Drishyam 2 Malayalam Movie Review
Amazon Prime's latest release 'Drishyam 2' builds on the legend of its protagonist Georgekutty, a calculative, empathetic, and mysterious man looking to protect his family from the law. For an uninitiated, the first Drishyam is about this Mohanlal character covering up a murder that his family inadvertently committed. The events in this sequel to that masterful film take place 6 years after the fateful incident at the heart of its plot. The film follows the lives of Georgekutty, his wife Rani, and his kids Anu and Anju as they try to evade cops who still look into the case despite 6 years' passing.
Georgekutty (Mohanlal) has graduated from being a cable operator to a Movie Theater owner. He is trying to realize his life ambition of making a movie. At the same time, his wife Rani (Meena) is still affected by that tragic incident from 6 years ago. The same could be said of their elder daughter, Anju (Anziba), with the occasional seizure. Even police vehicle sirens scare the hell out of Anju. Only Anu (Esther Anil) seems to have moved on from the family's tragic past.
Meanwhile, the people in their village have changed from being sympathetic and somewhat empathetic to rumormongers. Their rumor is that Georgekutty killed that young, innocent man for an affair with his daughter, and he buried the body somewhere.
As with the first movie, the first half of Drishyam 2 is a setup for what is to come later in the film. That is to say, then, nothing significant happens in terms of the investigative aspects of it. All we see, in that period, is a set of family sequences involving Rani and Georgekutty, plus the rumor-spreading from the villagers. Rani is furious about the fact that her husband is spending a lot of money on a delayed movie script, and that the rumor is preventing Anju's marriage.
Things perk up with a big twist towards the interval point, and from there on, it is a twist galore. With Drishyam 2, Jeethu Joseph asks the audience to wonder whether there is such a thing as the perfect crime. He has added some new characters to the ones from the first film. Chief among them are Georgekutty's neighbors, who are a wife subjected to domestic abuse by her husband, plus a new IG played by Murali Gopy. Thomas Bastin IPS by Gopy is the equivalent of Aasha Sharat's cop from the first Drishyam. That means Siddique's Prabhakar and Asha Sarath's Geetha Prabhakar, the missing boy's parents, are side-tracked here. I kind of missed their sappy morality here, as it is replaced by Gopy's hard-dosed IPS officer's dares.
There is also a screenwriter, Vinayachandran (Saikumar), working with Georgekutty on the script of the film within the film. A man, Jose George, imprisoned for life for homicide, is in a situation different from what Georgekutty and his family are facing.
What I liked the most about Drishyam 2 is how well those new supporting characters and their story elements fall in line with the rest of the film and its overarching themes. Mohanlal and Jeethu Joseph described Drishyam 2 as more of a family film than a thriller. I disagree with them. Much like the first film, this is a thrill-a-minute ride post the intermission.
Lal's performance makes Georgekutty the same man but with a little difference from the character in the first film. There, we could root for the cable operator from start to finish. Here, we spend most of the time wondering who he is and what he is up to. That he makes two different characters with very few changes in mannerisms is Lal's brilliance. Meena, Ansiba Hassan, Esther Anil, Murali Gopy, Ganesh Kumar - they are all excellent here, but Mohanlal as Georgekutty is the heart and soul of this film.
That said, the film ultimately belongs to Jeethu Joseph, the writer and director of it. I thought the first Drishyam was as close-ended as a thriller can get. But Jeethu once again dares to challenge us with a multi-layered script that has ingenious implications. Watching this plot unravel itself is a sheer delight.
Drishyam 2 is not perfect, though. The film runs a tad too long. The editing could have been a lot sharper. There are no loose ends in the thriller, but it could have been a lot more organic. I also wanted more scenes involving Mohanlal, Asha Sharat, and Siddique. But the story is told with such conviction that its faults do not matter much in the overall analysis.