Cast: Veena Nair, Sreenath Bhasi, Hareesh Kanaran
At the heart of director Vinayan’s Aakasha Ganga 2, a sequel to his 1999 horror flick Aakasha Ganga, is a demonic spirit without a purpose. In the climax of Aakasha Ganga, the spirit of a young maid, Ganga (Mayoori), had avenged her death. She was sent off to heaven in an elaborate (and overtly theatrical) session of exorcism. In the new film, she returns, albeit with no specific enemy to fight or a point to prove.
Aakasha Ganga 2 is Vinayan’s third horror flick in nine years. Each time, the director managed to bring down the standards of the horror genre in Malayalam using the shoddiest production design and visual effects to narrate a thoroughly unimaginative rehash of the cliched “wronged woman against the world” storyline.
In the absence of an interesting screenplay, Vinayan (also credited as the writer) builds the film on cheap tricks that run out of what little steam they have quite early. There are no real causations in Aakasha Ganga 2, just reactions and effects such as black cats, zombies and monsters that jump out of darkness so often. Blame it on the aforesaid issue of a lack of purpose, none of these zombies look like they want to hurt their targets. They act like they are auditioning for a Walking Dead instalment, and disappear.
While the story moves barely a few steps from where Aakasha Ganga ended, the plot tropes are eerily the same and archaic. A new set of comedians have been roped in to keep the film’s spirit high after every shabby zombie invasion episode. Women in the film are objectified verbally and visually. For one, Ramya Krishnan plays a sorceress who uses a strange erotic dance performance to please her deity. This salacious twist doesn’t add anything to the film, other than a song where female junior artistes, who bear an expression of grudge for being underpaid, dance in poorly designed clothes.
Vinayan not just wants you to suspend your disbelief but also burn it and flush the ashes down the drain.
A portion of the film is set against the backdrop of a medical college which is portrayed in the crassest way possible that could give Omar Lulu a run for his money. A professor (Salim Kumar) is nicknamed “corpse” for his infertility. The principal (Hareesh Kanaran) is a clown who boasts about his virility and can’t keep his hands off a lady teacher. Logic is non-existent. Aarathi Varma (Veena Nair), daughter of the character played by Divya Unni in the first instalment of the franchise, is haunted by scary apparitions and monsters who physically attack her night after night, yet every morning she gets back to normal life as though nothing happened at all. A cadaver in the college’s anatomy lab starts to walk, scream and attack the students, but this incident doesn’t shake up the film the characters it should. They crack some jokes about it, and immediately move on to more buffoonery.
If Aakasha Ganga was, to the least, a gratifying entertainer which featured some of the greatest character actors in Malayalam cinema such as Sukumari and Innocent in decently written, albeit old-fashioned, roles, Aakasha Ganga 2 is a nonsensical work that only evokes a sense of disgust in the audience.
The Aakasha Ganga 2 review is a Silverscreen original article. It was not paid for or commissioned by anyone associated with the film. Silverscreen.in and its writers do not have any commercial relationship with movies that are reviewed on the site.