Drishyam 2 Review: Mohanlal’s Gripping Thriller Wins... Again
Mohanlal’s Drishyam 2: The Resumption is a must-watch.
Drishyam 2 Review: Mohanlal’s Gripping Thriller Is a Winner Again
(Spoiler Alert:This review of Drishyam 2 contains spoilers. Though I have tried to keep the review spoiler-free, this alert is for readers who may not have seen the original and for those who don’t want any new information to upset their viewing pleasure.)
We left Drishyam with the firm belief that Georgekutty had orchestrated the perfect cover-up of an unfortunate killing to save his own family, BUT... did he leave some loose ends that would return to haunt him and his loved ones?
It’s not easy to make a befitting sequel to a remarkable original blockbuster. When Drishyam, written and directed by Jeethu Joseph, released in 2013, it went on to become the biggest box-office grosser in Malayalam cinema. It also became the first Malayalam film to cross the Rs 50 crore milestone in ticket sales (since then, other Mohanlal films such as Pulimurugan (2016) and Lucifer (2019) have set new records). Joseph says he resisted the thought of making a sequel to Drishyam for several years, at least until he was sure he had a script that could do justice to the legacy of the first one... and the seven-year-long wait seems to have paid off.
Revisit Georgekutty and Family
Drishyam 2: The Resumption begins with frantic shots of a person running on the fateful night that Georgekutty (Mohanlal) is burying a dead body and with it a past that he and his family want to forget. The person ends up becoming a witness to Georgekutty’s act - and thereby reopening the case 6 years later.
Unlike the original, Drishyam 2 grips you from the very start. Six years since the unsolved case of Inspector General Geetha Prabhakar’s (Asha Sharath) missing son Varun, in which Geroge and his family are implicated, a lot has changed in Georgekutty’s sleepy town near Thodupuzha. Georgekutty himself has prospered and now owns a local cinema theatre besides his earlier cable TV enterprise. The newly constructed police station is now fully operational, but stories connecting Georgekutty and his family to Varun’s “murder” have still got tongues wagging - “Did you know his daughter and the boy were in a relationship?” “Did you know Georgekutty caught them in a compromising position and bumped him off?” and so on goes the talk about town in hushed whispers.
Continuity and Change
We also learn that the sympathy which Georgekutty and his family had from the locals earlier, has slowly dissipated, there are people who are now increasingly jealous of his prosperity and success. Meanwhile, George and his family live under the constant fear of the case being reinvestigated. His elder daughter Anju (Ansiba) suffers some kind of a post-traumatic condition, which gets triggered by memories of that fateful night and the presence of the police. Also, Georgekutty’s family now have new neighbours - Sabu and Saritha (Anjali Nair), a couple who are seen to have a troubled marriage, and Sabu, an alcoholic, also has an axe to grind with Georgekutty.
Over the first half of Drishyam 2, Jeethu’s narrative explores these various threads that are now tightly knit around George, Rani and their daughters Anju and Anu’s lives. These various dramatic elements are kept on a slow burn and allowed to simmer, keeping viewers hooked and increasingly anxious, before bringing things to a boil when plot points unravel unfavourably for the family in question.
A Worthy Contender
Drishyam 2 is a worthy contender to the original. It grabs your attention from the word go and entertains you throughout its two-and-a-half-hour duration. As I said, it’s always difficult to make a sequel that lives up to a successful original - and this case the writer and director further had the challenge of having to stay within the confines of a plot that was already laid out. This definitely couldn’t be one of those sequels where our main man, Georgekutty, jumps into a new world for a new adventure with a new set of characters. Despite being caged in by the limited plot, characters and narrative set by Drishyam, Joseph manages to draw out an impressive and intriguing storyline for the sequel.
This is not to say that the film isn’t without its flaws. One wishes that the filmmaker had included a few more sequences to foreshadow the events that tie-in with the climax. Perhaps, if the audience were taken as an ally to some of Georgekutty’s calculated moves after all hell breaks loose in his life, the pay-off at the end would have been more rewarding. While Georgekutty’s interest in films and his passion to become a filmmaker has been well embedded in the sequel, the scene involving his scriptwriter Vinaychandran (Saikumar) and the police appears contrived. The court scenes, instead of being merely functional, could have been more edgy with the defence and prosecution lawyers playing off each other.
The Reel and Real Heroes of Drishyam 2
Mohanlal once again brilliantly brings to life Georgekutty with all his complexities. As a man who keeps a zen-like exterior even while braving extremely nerve-racking situations, the actor’s measured words, silences and glances are all that it take to portray this extraordinarily ordinary man who refuses to crack under pressure. The genius of Mohanlal lies in the fact that, though as Georgekutty he faces the challenge to not betray any emotion that could lead him to get caught, he convincingly puts on display the moral compass of his character and the dilemma he is going through for everyone to see. He might be elated and smug to have yet again orchestrated a perfect cover-up but he’s also equally guilt-ridden to not make eye-contact with Geetha Prabhakar and her husband (Siddique). While the rest of the cast competently play their parts, Murali Gopy as IG Thomas Bastin, who stands up to Lalettan’s smouldering intensity, is the main new welcome addition to the sequel.
The real hero of Drishyam 2 is undoubtedly Jeethu Joseph - the writer and director who kept himself busy (IMDB credits 7 films to his name between Drishyam and Drishyam 2) without rushing to cash in on the success of the original. Thanks to his quest for a near-perfect script (that could live up to the acclaimed original), the audience get to be a part of yet another entertaining ride with Georgekutty and his never-say-killed attitude.
Rating: 4 Quints out of 5.
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