Drishyam 2

wogma rating: The keen must watch on screen; else TV/online (?) - (if you haven’t seen other makes of the film)

quick review:

A compelling story, even if the plot is far-fetched, is executed reasonably well to give us closure after Drishyam. If you have seen the original, though, you will find enough to complain about while appreciating some deviations.

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Director: Abhishek Pathak
Running time: 140 minutes
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I’ve always maintained that a remake should be viewed independently of the original. If seen with the ‘comparison’ tab open, it is unlikely to be a wholesome experience—unlikely to be the one intended for sure. So, if you watch Abhishek Pathak’s Drishyam 2 by itself, it serves the purpose of getting you to care for the Salgaonkar family and thrilling you right up to the last minute.

Indeed, having seen the Malayalam one will take away from the enjoyment of the Hindi one unless you are getting your joy from the comparison itself.

Could the film have been less melodramatic? For sure. I’m hardly a fan of slow-motion-induced theatrics. And least of all, the deliberate introduction of a star actor under the guise of a key-character introduction. I wish Hindi films outgrew that, like two decades ago.

Other than that, though, the film is a gripping watch owing to the mystery and background it created in the first episode. Being a continuation of Drishyam brings its advantages and disadvantages. Drishyam 2’s narrative makes it clear that it doesn’t want to be told as a stand-alone film. Sure, you are given a recap a couple of times. Once, with the stylish and slick opening credits and the second time, as a spoon-fed dialogue exchange. But, having seen the first film, it is difficult to gauge if the summaries are enough.

Also, if you compare the two films, the twists and turns in this part seem convoluted and far-fetched to be believable. Once you subscribe to the protagonist’s intelligence though, how he uses it makes for a ‘must watch’ murder mystery. After all, you have already committed yourself to worry about Vijay (Ajay Devgn) and his family.

That you are not sure if he will be able to squirm himself out of the situation is to the credit of the direction. Just like Drishyam, in Drishyam 2 too I was fascinated by the actors playing the Salgaonkar family (Ajay Devgn, Shriya Saran, Ishita Dutta, Mrunal Jadhav). Their balancing act— between pretending to be not guilty and ensuring that we understand why the police don’t believe them—is mind-blowing

Parallelly, what was jarring in Drishyam, continues to be jarring in this one. For instance, Shriya Saran's mannerisms don’t convince us that she is someone who doesn’t understand the difference between demoralise and demonetise. Of course, the writers know it is not enough to tell us that she’s an uneducated simpleton. She is a reasonably smart woman, like almost every character in the two films.

I think that is the Drishyam series’ appeal. That almost all characters are sharp and behave so. Within the boundaries defined for the characters, they all act like real-life people would in the given situation. I quite enjoyed the tongue-in-cheek humour too.

Could the film have been less melodramatic? For sure.

Sure, there were discrepancies such as poverty-ridden family, which couldn’t afford their child’s education even though they would like prioritise it, seemed to have too full a kitchen. The Deshmukh family’s interest in Jain philosophers made me wonder what IG Meera’s birth family was like.

This brings me to the unavoidable—a comparison between the Malayalam film and the Hindi one. It is really a mixed bag enough to make a matrix. The remake has additions, some of which make sense and others don't. I really missed some of the nuances in the original one. For instance, the missing reason behind the villagers turning against Vijay or how Anju Salgaonkar’s mental health is downplayed. Also, the last line in the Malayalam Drishyam 2 served as a beautiful explanation and closure—a curious omission in the Hindi one.

Indeed, having seen the Malayalam one will take away from the enjoyment of the Hindi one unless you are getting your joy from the comparison itself. So, if the latter is your aim, go for it. I’d think you ought to watch Drishyam before you watch Drishyam 2, but if you decide to go for the latter without watching the first one, I would love to hear from you. Do leave your experience in the comments.

- meeta, a part of the audience

23 reviewers(?) - 12 yays 8 so-so 3 nays

Warning: clicking on "full review" will take you to an external website that could contain spoilers.

