When released in 2013, the Jeethu Joseph ‘Drishyam’ (2013) created a splash in the Malayalam film industry. The film also marked the emergence of a new genre called ‘family thriller’. The massive success of the film led towards it being remade in multiple languages. The Hindi remake featured Ajay Devgn, Shriya Saran, Tabu, Ishita Dutta and Mrunal Jadhav in principal roles.
When one watched ‘Drishyam’ in any of the languages it was released in, one strongly felt the film ended on a good note and there was no scope for the narrative to be taken further in any direction. However, Jeethu Joseph, who apart from directing the original film had also written it, came up with a script for a sequel to the film. ‘Drishyam’, as per this writer’s opinion, turned out to be an even more engaging thriller than the first film in the franchise which itself was vastly engaging. The original ‘Drishyam 2’ was an excellent film and now, its Hindi remake hits the theatres.
Seven years have passed since Vijay Salgaonkar (Ajay Devgn) and his family managed to save themselves from the police which was investigating the death of Sameer Deshmukh, who happened to be the son of IG Meera Deshmukh (Tabu). With his hard work, Vijay has now managed to become the owner of a movie theatre. While the Salgaonkars are living a blissful life, Anju (Ishita Dutta) continues to be traumatized about the incident which happened seven years ago and changed her life forever. Meanwhile, the case gets a new lease of life when Tarun Ahlawat (Akshaye Khanna) is appointed the new IG in Goa. Tarun starts investigating the case from a fresh perspective and is determined to send Vijay and his family behind the bars.
The real hero of ‘Drishyam 2’, undoubtedly is the story written by Jeetu Joseph. The adapted screenplay is written by Abhishek Pathak and Aamil Keeyan Khan. Abhishek and Aamil have made an attempt to make the screenplay crisper by eliminating some sequences and characters we came across in the original film. In the original film, the first half did seem lengthy or stretched at times but it was all a part of a build-up that led to a highly satisfactory finale. The writers here, perhaps, thought that the ones watching the Hindi version would want less drama and more thrills. Personally, I preferred the screenplay of the original film over this one as it had more nuance. Even the track featuring the younger daughter’s friends (which is not there in the remake) and them visiting the house added to the tension. Some of the new scenes, especially the one when Tarun visits the Salgaonkars at their residence and tries to intimidate them, appear to be gimmicky.
Ajay Devgn delivers a solid performance as Vijay Salgaonkar. Apart from portraying the brilliant mind of the character well, he also managed to show his vulnerability effectively. Shriya Saran delivers a decent performance. Her dialogue delivery is quiet awkward. Tabu has limited screen time but shines in every scene she appears in. Even though his character appears caricaturish at times, Akshaye Khanna delivers a powerful performance. Ishita Dutta leaves a mark. Kamlesh Sawant as Gaitonde delivers a memorable performance.
After ‘Ujda Chaman’, ‘Drishyam 2’ is the second directorial feature by Abhishek Pathak. He shows a lot of potential. His sense of visualization is good. Sudhir Kumar Chaudhary’s camerawork is nice. Though Tarpan Shrivastava’s production design is good, one can’t deny the fact that the original film had a more realistic look and feel to it. The action (Amin Khatib) is well-choreographed and realistic. The songs (Devi Sri Prasad) are good. Devi Sri Prasad’s background score is even more impressive.
Comparisons aside, ‘Drishyam 2’ is a worthy follow-up to the first part. The Hindi remake of ‘Drishyam’, which came out in 2015, was an average grosser at the box-office despite being a well-made film. The film, however, however tremendous popularity on satellite. That has helped in keeping the curiosity around the Salgaonkar family and the situation they are going through alive in the minds of the viewers.