‘Drishyam’ (2013) is undoubtedly one of the most remarkable Indian films of the past decade, its story so engaging and protagonist Georgekutty so endearing that it was re-made into several other languages including Chinese. As is often the case, the original remains the best. Common wisdom in film making is to leave such a gem untouched and untainted by attempts at revival for profits. So, many were apprehensive when ‘Drishyam 2’ was announced. There could be nothing worse than the simple beautiful story ruined by attempts to invoke our nostalgia with half baked plots. But director Jeethu Joseph knows what he is doing. That he took six years to come up with a sequel worthy of its predecessor speaks volumes about his passion for the craft. ‘Drishyam 2’ is a must-watch.

The story picks up six years after the original. Georgekutty and his family are trying to put their traumatic past behind them and live as normal a life as possible. The first half of the film clearly establishes that crime has consequences. Even though they were acquitted and we, the audience relieved, the family is far from normal. Anju suffers from PTSD and epilepsy and is perpetually haunted by the police and sirens. Rani lives in fear, to the point where she has the neighbour sleepover when Georgekutty is not present. Georgekutty, himself, has undergone tremendous changes. While he tries his best to engage his family and protect them from their past the craft has taken its toll on the artist. He has given in to alcoholism and does not quite share the same endearing marriage with Rani that he once did.  The only person who has somewhat managed to push through is Annu. 

The movie takes considerable time to explore the characters and the setting and so, the first hour or so, is quite slow. But the viewer’s patience is rewarded. The pacing dramatically changes in the second half after which we are taken through several twists and turns, reminiscent of ‘Drishyam’. There are several sequences that are very similar to the first instalment; an intense interrogation scene, spearheaded by the amazing Asha Sharath, a climax monologue, and a shocking ending.

While most aspects of the film are enjoyable, such as the characters and the elaborately layered plot, it does not match up to the original ‘Drishyam’. Better pacing and editing could have made for a much shorter and crisper runtime. A few plotlines, such as Annu and her classmate, lead nowhere. But despite these flaws, the movie does not feel like a sequel made for namesake. It feels like a natural progression to the events of the first film and serves to show us that even though Georgekutty and his family where acquitted, crime has consequences. The family’s peace of mind is shattered, perhaps forever. Is this life of guilt and fear not a greater punishment than jail time?

‘Drishyam’ in Malayalam is, arguably, the best version of the story compared to its several remakes, primarily because of its cast. Mohanlal does a phenomenal job as the childishly innocent, yet, shrewd and astute family man, Georgekutty. He is supported by a strong cast of Meena, Asha Sharath, Ansiba, Esther Anil and Anjali Nair. Murali Gopy as Thomas the determined cop delivers a standout performance.

If you thoroughly enjoyed ‘Drishyam’, then you will most likely enjoy its sequel for the story,  the nostalgia of our favourite family and the thrill of a convoluted and unexpected plot. 

The Cinemawala Rating – 3.5/5 

 

About The Author-

Anushree Periasami is an electrical engineer from IIT Madras, currently working as a financial analyst. But her pet project has always been writing. An avid reader right from school, her favourite exercise was essay writing on novels and stories and the critical analyses of plots, characters, themes, etc. That interest continued right through college and to work as well. She was the Regional Editor for the internal quarterly magazine of her company – a compilation of interviews, technology articles and fun puzzles. The only things she loves as much as writing is watching movies and shows, especially masterpieces that aren’t advertised much and largely ignored. As Bojack Horseman put it, “But isn’t art, less what people put into it, but more what people get out of it ?” 

Also elle peut parler francais !

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