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November 18, 2022 12:53 pm | Updated 12:53 pm IST
Ajay Devgn in a still from ‘Drishyam 2’ | Photo Credit: T-Series
Drishyam 2 is yet another remake of a non-Hindi film that smoothly travels through the language barrier, all thanks to a gripping storyline that doesn’t surrender logic in an attempt to hold on to emotion. It is Jeethu Joseph’s writing that makes the remake of the Malayalam hit work, almost seven years after Vijay Salgaocar (Ajay Devgn) sold his riveting story to us.
We are told that the modest cable operator’s take on the alleged murder of Sameer Deshmukh, son of top cop Meera Deshmukh (Tabu), is not as foolproof as it sounded by the end of the first part, in which he and his family were saved from the might of the system. Now, a new officer (Akshaye Khanna) in town has planted his sources around the Salgaocar family to get to the bottom of the truth. Will the papa pay for his actions to safeguard his family?
Debutant director Abhishek Pathak doesn’t really hit the ground running, but the source material is so engaging that it is hard to go astray from the line of investigation. Beyond the nuts and bolts of a thriller, Jeethu has oiled the scenario with observations on the idea of right and wrong, guilt consciousness, and forgiveness that makes the proceedings not only nuanced but also relatable. Meera can’t get over the fact that Vijay outmanoeuvred her years of experience in the police. More importantly, it is the mother in her that propels her to seek revenge on a father who doesn’t see beyond the safety of his family. In a society that celebrates poetic justice more than courtroom judgment, it is a potent recipe, and Jeethu Joseph milks it well.
However, there is a long stretch between what happened — which made the makers reopen Vijay’s file and summon us to the theatres — and how it happened. Nothing really happens in this stretch, except for Akshaye Khanna chewing the scenery in his inimitable style. Few actors could convey a sense of desperation and authority in one frame as Akshaye does. It is his performance, one laced with some sharp one-liners (dialogues by Aamil Keeyan Khan), that keeps us awake during the middle overs.
No comparison with Mohanlal, but Ajay Devgn is dependable as usual in a role that expects him to tone down his star power. The only concern is after a certain age, stars begin to sound like their mimics in scenes where an emerging filmmaker (who perhaps is in awe of the actor) asks them to raise the emotional pitch. It happened with Sr. Bachchan, and Devgn should also guard against it, particularly in films where there is no blaring background sound to balance it out.
Shriya Saran continues her tryst to become the docile housewife, but off and on her diction and body language blurt out that she is putting up an act. Kamlesh Sawant acts as if he knows that his Gaitonde evoked interest in the first part. Tabu and Rajat Kapoor show how to carry on a character in a sequel.
Of course, the film is not meant for those who have watched the Malayalam version. For the rest, Drishyam 2 provides more than just a sense of déjà vu.
Drishyam 2 is currently running in theatres
Hindi cinema / Indian cinema / reviews
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