Barring memorable exceptions like Yaamirukka Bayamey, the innumerable horror-comedy films of the past few years gave us neither chills nor laughs. Darling 2, formerly titled ‘Jinn’ and rechristened ‘Darling 2’ after Studio Green took over, is the same. (Whether Darling was worth converting into a franchise is a debate for another day.) Darling 2’s unimpressive trailer had ‘You have seen this a hundred times already’ written all over it. The film is no different.
Five young men plan a trip to Valparai. One of them is about to become engaged. There was a sixth man, but he committed suicide. His parents wouldn’t let him marry the girl he loves, because she’s a Muslim. And so, dead man’s ghost possesses one of the five.
Darling 2 stands apart from the rest of this cliché genre by having a male ghost who possesses another man. Everything else in the film is stale. Doors creaking, freakish laughter, anklets clinking, and flickering lights. Now modern day ghosts have embraced technology, so this ghost possesses (among other things) a cellphone. Incidentally, a possessed person’s voice is the sound of three different voices clubbed together and played through a subwoofer.
However advanced the ‘Pei’ may be, nothing is stronger than the mandiricha kayiru (sacred thread). A few inches of this thread can keep evil at bay. These are the clichés with which Darling 2 tries to evoke humour. Tries. The stale jokes keep coming. About how a man’s happiness ends after marriage. (Why marry then? Don’t ask.) Ramadoss (playing a forest ranger) tells one of the men, “Do you fear ghosts? I guess you aren’t married then.” The man says, “Will my fear go away if I get married?” Ramadoss replies, “No, you will just get used to the fear.”
So much for comedy.
For the horror effects, there’s shadows, wind, and faceless figures. It’s equally stale, having been used by umpteen similar movies. Many scenes are also left unexplained. For instance, one of the men is suspected of being possessed. He is missing in the middle of the night. The spirit of his dead brother shows up behind him in every picture they take. Most damning of all, he refuses to go to the temple. Turns out he isn’t the ghost. So what was his mysterious behaviour about? We never find out. It says much about the film that we don’t particularly care anyway.
The biggest disappointment perhaps is the ghost. A coward who couldn’t stand up for his choices, he wins little audience sympathy. And then, he wants revenge for the silliest reason ever seen in Tamil cinema.
Unfortunately, that’s probably the biggest difference between other horror films and Darling 2.
The Darling 2 review is a Silverscreen original article. It was not paid for or commissioned by anyone associated with the movie. Silverscreen.in and its writers do not have any commercial relationship with movies that are reviewed on the site.