DD Returns Review - A Joyful Crowd Pleasing Comedy Cracker!
DD Returns is Santhanam's third horror-comedy venture after Dhillikku Dhuddu part 1 and 2. Surabhi plays the female lead. Directed by debutant S. Prem Anand.
Premise: A haunted bungalow where a ghost family runs a game show. The characters have their reasons to enter the place. Their only way to escape alive is to win the game.
Writing/ Direction: The first 20 minutes set the base by explaining the ghost backdrop, also introducing all the characters and what they are up to. Though there are no solid stretches till this point and moves as a mixed bag, it promises to look out for something better. The film accomplishes what it tends to by producing some wacky stretches by convincingly interlinking more than the dozen characters involved in the subject. The comedies work, mix of timing dialogues and situational slapstick jokes. There are also a couple of potentially laughable places which misfire, yet the first half is enjoyable to a good extent. The director process his smartness by getting many small things right, the idea of making the ghosts utter the smoking card, bringing out the Dhillikku Dhuddu reference, etc. Not just the bonus elements, the filmmaker also presents the main content in a fulfilling manner. The second half is like watching a game show in the level after level concept. In that way, there is a variety in the sequences placed and the humour is organically brought into the screenplay. There are some flat surfaces where the lag is felt, yet the frequent comedies with a neat flow of the story hide the tiny flaws. There is absolutely no logic, but nowhere the audiences are treated in a foolish manner, the movie perfectly sticks to the cinematic rules.
Performances: After a few misfiring experiments, Santhanam is back to his comfort zone, he has done what he is good at, making fun of the ghosts, fellow artists, etc. But he struggles during the action parts, thankfully there is only one small stretch. The film is full of known comedy artists, and for the favour of the flick, most of them have done well with humour clicking at most places. Motta Rajendran, Munishkanth, Redin Kingsley, Pazhaya Joke Thangadurai… like these all the artists have been offered equal scope and they score well. Even stunt master Dheena's character turns eventually into a funny one, and it is a joy to watch.
Technicalities: There is only one song, which has a heavy Parrys Jeyaraj hangover. Regular horror template themes, but the music during the game sequences elevate the mood. Neat work by the cinematographer, maintaining a proper colour palette throughout, maze sequences and the library portion are superbly shot. Crisp editing by sticking to a sharp 2 hours duration. Poor VFX whenever it is used, with a better quality CGI output, the film could have been more visually appealing.
There are a few places where the jokes land flatly, but the humour works big time in most places. Has a familiar game hour yet packed with a lot of fun elements.
Rating - 3/ 5