Thumbs up, by Subhash K Jha, Bolly Spice : ...Watch out for Saurabh Shukla as a producer and scriptwriter. You never know whose side he is on. The hallmark of a truly dedicated suspense character.... full review

Thumbs up, by Urmimala Banerjee, Bollywood Life : ...Drishyam 2 is a movie that will leave you cheering in the halls, and you will be talking about the climax for some days. This is one film you should not miss.... full review

Thumbs up, by L. Ravichander, Deccan Chronicle : ...Drishyam 2 is an interesting carry forward from the original and makes for interesting viewing. Good thrillers are rare to come by. It is now for the viewer to make good use of the opportunity.... full review

Thumbs up, by Vijay Mruthyunjaya, Deccan Herald : ...You will enjoy 'Driysham 2' better if you watch it without any needless distractions, like, for example, wasting time on finding faults in it. Read more at: https://www.deccanherald.com/entertainment/entertainment-news/drishyam-2-review-a-fitting-remake-of-a-hit-sequel-1163695.html... full review

Thumbs up, by Devesh Sharma, Filmfare : ...The film rests squarely on Ajay Devgn’s able shoulders. He plays the concerned father and husband with the gravitas it deserves. He never strays off character and his sincere performance stays with you from the first frame to the last. He infuses his character with so much conviction that you’re willing to forget the implausible happenings on screen. The film is set for a sequel, so be prepared to be surprised once more.... full review

Thumbs up, by Rohit Bhatnagar, Free Press Journal : ...Overall, Drishyam 2 ticks almost every box on the checklist of a Bollywood film lover and makes it a great watch for massy cinephiles.... full review

Thumbs up, by Nitin Jain, Glamsham.com : ...There are very few true sequels Bollywood have produced that have proved itself worthy of its making, keeping the excitement and entertainment level for the movie buffs. Drishyam 2 could well fall under that category. All in all, for all Drishyam and Ajay Devgn fans, this is unmissable.... full review

Thumbs up, by Isha Sharma, NewsBytes : ...Drishyam 2' deserves a spot on your watchlist! Despite having seen the Malayalam original, Drishyam 2 worked for me rather excellently, to the point that even its runtime didn't dilute the impact. The mystery-thriller doesn't undermine the audience's intelligence and feels like a natural extension of the first part. Cinematic liberties at the end may raise eyebrows, but as they say, engaging films make the outlandish believable.... full review

Thumbs up, by Nandini Ramnath, Scroll.in : ...Steered by an efficient cast – many of them older versions of their characters from the 2015 remake – and crisp writing by Abhishek Pathak and Aamil Keeyan Khan, Drishyam 2 does what it sets out to do. The biggest surprise isn’t Vijay’s latest feat of prestidigitation but Akshaye Khanna, who has immense fun narrowing his eyes and queueing up to become the latest target of Vijay’s smug scheming.... full review

Thumbs up, by Pratikshya Mishra, The Quint : ...While some reveals might be expected, there are some that a viewer might not see coming (unless they’ve watched the Malayalam original starring Mohanlal). The film remains, at the end of it all, a battle of wits akin to a chess match... full review

Thumbs up, by Taru B Masand, Times Now : ...If you love crime thrillers, then Drsihyam 2 is for you! Ajay Devgn's film is a truly wholesome experience that makes you laugh but also makes your jaws drop with its brilliant climax, leaving you clapping and whistling in the cinema hall.... full review

Thumbs up, by Archika Khurana, Times of India : ...A gripping sequel with ample twists, turns and drama... full review

So-So, by Urmimala Banerjee, Bollywood Life : ...The first half is a build-up for the unbelievable climax. Some might find it a bit uneventful but that's inconsequential.... full review

So-So, by Anindita Mukherjee, india today : ...Drishyam 2 is the Hindi adaption of Mohanlal’s film of the same name. Ajay Devgn had promised us a different storyline. Don’t go with that mindset for you will be disappointed. There are a few plot twists here and there, but the majority remains the same. Not to forget, punched with Ajay’s magic.... full review

