- Director: Mahesh Kothare
- Producers: Kothare & Kothare Vision, Viacom 18 Motion Pictures and Moving Pictures
- Writer: Mahesh Kothare
- Cast: Adinath Kothare, Mahesh Kothare, Sonalee Kulkarni, Sai Tamhankar, Makrand Anaspure, Dilip Prabhavalkar (voiceover)
- Music: Avdhoot Gupte
- Genre: Horror/ Comedy
Rating: * *
Story Outline: At the end of the first movie Zapatlela (1993), Tatya Vinchu (whose soul was inside the puppet) gets killed by Inspector Mahesh Jadhav (Mahesh Kothare) while his henchman Kubdya Khavis gets arrested. Twenty years later, Khavis runs away from prison and lays his hands on the puppet that had Tatya Vinchu’s soul.
He visits Baba Chamatkar and forces him to bring Tatya back to life. Although Baba refuses, circumstances make sure Tatya regains his life inside the puppet. After twenty long years, Tatya finally gets the license to create havoc, especially for the late Lakshya’s (Laxmikant Berde) son Aditya (Adinath Kothare).
Review: Despite too many songs and unnecessary subplots, Zapatlela (1993) managed to highly impress due to an amusing storyline and, of course, the menacing puppet Tatya Vinchu. As the film continues to impress even twenty years after its release, its sequel Zapatlela 2 is, naturally, keenly awaited, more so since it is the first Marathi film in 3D.
In terms of technicalities, the film does score high marks. But such technical brilliance proves to be of little value if the writing is weak and, at times, silly. This turns out to be the reason for the keenly awaited film of the year falling below expectations.
The movie starts on an exciting note though. But strangely, it soon goes downhill and how! For the majority of the following duration, we are made to encounter a mixture of poor humor, consisting childish chase scenes, silly flirting and stereotype gay jokes, and an immature love story with the story hardly moving forward. Giving too much footage to Adinath’s character also plays spoilsport.
There is some excitement in between whenever the story does develop, especially due to Tatya’s antics. However, such scenes don’t provide much satisfaction since the grip is hardly there. Coming to the 3D effects, they are impressive at times. But there was no need to make the characters forcefully shove things in our faces to create the effect.
The technical department is the biggest saving grace. Suresh Deshmane shows his talent as the cinematographer. The stunts are impressive, except on one instance when Sonalee Kulkarni is shown flying. The background score suits the subject. From Avdhoot Gupte’s music, ‘Kalajat Mukkam Kela’ and ‘Gajamukha’ are impressive. Having said that, songs don’t serve much purpose here.
Like the first installment, Dilip Prabhavalkar’s voiceover aptly suits Tatya Vinchu. All other actors are negatively affected either by the writing or characterization. Adinath Kothare does an above average job. As mentioned before, he shouldn’t have been given too much of screen space. Sonalee Kulkarni is decent in a character that doesn’t have much depth. Like the first movie, Mahesh Kothare tries hard to appear tough but succeeds partially. And once again, his signature swearing (Oh God, Damn It, etc) creates unintentional laughter.
Makrand Anaspure’s character is hampered due to the flirting part. Saie Tamhankar doesn’t get much scope. Both are just passable. Madhu Kambikar, Vishakha Subhedar, Deepak Shirke and Vijay Chavan offer decent support.
Overall, Zapatlela 2 is let down due to the writing. The film can, at the most, be enjoyed by kids due to Tatya Vinchu and some special effects. Due to the excitement and hype, it will do well at the box office in the first week. But its chances are doubtful after that.
Review By : Keyur Seta
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