Chandramukhi 2 is a 2023 Indian Tamil-language comedy horror film written and directed by P. Vasu, and produced by Subaskaran Allirajah under the banner of Lyca Productions. It is a sequel to Chandramukhi (2005). The film stars Raghava Lawrence in a dual role as doppelgangers alongside with Kangana Ranaut and Lakshmi Menon in the principal roles along with an ensemble supporting cast, that includes Vadivelu who reprises his role from the original, Radhika Sarathkumar, Mahima Nambiar, Srushti Dange, Rao Ramesh, Subiksha Krishnan, Suresh Chandra Menon, Ravi Mariya, Vignesh, and Y. G. Mahendran in pivotal roles.
The film was officially announced in June 2022. Principal photography began in that July, and wrapped by mid-August 2023. The music is composed by M. M. Keeravani, while the cinematography and editing are handled by R. D. Rajasekhar and Anthony, respectively.
Chandramukhi 2 was released on 28 September 2023 to negative reviews from critics, and emerged a major commercial failure at box office.
Ranganayaki, the matriarch of a wealthy family, navigates through a series of misfortunes alongside her family members. Her household includes her elder brother Suresh Menon, his son Ravi Mariya with his family, her younger brother Vignesh and his family. She also has 4 daughters out of which Gayathri, Priya & Divya live with her. The family faces a major setback when her elder daughter elopes and is later tragically killed in a plane crash along with her spouse. Further calamities include a mysterious fire at the family's factory and Divya getting paralyzed in a car accident, which postpones her engagement.
Seeking solutions, Ranganayaki consults their family astrologer, Guruji, who advises a prayer at their ancestral temple in Vettaiyapuram. The prayer requires the presence of the entire family, including the deceased elder daughter's orphaned children, who are now under Pandiyan’s care. Although hesitant, the family follows Guruji's advice and heads to Vettaiyapuram.
Upon arrival, they lease the Vettaiyapuram Palace for 48 days from its new caretakers, Murugesan and Senthil's uncle, and move in despite Murugesan’s warning against venturing into the southern part of the palace. Curiosity leads Priya into the forbidden area, where she unwittingly releases the spirit of Chandramukhi from a rangoli. Meanwhile, the family discovers their temple in ruins.
Pandiyan takes on the task of cleaning the temple, but an unfortunate turn of events leads to a fire breaking out within the temple premises. This fire inadvertently unleashes the spirit of Vettaiyan, much to the dismay of Chandramukhi, causing a wave of chaos to sweep through the palace. Upon his return, Pandiyan shares the unnerving news with the family that Chandramukhi has possessed one of the women in the household. Murugesan reveals that a similar incident had occurred 17 years prior. When Guruji arrives, Murugesan elaborates on Ganga's previous psychological affliction, where she imagined herself as Chandramukhi. However, now, the real Chandramukhi has been unleashed, escalating the threat.
The family then proceeds to Vettaiyan's courtroom, a significant location where Ramachandra Achariyar, along with Saravanan, had previously exorcised Ganga. Upon inspection, Guruji discerns that someone had already entered the forbidden room, thereby unleashing Chandramukhi's spirit for real. Initial suspicions fall on Priya due to her earlier explorations, but it's soon revealed that Divya is the one possessed. A miraculous event follows as Divya regains her ability to walk, which elates her but leaves the family in distress. Guruji explains that Divya’s possession was facilitated by a bead from Chandramukhi’s anklet that she had worn, as she had a penchant for collecting antiques.
In a twist of fate, Pandiyan stumbles upon a secret room below Vettaiyan's room and becomes possessed. Divya, under the possession of Chandramukhi, attempts to harm Ranganayaki and her niece and nephew, but her attempts are thwarted.
Delving into the past, Guruji learns from a sage about the bitter enmity between Vettaiyan and Chandramukhi. Sengottaiyan, who was a commander in King Vettaiyan's army, had conquered the Vijayanagara Kingdom and was smitten by a dancer named Chandramukhi, whom he forcibly took to Vettaiyapuram. When King Vettaiyan too becomes enamored with Chandramukhi's beauty, it ignites a confrontation between him and Sengottaiyan, resulting in Vettaiyan's beheading. Subsequently, Sengottaiyan proclaims himself as king, adopting the name Vettaiyan. Despite her pleas about her love for Gunasekaran, Vettaiyan keeps Chandramukhi captive. In a tragic event, Gunasekhar is beheaded by Vettaiyan and Chandramukhi is burnt alive. However, she returns as a vengeful ghost, tormenting Vettaiyan to the point of despair. Unable to bear the torment, Vettaiyan retreats to his secret room, eventually meeting his end through a fatal snake bite. Through the sage, Pandiyan learns that he became possessed by Vettaiyan after sitting on his throne.
As the narrative reaches its climax, a fierce battle unfolds between Divya (possessed by Chandramukhi) and Pandiyan (possessed by Vettaiyan). In a sacrificial act, the sage intervenes to save Pandiyan and puts an end to Chandramukhi's reign of terror. Guruji later reveals to Pandiyan that the sage had collected Chandramukhi's ashes and sealed them in her portrait. The sage, who was cursed by Chandramukhi to be beheaded only by her, saw this as an opportunity to end his curse and willingly sacrificed himself to cease the torment.
With the spirits laid to rest, Ranganayaki's family finally performs the prayer at their deity temple. Upon completing the prayer, the family departs from the palace with Pandiyan. The ordeal concludes on a hopeful note as Pandiyan reunites with Lakshmi, marking an end to the family's harrowing yet enlightening journey.
