while flying a kite, he, strangely enough, takes an instant liking to the trio. They are not even great students, with Gani showing no improvement in his Kannada skills and getting caught while having Bhooshan impersonate him during an exam.

In giving each of the three guys a love track and cramming in 4-5 songs, Yogaraj did not have the time to establish the bond between the teacher and his ‘wayward’ students. So, it doesn’t exactly make sense that they’d drop everything to be with him a few years later and even undertake a foreign trip for him.

It’s widely known that Yogaraj and Ganesh share a good professional and personal rapport, but the former doesn’t utilize this well and presents his leading man in a tried-and-tested role. Here, Ganesh is the fun prankster, who does not seem to be serious enough about anything in life. He’s the guy who will laugh and make you laugh even when he is in pain. How many times have we seen the Golden Star in some form of that avatar already? Playing to your leading man’s strengths is fine, but not giving him enough to sink his teeth into is grave injustice.

Surprisingly, it is Diganth and Pawan who get better deals in Gaalipata 2. Diganth is fun and refreshing, while Pawan’s arc with Sharmiela was well written and executed. The clean-shaven love-lorn look may not be best suited for Pawan, but he more than made up for that in the second half. In their designated roles, all three ladies – Vaibhavi, Samyukta and Sharmiela – do not disappoint.

Gaalipata 2’s two halves are equally split, as far as cinematography goes. The first is mostly amid the rain and greenery of the Malnad region, while the second is in the snowy landscape of Kazakhstan. Santhosh Rai Pathaje goes to town and captures a bunch of breathtaking visuals. The biggest let-down of Gaalipata 2, though, was the music.

Although the team has always maintained that this film should be viewed independently and not as a sequel of sorts to the 2008 Gaalipata, there is no denying that most audiences heading to see Gaalipata 2 will do so because of the nostalgia factor associated with the original film. The music of Gaalipata was one of its highlights, with the songs still evergreen. None of the songs are potential earworms; in fact, when I heard the title track, I replaced Gaalipata with Kotigobba in my head and thought that bit sounded familiar.

Verdict: This is a film for die-hard Yogaraj Bhat and Ganesh fans. Trouble is, this film comes with expectations and if you watch it like that, chances are that you may feel short-changed. The film is not bad, but it could have been so much better given the abundance of talent that Yogaraj Bhat was working with.

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