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Times of India
Policemen Jolly and Balagopal have been foes since their training days. When two culprits are to be taken from Kannur to Trivandrum via train, they are asked to travel together, much to their annoyance. One of the convicts escapes during the journey and the rival colleagues have no choice but join hands to track him down.
Oru Second Class Yatra has a promising premise, but ends up being just half of what it aspires to be. Two convicts with conflicting personalities and events that shaped them up, cops who can't see eye to eye accompanying them, a long train journey and nostalgia-triggering flashback sequences complete with vintage music - the ingredients are interesting, but the treatment, is not. Warring cops Jolly Kurien (Joju George) and Balagopal (Sreejith Ravi) are taking Nandu (Vineeth Sreenivasan) and Maaran (Chemban Vinod) from Kannur jail to Poojappura. Maaran is hardly bothered about his image and is quite jovial, but Nandu appears withdrawn and thoughtful. Halfway through the trip, one of them manages to escape.
The initial part of the movie is moderately engaging and Chemban's comedy, his presentation of rouge exterior with a good heart are impressive. It's mostly his exuberance that keeps the first-half of the movie pleasant. The small twists and turns in the story also lessens the boredom. Vineeth has managed to pull off a decent performance wherever possible, and portrays the character's innocent and aggressive sides equally well. However, one can't help wishing that the movie was sharper, and the visuals a bit more different than what Malayalis have watched in most village-based films - except for, maybe, an older sister teaching her brother to ride a bicycle. Most performances appear functional and most emotional moments are over the top, reminding you of soap opera melodrama.
Just before the climax where the story takes a thriller-like turn, there are hardly any nail-biting moments. Simply put, it doesn't pack a punch. Nonetheless, the effort by the directors to put together a novel story and make a simple movie is worth lauding.