Onto the final release of the weekend and I finally finished watching the new Hindi film Drishyam 2 which is an official adaptation of the original Malayalam film. Now I had watched the original Malayalam Film last year, the moment it was out on OTT. A fun fact that follows is that only the Kannada adaptation of Drishyam 2 has had a theatrical release. The Original Malayalam one and The Telugu Adaptation Drushyam 2 have had direct OTT releases(both on Amazon Prime). And I had absolutely loved the original film that caught me unaware at so many levels. At that point I was super sure that a Hindi Adaptation will follow too, given the massive success of the first Drishyam.
Now the eventual Hindi Announcement had me split about what would be its perception. My skepticism was majorly due to most of the adaptations not working in recent times. You have to take into consideration that when the first Drishyam(Hindi) was out, the OTT platforms did not exist and so the audience wasn’t exposed to different kinds of content. But on the other hand, Drishyam as a franchise has a huge fan base, so much so that there are several memes doing the rounds around 2nd of October when Vijay Salgaonkar and his family did go to Panjim to attend a ‘Satsang’, had Pav Bhaji, watched a film etc etc…
But the most important reason as to why my eventual fears turned into elation for the audience was that its Hindi dubbed version was not out yet. Which did bring me to the conclusion – the audience still isn’t privy to watching films with English subtitles. And so the culture of remakes/adaptations is here to stay!(although I do hope for better creative decisions to be taken going forward). So then where does the Hindi Adaptation of Drishyam 2 fit in this scenario for me, lets find out!
Story & Screenplay
An official adaptation of the Original Malayalam film by the same name, Drishyam 2 follows the story of Vijay Salgaonkar and his family as they find themselves in the middle of a “closed” crime once again after 7 years. For those who have watched the original know how brilliant the story is. But first things first, this is an adaptation and not a remake, which is a great news. The Telugu Drushyam 2 was a remake and not really an adaptation(just so you understand the difference), primarily as the director was the same(Jeethu Joseph). The screenplay standing at 140 minutes is atleast 20 to 25 minutes less than the runtime of the original that instantly had me interested!
For those who are familiar with the drama, would know that the original had taken a long while to get started. There was a considerable buildup with smaller hints interspersed in the narrative right throughout the first hour. Here, it follows a similar trope except that it cuts down on its length here(the entire subplot involving Anu’s friends in the original has been snipped off here). So you do not feel a sense of lethargy right from the beginning. So there was a trade off for the length of the first hour, thus compromising on the smaller hints that eventually have a pay off at the end. But just to counter this argument, this was always going to work well with the Hindi speaking audience and this was a masterstroke on behalf of the makers!
What I really appreciated from the writing and world building point of view was that the core group did stay intact. So the connection with characters that you had from its first part did stay intact here which was a big positive right up! If you aren’t familiar with the drama then you will absolutely love its twists and turns. But largely, the film follows the same beats of the original screenplay. Some confrontation scenes are better laid out here than in the original. But the fun essentially begins in the second hour!
The urgency in the second half will definitely keep you glued. I for one had watched the original, yet I did find myself uncannily invested here as well. The drama is engaging and engrossing that culminates into a climax that will leave you stumped if you haven’t watched the original. There are multiple twists and turns that makes for a supremely compelling watch. To give you a perspective, there was hooting and cheering in the final act which meant many people had not watched the original. I kind of, was immune to it as I did know how the drama is going to end. But taking nothing away from the screenplay that is an absolute winner here.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues have a dry and streaky sense of humour which was a welcome addition to tje drama. The music is good but the BGM absolutely hits it out of the park. In tense moments, the BGM kicks in and it heightens the drama even further. The cinematography is good as well, retaining the original vibe of the drama(Drishyam, Hindi). Director Abhishek Pathak had huge shoes to fill, firstly of Jeethu Joseph and secondly the late Nishikant Kamat who had directed the original Drishyam, Hindi, brilliantly. And Abhishek does an astounding job here in taking up this massive challenge and coming out with flying colours. The direction will ensure that you are consistently involved in the drama!
One of the main reasons why Drishyam, Hindi had become a massive success was because of the strong supporting cast(for a lack of a better word) that was stupendous. And here the universe grows well with the addition of a few new faces. Samvedna Suwalka as Vijay’s lawyer does create a solid impact towards the end. Siddharth Bodke as David, Ashmita Jaggi as Mary and Neha Joshi as Jenny are terrific. Kamlesh Sawant as our ‘beloved’ Gaitonde is exceptional and lands some solid punches literally and also with his dialogue delivery. The veterans Saurabh Shukla and Rajat Kapoor are wonderfully restrained.
Casting Akshaye Khanna for the role of IG Ahlawat was a genius decision. While the original role was essayed exceptionally well by Murali Gopi, Akshaye did add a layer of sarcasm to his character that made for a brilliant impact. We really wish to watch more of Akshaye onscreen. Mrunal Jadhav as Anu is good but has a limited scope to her character as compared to the original. Ishita Dutta as Anju is first rate and does manage to create an impact. Shriya Saran as Nandini is pretty good as well. Tabu is a prolific performer with yet another stunning act here as Mira. Ajay Devgn as Vijay Salgaonkar is fabulous to watch once again and yet again he perfectly uses his eyes that hold so many secrets. Brilliant!
Drishyam 2 is a killer of an adaptation of the original that would make for an even better watch if you haven’t watched the original. Available in a theatre near you and Highly Recommended!