P. Vasu had plans for a sequel to Chandramukhi as early as September 2012. In January 2020, Vasu stated that he had completed the script for the sequel and a producer has come forward to produce the film. It was reported that Raghava Lawrence would play main role in the film, which was confirmed in April by himself via Twitter, where also stated the film is produced by Sun Pictures. In June 2022, Lawrence announced that Lyca Productions is producing the film, Vadivelu joined the casting and editing, cinematography and art works would be handled by Anthony, R. D. Rajasekhar and Thota Tharani.
Kangana Ranaut met Vasu to discuss another film. While inquiring Vasu about who he cast for the role of Chandramukhi, Vasu told Ranaut that no one had been cast yet and Ranaut asked Vasu if she could play the role. She was subsequently announced as the lead female in November. Ranaut was reportedly paid ₹20 crore (US$2.5 million), and Lawrence ₹15 crore (US$1.9 million). Vadivelu was the only actor to reprise his role from the first film. Action choreography, cinematography and editing are handled by Kanal Kannan, R. D. Rajasekhar and Anthony, respectively. Kala was chosen as the dance choreographer, again as she choreographed for the first film.
Principal photography commenced in July 2022 in Mysore, and wrapped up the first schedule in August. In March 2023, Ranaut joined the team to shoot the climax song, which she was seen rehearsing in January, and wrapped up her portions the same month. Raadhika had wrapped her portions in May. In June, the team had announced that principal photography wrapped. A song sequence was later shot in August, marking the conclusion of filming.
In June, the team announced that the film is releasing on Ganesh Chaturthi. Lawrence started dubbing his portions in July.
The music and background scores are composed by M. M. Keeravani, in his first Tamil film after 20 years; as his last Tamil film was Student Number 1 (2003). The film also marks as his second collaboration with Vasu and first with Raghava. The audio rights for the film were purchased by Sony Music India. The first single "Swagathaanjali" was released on 11 August 2023, The second single "Moruniye" on 22 August 2023.
Keeravani later stated that there are remaining nine songs to be released apart from the first single that was launched earlier, bringing a total of 10 songs for the film. The audio launch was held at Jeppiaar Engineering College on 25 August 2023.
Chandramukhi 2 was initially scheduled to release on 15 September 2023, coinciding with Ganesh Chaturthi, but it was postponed to 28 September due to 450-shots from the film disappearing during post-production works, which were found after four days.
The film began streaming on Netflix from 26 October 2023.
Made on a budget of ₹60–₹65 crore, Chandramukhi 2 needed to earn ₹80 crore at the domestic box office to break-even. However, in its theatrical run the film grossed just over ₹40 crore globally, emerging as a commercial failure.
The film received negative reviews from critics.
Priyanka Sundar of Firstpost gave the film 1 out of 5 stars and wrote, "Forget refreshing storyline, with such lazy writing, it truly would be better to tune into the previous film on OTT, instead of spending currency on the ever-rising ticket prices". Janani K from India Today gave the film 1.5 out of 5 stars and wrote, "Chandramukhi 2 is mediocrity at its best. We get to hear a romantic number that goes ‘Podhum Podhum’ (transl. Enough, enough) in the second half. We feel you! Podhum!". M. Suganth of The Times of India gave the film 1.5 out of 5 stars and wrote, "Those who just want a momentary diversion might find it passable while those looking for something more will feel underwhelmed". Kalyani Pandiyan S of Hindustan Times in his review praised Menon's performance in the film but criticised Lawrence's comic timing and noted that Ranaut could not perform to the level of Jyothika. Siby Jeyya of India Herald in his scathing review called the story of the film a "mess" and panned the performances of Lawrence and Ranaut. Sowmya Rajendran of The News Minute gave the film 1 out of 5 stars and wrote, "The film unfolds in TV serial fashion with close-ups, reaction shots, and melodramatic dialogues while riding heavily on M. M. Keeravani’s nostalgia-inducing score".
In a negative review, the critic at Hindu Tamil Thisai warned the makers against using the name of a work that has been well received in all its forms like Manichitrathazhu, Apthamitra and Chandramukhi and making a film that has not even a single memorable feature. Sruthi Ganapathy Raman of Film Companion called it a "poorly-acted" sequel and wrote, "Apart from its title card and Keeravani’s accompanying haunting note, nothing about the sequel reminds us of the collective horror we felt 15 years ago". Srinivasa Ramanujam of The Hindu called it a "mildly" entertaining film. Saki Yutukuri of Telangana Today wrote, "Chandramukhi 2 can be called either a remake or a copy film, but definitely not a sequel as it has every element similar, even at the ground level. Kirubhakar Purushothaman of The Indian Express gave the film 1 out of 5 stars and called it a "shoddy" horror film which is tainting the legacy of the original film. Baradwaj Rangan called it a "generic" sequel, criticising its similarities to its predecessor. Anusha Sundar of Cinema Express gave the film 1.5 out of 5 stars and wrote, "Chandramukhi 2 fails to bring anything fresh and ends up delivering a colour-remastered copy of its predecessor". B. V. S. Prakash of Deccan Chronicle gave the film 2 out of 5 stars and dismissed it as "tacky" sequel of an evergreen hit.
Krishna Selvaseelan of the Tamil Guardian awarded the film 1 out of 5 stars, writing the film was a “…a shameless slap in the face of its predecessor.”
Owlapps.net - since 2012 - Les chouettes applications du hibou