'Drishyam' isn't a new story. Jeethu Joseph wrote the script in 2012 and directed it in Malayalam with the same name starring Mohanlal in 2013, and by the name 'Papanasam' in Tamil, starring Kamal Haasan early this year. Both of them were extremely worthy films, the Tamil version being the best. And Nishikanth Kamat has directed its Hindi version, and honestly, it is far, far, and far away from being a disappointment. Actually, it is not only one of the best Hindi films this year, but also one of the most entertaining thrillers in Hindi cinema with a emotional core that satisfies.
The film is based on the happy-family life of the Salgaonkars, the leading man Salgaonkar Vijay being a chauthi fail (a fourth class fail) as we are repeatedly told, both in the trailer and the film, in case we don't forget that he is. And he has a young, damn sexy wife called Nandini. These two glam people have a teen daughter Anju (who, thankfully, is an adopted child) and again, a cutie doll daughter Anu. Their happy-family life is what constructs most of the first half, as is usually expected if a regional family-based drama thriller is adapted for the Bollywood belt.
And all of the flaws of 'Drishyam' are restricted to this gritty-but-not-amazing first half for most of the time: feel-good but lazy, heartwarming but a little too at home. The performances don't match the thrilling expressiveness of the Malayalam version (which, frankly boring, still establishes its superhero lead hero in a non-mass template) or the more gripping Tamil version (which has the emotional quotient all on point and comes with originality). But as I described the film earlier, it all comes together satisfactorily. The visuals of the film mix the grim shine of the Malayalam version and the dazzle of the Tamil version. Cinematographer Avinash Arun pulls it off with his lights all focused on each character.
And the visual, Goan rhapsody gets with a compelling, linear tale written by Jeethu Joseph. But the magic is in the well-conjured screenplay- Upendra Sidhaye has well written the texture of the film.
After a well-put first half, it's the second half where the film captures the real motion. With the suspenseful narrative taking pace and performances getting their amazing, original drive, the film takes motion, the writing takes central stage and the visuals indeed getting deceptive. Unlike any version of 'Drishyam' narrative, instead of Ajay Devagn's lead, the emphasis is on the inspector-general Meera Deshmukh. Tabu plays the character with excellence, and she is indeed one of the best female performers of the year.
Ajay Devagn, although restricted to an illiterate thriller-binge fan who takes the revenge for family- as the draw board says- remains fresh. Shriya Saran and Ishita Dutta breathe life into their characters although never given much to do.
Above all, 'Drishyam' is not realistic, but it is sure very interesting. I'm going with a 7 out of 10 for Drishyam. Recommended.
answer to the scociety, movies makes us brilliant
About a month back, I had written about "Papanasam" which saw Kamal Haasan show ample evidence as to why he is considered as one of the best actors in the country. Well credit for that definitely goes to Jeethu Joseph whose script & direction was top notch & which was made all the more impactful thanks to the peerless Lalettan. Anywaz that led to a remaking spree with the latest industry to be hooked onto it being Bollywood. So will it be able to create waves there as well after all the cultural differences is pretty marked between the North & the South???
Well I am not even going to attempt saying anything about the plot as it would be known to everyone by now. This version had Nishikant Kamat call the shots who got some pretty decent credentials having won the National Award for his Marathi film "Dombivali Fast" a couple of years back. The screenplay by Upendra Sidhaye has remained more or less true to the original but subtle changes has been made to the script with regard to the locales. So does it actually work atleast in terms of the thrill factor. There is no doubt that it's surely one of the well made thrillers in Bollywood in the recent past, but if you have seen Lalettan's or even Kamal's version, you are bound to be disappointed. Just to cite a few examples, the sequence where the family was brutally thrashed at the police headquarters or the climax between the two parties both of which was brilliantly canned in Malayalam & Tamil, but it barely had an impact here. None of the technical aspects deserves special mention, which doesn't imply it was mediocre but it doesn't quite catch your attention also.
I do agree that it's absolute injustice to even compare Ajay Devgan to a legend like Lalettan, but he is no lame duck also after all he has won the National award twice. Being a person who have excelled in expressing anguish & helplessness through his eyes, I would have to admit that it was disappointing to see him unable to showcase that caliber here. However, Tabu absolutely rocked as the IG & I feel she has performed on par or even better than Asha Sharath. The way she showcases her ability to oscillate between the ruthless nature of her profession & the yearning of her mother's heart, was quite a treat. Rajat Kapoor as Tabu's husband was impressive (the best in all the versions) along with Kamlesh Sawant. As for the rest of the cast, Shriya Saran & the kids were average at best while the kid who enacted Varun's role was far from threatening.
Verdict: With "Bajrangi Baijaan" & "Bahubali" ruling the roost, it wont be possible for "Drishyam" to make a dent in their collections. But to be fair to the makers, I feel they have done a praise worthy job & surely deserves an audience for their effort. So will it appeal to those who have seen the original or even the Tamil version, then the answer will be a big "No". Anywaz give it a try if you haven't seen either of the two or else forget it!!!