How do you review a movie like Drishyam 2? It is the sequel to one of the most iconic Malayalam movies in recent times, and is therefore, one of the most anticipated movies of the year. You can’t just do the usual monologue. So we thought we’d have a dialogue!
The following is our chat records, about our views of Drishyam 2, from the PinkLungi movie reviews group: (Spoilers ahead so please proceed only if you’ve watched the movie)
Aishwarya: So before we talk about Drishyam 2, what did you guys think about Drishyam and did you see the possibility of a sequel then?
Navaneeth: It’s undoubtedly one of the best thrillers we’ve had. What I liked most in Drishyam was the tonal shift: a breezy first half that almost makes you believe it’s a ‘family film’, and then an escalation into intense territory. I remember the trailer, it was damn misleading! Nobody saw that shift coming probably.
Shahbaz: Yeah. At the end of Drishyam, I was satisfied. Almost everything was explained and I didn’t see how they could take this story forward. The incompleteness of it all (Georgekutty walking scot-free, but with life-long guilt) made it an almost complete film for me.
Govindan: I also didn’t see this sequel coming. After all, it’s a huge responsibility! And to top it all, the announcement came at a time when Jeethu Joseph the director, wasn’t at his peak form. (Have you guys seen Mr and Mrs Rowdy?!) So….I did have my reservations.
Mustafa: I think sequels, in general, tend to be disappointments, especially when they succeed original and standalone films. Moreover, Drishyam’s plot was greatly inspired by this amazing book called “The Devotion of Suspect X?”. So yes, I didn’t have a lot of expectations. I think that helped my viewing experience too!
Aishwarya: What did you guys like most about the film? For me personally, it was how the film gave an answer to the question many viewers had asked at the end of Drishyam: Would we have rooted for Georgekutty if he wasn’t played by Mohanlal? Is it right to show the hero (who is definitely in the wrong) utilise the systemic loopholes and walk scot-free?
Govindan: For me it was the 30-45 minute block towards the end of the second half. I think the director got the idea of the sequel after conceiving this bit, and built everything else around this.
Shahbaz: I agree with Govindan. I think it took some time to pick up pace, but once it did, it escalated to unexpected territories – some of these plot points are questionable logic-wise but we’ll come to that later.
Navaneeth: I liked how it was a ‘fitting sequel’. Considering the mood progression of the film, it definitely feels Drishyam-like. Also, they show the loophole in the ‘perfect crime’ right in the opening sequence of Drishyam 2 so that really set things up for me. Through all the family scenes of the first half, I was just waiting for things to implode!
Mustafa: There is this particular moment in the movie when Mohanlal is interacting with his daughters and wife; A police siren wails in the distance and you can see the fear set into the eldest daughter’s face. This is where the movie achieves a seamless blend and kicks off to third gear. Also, Drishyam 2 perfects the slow burn that made Drishyam 1 a success. Like Shahabaz said, it takes a while to get along, but once it does, it’s a beauty to see everything fit into place!
Navaneeth: Also. I LOVED how the film took on a meta avatar towards the end, with the entry of Sai Kumar. The climax of the book being one step ahead of the real-time climax. Uff, kept me on my toes!
Mustafa: By the way do you know that the book subplot has been used in a Hollywood erotic thriller? (Not saying the name so you guys can guess which one it is! :P)
Navaneeth: Yeah, that completely makes sense too. Where else would Georgekutty have got the idea for it anyway? Cinema aanallo pullide teacher! This reminds me: I like how both the films have cinema as a recurring theme. I initially felt this film had done away with that angle but they brought it back in the climax and how!
Govindan: What did you guys think of the performances?
Shahbaz: I think Mohanal’s performance adds to the enigma of Georgekutty, for sure.
Aishwarya: But don’t you feel Mohanlal’s portrayal of Georgekutty varied a bit from the original? With the new look and demeanour, he was more sedate compared to the lively Georgekutty in Drishyam…
Govindan: But that again makes sense, considering what has transpired in his life since then. The family has tried to move on. They have definitely become financially better off. But they’re still haunted by the past. Maybe this sedateness is a reflection of that predicament he’s in.