So-So, by Shalini Langer, indian express : ...Bollywood isn’t really known for pulling off suspense thrillers, certainly not for sustaining the steam over a sequel. But, like Drishyam in 2015, Drishyam 2... full review

So-So, by Kartik Bhardwaj, indian express : ...“The audience for a book and a film are different,” he says. Drishyam 2 doesn’t try to become literature. Like a great medium, it teaches the viewer how to consume it: “Focus on the visuals because words can lie.” Were you watching closely?... full review

So-So, by Mayank Shekhar, MiD DAY : ...Yup, this sequel is actually better than part one. The Hindi copy feels tighter than the Mallu Drishyam 2, in parts as well — just wish hadn’t seen it though. No excitement or suspense left for me, sadly.... full review

So-So, by Sameer Ahire, Movie Talkies : ...Abhishek Pathak is promising in his second film, but I think he has a lot to learn, especially in the cinematic sense of storytelling. You remember the courtroom scene in the Malayalam flick when the judge says it and the camera goes zooming in on George Kutty with slow motion visuals and a staggering background score? That was a damn classy frame. Believe it or not, but Abhishek Pathak has missed it here. Yes, you heard it right—he missed the best moments from the classic thriller while remaking it in Hindi. Jeethu kept it intact even in Venkatesh’s Telugu remake, but Pathak just couldn’t understand what it actually meant. He missed many important pauses, too. As you know, copy-pasting a story or film is easy, but copying somebody’s vision is not possible. Drishyam 2 Hindi remake might prove it to you. Except for a few faults like this, there is nothing majorly wrong with the Drishyam 2. And like he says, hero to aakhir me jeetna chahiye! We all enjoy that.... full review

So-So, by Sonil Dedhia, News18.com : ...Make no mistake, Drishyam 2 is not a perfect crime thriller. Any thriller needs to be gripping and put its audience at the edge of the seat experience. It is only in the last 40 minutes that the film picks up pace and leads us to one of the most engaging climaxes where it unravels one twist after the other.... full review

So-So, by Sukanya Verma, Rediff : ...In its Hindi counterpart, Vijay harps about man writing his own destiny yet believes way too much in serendipity. There's a potential third film in the works and we can only wonder what new Plan B Georgekutty and, like it or not, Vijay Salgaonkar have in mind.... full review

Thumbs down, by Prathyush Parasuraman, Film Companion : ...You don't walk out of Drishyam films satisfied because they are smart, but because characters you grew to love are finally safe. But you can ask, rightfully, where are these characters in Hindi adaptation?... full review

Thumbs down, by Rahul Desai, Film Companion : ...Drishyam 2, then, becomes the cinematic equivalent of a person who would rather be admired than be seen. In doing so, it reduces image to visuals. And story to commercial success.... full review

Thumbs down, by Saibal Chatterjee, NDTV : ...Drishyam 2 is shorter than the original and thinks up a few cosmetic changes. Yet, it is at best a dreary, if steady, carbon copy with only a stray line here or an insignificant stroke there that might be deemed somewhat fresh. Not enough to hold the film together.... full review

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This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.

Parental Guidance:

  • Violence: The movie is about a murder, though nothing too explicit is shown in this one. There are scenes of police torture.
  • Language: A few Hindi curse words.
  • Nudity & Sexual content: A making out scene.
  • Concept: A clever man trying to protect his family from the consequence of a crime they have committed.
  • General Look and Feel: A real-life touch to a suspense thriller.

Detailed Ratings (out of 5):

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Comments (2)

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Raj

Dear Meetu, I've seen both the Drishyam 1&2 in Malayalam, but not in Hindi ones. I like your ocomparison-take. I was hoping you wrote something about Akshaye Khanna's presence in this one. I will watchi it on OTT. Thanks.

Good call!

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