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Movie Review: ‘Drishyam’ a gripping saga, but not a nail-biting one

Cast: Ajay Devgn, Tabu, Shriya Saran, Rajat Kapoor

Director: Nishikant Kamat

Rating: **1/2

If we go by the thumb rule or rather logical thinking, then it suggests that an already told saga can never have the charm and curiosity which a pristine or newfangled tale can have. But as we all know that Bollywood is one such place, whose natives not only are capable of creating exceptions, but can also breed the weltanschauungs. And massive box office success and humongous critical acclamation of some of the southern remakes is one of the conspicuous proof of the same.

Be it about remakes featuring Salman, Akshay or Ajay, every refurbished cine chronicle inspired from one or the other southern money spinners have set a new benchmark of success. Now with the unveiling of Ajay Devgn, Tabu, Shriya Saran starrer `Drishyam` it will be interesting to see if history repeats itself or not.

`Drishyam` which is apparently the 3rd remake of Mohanlal starrer with same, and is latently based on the Keigo Higashino’s famous novel `The Devotion of Suspect X`.

Just like Mohanlal’s Malayalam cine chronicle, this edition of the movie also narrates the story of school dropout/ under educated guy, Vijay Salgaonkar (Ajay), who own a small cable business in a small hamlet of Goa. And is quite happy in his small world which has his wife Nandini (Shriya) and two daughters.

But life of this happily living family becomes harum-scarum when a grotesque incident comes to haunt them. And what follows next is even more devastating where one of their self-defense acts go awry killing a young boy, Sam (Rishab Chadha), who happens to be the son of Goa’s Inspector General of Police, Meera Deshmukh (Tabu). Things start getting even worst for, Vijay and his family when, Meera begins her ferocious quest to find out the latent truth, since it involves her son.


So, what was that freaky reason which compelled Salgaonkars to kill Sam? Does Meera succeeds in getting hold of the reality? To know you have to watch this mildly gripping thriller cine yarn of, Nishikant Kamat.

Well, as stated above and several times before, there is no denying that tailoring a remake is not as easy, as it seems to be. That’s because while fiddling with remakes one has dual responsibility on his/her shoulders. First, to match the benchmark created by the original and, second to pull the masses to the cine arenas, after publicly declaring that `It is an old ale in new bottle`.

And when it’s about crime thrillers then the task becomes even more tedious, because in this case viewers are already aware of the USP or selling proposition of the movie, i.e. “what’s hiding behind the curtains`. But despite having so many monkey wrenches on his way, Nishikant Kamat along with Drishyam’s story writer Jeetu Jospeh has somehow managed to ditch this hurdles.

Undoubtedly the thrill component which `Drishyam` has in it is very well crafted, but because of the absence of that gripping potency it up till some extent starts looking like an ordinary cine plot. As far curiosity coefficient is concerned then climax is the only instance which scores high on this curiosity gauge, otherwise for majority of instances high predictability appears as governing emperor of the premise (even for those who haven’t seen the previous volumes). And this is one of the major flaws in the premise of `Drishyam` which pastes that mediocre tag on the final product.

Due to some perceivable flaws in the first half screenplay of Upendra Sidhaye is just satisfactory. Though throughout the run time viewers have numerous rendezvous with `on the qui vive` moments which keep their gazes fastened to the big screen. But eventually it’s some of those chop-worthy extra minutes which act as spoilsport by slackening the pace of narration at some places and unnecessarily adding those good ten minutes to the length of the movie. But for that matter it will be more apt to blame it on movie’s editor, Aarif Sheikh who should have taken his responsibilities more seriously. But thankfully in the second half the premise and flow of the narration re-gain the momentum and keep viewers attention fixated to the big screen till the culmination.


Just like screenplay even background score of `Drishyam` is just OK and that’s because at many points it starts looking like a potpourri of inapt audio notes tied together to create that pseudo feel of thrill.

But yes, one thing which scrupulously contents you by its brilliance is outstanding camera work and cinematography of, Avinash Arun which not only contributes to the intensity of those nail-biting moments, but also decoctions every perceivable emotional trait embedded in the story.

If we go by the performances then with the screen presence of iconic actors like Ajay, Tabu and Rajat Kapoor nothing much remains to say. But as it is a customary part of movie reviewing, therefore I am assigning just one word to it and i.e. “Brilliant”. As far as performance of rest of the herd of actors consisting Shriya Saran et al. is concerned then none of them succeeds in appeasing the viewers by their performance.

To sum up, despite having a curiosity inducing premise and elements which could have taken `Drishyam` to an altogether different level, this much awaited thriller of the year fails in doing so, just because a few of its most important cine variables fail in reaching that required threshold level which could have made it a nail biting thriller. But keeping in view the towering performances of Ajay and Tabu which keeps you going till the end, I am going ahead with a good two and a half stars for this cine chronicle which one should watch only if he or she wants to see Ajay at his performing best.

Movie: Drishyam Reviewed by: Ankur Karan Singh on and Rated: 2.5/5

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