Shahbaz: Okay, can we please talk about how good Murali Gopi was? I really feel the film took off once he came into the picture. The first couple of big reveals – where we realise Gopi has the upper hand over Georgekutty – gave the film a much-needed boost. And as an actor, I think he played the part with equal parts of sensible, scheming and aggressive.
Mustafa: By the way, I missed one point in the earlier discussion. I liked how Drishyam 2 contains a thriller plot which isn’t insular in nature.
Navaneeth: Simple aay paranj tharuo saar?
Mustafa: Haha! What I mean is, most thrillers are focused on the protagonist and the story could take place anywhere. But here, they incorporate the larger society within which its characters exist. You see how a person’s crime affects everyone around him, be it his wife, his neighbours, discussions at the local tea shop. And how all of their actions affect the person as well.
Aishwarya: Yes, I think Jeethu Joseph had mentioned this in the promotional interviews. Speaking of which, don’t you think he did the ‘misleading marketing strategy‘ this time as well? He marketed it as a family drama of sorts and downplayed the thriller aspects. Maybe that did help in getting across a few surprises!
Govindan: Yup! I think he just HAD to do that. Maybe to minimise comparisons with Drishyam. But do you guys think that this sequel needs to be compared to its prequel at all?
Shahbaz: See. Whether we like it or not, comparisons are bound to happen. Like the tagline suggests, it’s a Resumption saga. It’s not a franchise where the hero undertakes a new mission in every film. Georgekutty and Co are still battling the same ol’ crisis.
Navaneeth: Coming to the drawbacks..I know y’all have a lot to say in this regard as well. I’m just going to sit back. (Nope, not because I’m a Mohanlal fan xD)
Shahbaz: Haha. So first off, I think the film was executed poorly, even though it had a good script. There was some bad blocking (the scenes with Georgekutty and the neighbour especially) and that melodramatic background score didn’t work for me at all. Felt very outdated.
Mustafa: Yeah. And the first few scenes with Georgekutty and his family had clunky exposition…
Shahbaz: Ah athum irikkatte (Googles “what is Clunky Exposition?“)
Govindan: My major problem with the film was that the writing seemed very ‘convenient’. Yes, almost every plot point was explained in this film as well – something they did exceptionally well in the first part – but the explanations weren’t as organic as the original. It did feel contrived to some extent.
Aishwarya: Exactly! Like how certain characters were just brought in for some plot development and then they just vanished. For example, what happened to Anu’s boyfriend? Also what about Jose? Does he reconcile with his family?
Shahbaz: Also the big reveal (the medical college sequence) did not seem very probable. How could Georgekutty have opened the official seal on Varun’s remains, replaced the bones and then seal it back without any traces? Also, if the police questioned the security guard, wouldn’t they get evidence that Georgekutty was at the medical college?
Govindan: Maybe that’s something they’ve kept for Drishyam 3! 😛
Navaneeth: My dad also mentioned the seal thing when they showed Georgekutty at the mortuary. But it didn’t affect me as a viewer because I think it ties in with the characterisation of Georgekutty : That he would do the impossible to save his family!
Govindan: See. ‘Convenient’! But of course, on an objective level I think we can agree that this film was definitely worth a shot. It did entertain nonetheless.
Shahbaz: Yeah. I think the more you poke into it, you’ll find more stuff to nitpick. As a viewer and as a fan of the original, I think I’m satisfied!
Aishwarya: Chances for Drishyam 3?
Mustafa: It can technically go on and on, but I think the way they’ve ended this episode, gives me a feeling that the police have also given up. And like they mention, Georgekutty’s ultimate punishment is that he had to live with this for the rest of his life. A reiteration of how the original ended?
Govindan: Haha. Yes, only time will tell what Georgekutty has done to cover up for this cover-up xD Cheers guys!
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What are your thoughts about Drishyam 2? Let us know in comments and keep this conversation going.