With 'Drishyam', Jeethu Joseph emerges as a proficient film maker who skillfully blends words with visuals to craft a chillingly thrilling portrait of a man's struggle to prevent his much adored family from falling apart. Jeethu attempts a stunning mix of the real with the imaginary, and the result is an unpredictable cinematic artichoke that takes you by surprise at every turn.
Georgekutty (Mohanlal) runs a cable TV business in a sleepy village called Rajakkad, that lies a few miles away from Thodupuzha. His dreams are minimal, and he is all content with the blissful family that he has been blessed with. His wife Rani (Meena) and his daughters Anju (Ansiba) and Anu (Esther), make fun of his tight fisted ways, and Georgekutty often willingly relents to their modest demands. When Varun (Roshan) walks in abruptly into their lives, the four of them and their togetherness are put to extreme test, in terrifying ways they have experienced never before.
Jeethu Joseph lets the tale stay on a steady, slow simmer, before raising the flame and letting it on to a high boil. For one, the core thought is terrific, and there is something riveting about the purposeful recreation of a life scene. Questions as to how much believable things that we see and hear around us are, arise, and all on a sudden they seem as incredible as the scenes that you watch on screen.
The psychological cat-and-mouse game that ensues between Georgekutty and the lady IPS officer Geetha Prabhakaran (Asha Sarath) has several moments that thriller buffs will dig into with delight. What is appreciable however is the adversary's acceptance of defeat, and the eventual respect that the two develop for each other.
The film's single most resonant image of a terrified Anu in the interrogation room, her eyes all aghast at the sheer horror that she is witness to, will remain with us for long. A few scenes later, as she rushes into Georgekutty's open arms, she asks if she had let them down. Hugging her close to his chest, Georgekutty assures the child that she never did.
There are these jolts that are delivered now and then, and in no time you realize that the movie has stealthily slipped under your skin. Ah, and then the final scene sashays in, and it's a whopper without doubt; perhaps the very best climax that I have seen this year!
'Dirshyam' could very well boast of Mohanlal's best performance in recent times, and the actor seems to be at remarkable ease playing the affable man, who would stop at nothing until he sees that his family is safe. Meena is back, and how, and she delivers a bravura performance, along with the two young girls Ansiba and Esther who are sheer bundles of talent. A very special word of appreciation is due to Kalabhavan Shajon as well, who breaks away from the conventional comic mould that we had got used to seeing him in.
Sujith Vasudev makes sure that the visuals are indeed deceiving and the camera moves in, out and around stuffy rooms, liberally hurling revelations at us, one after the other. The musical score by Anil Johnson and Vinu Thomas have a refreshingly delightful tenor to them that deserve an applause for certain.
'Drishyam' is a stellar spectacle that prompts an animated watch, without even as much as a blinking of an eye. I wouldn't be surprised if you eat away your nails while watching this highly unsettling and yet gripping film, that is a celebration of the power of exceptional storytelling.