Film, Malayalam, Review

Drishyam 2

Drishyam 2, Jeethu Joseph’s follow-up to his 2013 blockbuster, Drishyam, begins with a criminal, Jose (Ajith Koothattukulam), running in disorderly haste chased by the guilt of accidentally killing his brother-in-law in the silence of the night. As he halts for a moment near an under-construction site of a police station, he catches a glimpse of the protagonist, George Kutty (Mohanlal), inside the unfinished building, with a spade in his hand. This image makes viewers of the first insalment recall the cover-up that George had done to save his family. Later in the film, the same criminal will play an important role in inadvertently complicating and creating even more trouble in the now placid and seemingly contended life of George Kutty’s family. The sins from the past will soon revisit the family and will once again test their tenacity. George will once again have to prepare himself up and use all his tricks and ploys to save himself  and his family from the far-reaching grip of the law…. The film, while having its moments, fails, however, to reach the high standards of the 2013 edition. 

Drishyam 2, streaming on Amazon Prime Video, sees George Kutty as a well-to-do businessman, who owns a cinema hall that is generating good business. His two daughters, Anju (Anisba) and Anu (Esther Anil), are grown-up pursuing higher education while his wife, Rani (Meena), single-handily manages the household chores. But what appears to be a seemingly happy family is blotted by the irreparable wound of culpability beneath the surface that often torments their ‘well-balanced’ life. The very sight of the police triggers episodes of seizures in Anju; Rani is unable to find an alliance for the marriage her elder daughter because of the bitter incident from the past; people in the small town continue to gossip about George Kutty’s ‘innocence’. Newer characters such as the bickering neighbours, Saritha (Anjali Nair) and Sabu (Sumesh Chandran), an experienced and ageing screenplay writer, Vinaychandran (Saikumar), and the Inspector General of Police, Thomas (Murali Gopi,) are introduced early within the narrative to be used in the payoff later on in the film. And meanwhile, Jose has returned to the small town after serving a sentence of six years for accidentally committing a murder. He is finding it difficult to financially establish himself in society and live a happy life with his family…

In the earlier film, Jeethu had diligently begun the film as a family drama, wherein the first half of the film was structured with enjoyable and day-to-day moments with the family before he shifted the tone of the film to a darker and murkier area. Using the same successful formula, he has tried to employ a similar pattern in the sequel as well but this time the impact is diluted. This time you feel that he film takes far too long to finally get going. With its lengthy duration of two hours and thirty-three minutes, it appears this time that the director-writer has not utilized his writing skill well enough to properly structure the narrative and carefully and innovatively weave each of the plot points and twists effectively into the story. Logic and credibility, too, take a beating in some areas of the film while the film lacks psychological depth. The film finally moves into thriller and suspense territory only after we have invested about two hours into the film. And even as it gets into gear, Drishyam 2 tries to do too much in its remaining bits before its screen time runs out. What’s more, the suspense, too, is not consistent enough to build up into an engrossing enough climax.  Joseph does salvage the film somewhat though the startling finale but… 

If the writing and plotting let the film down, Mohanlal lifts it a notch or two with his expectedly expert act. Once again he plays the role of George Kutty with aplomb and ensures we are rooting for him throughout the film. This is a character he has beautifully made his own. His screen chemistry with his wife and children is well apparent and we feel for them as they confront all their obstacles. In terms of other performances, all the secondary characters have also played their role with grit and conviction. But the character of  the female cop played Asha Sarath is poorly sketched – a far cry from the original film where her role had much weightage and relevance to the plot line. 

The background score of the film by Anil Johnson has been utilized extensively to evoke a sense of happiness, sadness, and suspense in equal measure, often to make up for surprisingly lesser-than-effective cinematic craft.  Except for the inter-cutting of the scene in the courtroom sequence in the climax and a few effective slow-motion shots to elicit a feeling of elation and surprise from the viewers, the technical departments are not fully exploited for leveraging the storytelling.

Finally though, the film fails to live up to the expectation that has been built up from its predecessor. The consistent performances by the cast and its dramatic finale appear to be the saving graces but otherwise the film is a disappointing watch.  


Malayalam, Thriller, Drama, Color

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