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    Review: 'Anna: Fast and Furious 2' is lacklustre

    Cast: Anna Hazare, Arvind Kejriwal, Kiran Bedi, Mayank Gandhi, Shanti Bhushan, Manish Sisodhia, Medha Patkar, Lalu Prasad, Pranab Mukherjee, Sushma Swaraj, Digvijaya Singh, Anupam Kher (in cameo role)Director: Arvind KejriwalGenre: Political dramaRating: **In the dusty village of Ralegan Siddhi, Maharashtra, a young boy, Kisan Baburao Hazare, takes a pledge of celibacy, to serve his country and to free it of corruption. Arvind Kejriwal, director of the hugely successful 'Anna: Fast and Furious' franchise, is back in the waning end of 2011 with a lacklustre film that fails to hold its audience as it did earlier this year.If you have seen 'Anna: Fast and Furious' in August 2011, then its sequel will hold no element of surprise for you. The basic plotline remains the same. Hazare, a lone crusader from Ralegan Siddhi rises to fame through a series of events that threatens to change his life forever.The film deals with the contentious subject of corruption in public offices and Kejriwal manoeuvres his audiences through the labyrinth of government double-speak and opportunist activism and cleverly harnesses the anti-management anger of its lead protagonist to tell a powerful story.The sequel takes off from where the original film ends – a frail Hazare looks directly into the camera and sips a glass of coconut water and honey as he calls off a 12-day fast. The moral victory comes after the Indian government unanimously passes a resolution after a nine-hour long debate in Parliament on the Lokpal Bill.The sequel goes deeper into what forms Hazare's beliefs. As our hero struggles to keep his Team united in the face of attack from an aggressive media and government officials, in the process his movement loses some of its sheen through accusations of it being dictatorial. One of the key antagonists, played by industry veteran Digvijaya Singh, accuses Hazare of being an RSS agent. Battling a persistent fever, Hazare decides to launch his second season of fast for three days as Parliament takes up the Lokpal Bill for debating and voting. The film's climax, shot at Mumbai's MMRDA grounds, will be remembered for exactly the opposite reason that the scene from New Delhi's Ramlila Maidan in the first film is etched in people's memory. While the Ramlila scene showed a physically weak Hazare firing up his supporters for a life-long battle against graft, his distracted performance at MMRDA is anything but inspired. The script is not tight and both Lalu Prasad and Pranab Mukherjee, who have a 10 minute role each in the entire film, overshadow Hazare during the important twists in the story.There are several reasons why this film will not work, including its time of release. Films released during the last week of the year usually do not do well at the Box Office with audiences away on vacations. Fast and Furious 2 will also fail due to the overexposure of its lead protagonists in the media. When the first film was released in August, it captured the fancy of a middleclass fed-up with dealing with corruption in their day-to-day lives. It received both commercial success and critical acclaim as Kejriwal tackled an issue that few directors with insight will dare to raise.However the sequel not only lacks punch, but the issues raised in the film are muddled in Parliamentary proceedings, lack of proper narration and poor performances by its leads. Kejriwal and Hazare have teamed up again and already announced Fast and Furious 3. The next film will take our hero to five election-bound states. Let's hope, for sake of the audiences, that Hazare will win back his audience with the third in the very popular series.(Note: This is purely a work of fiction)