Drishyam : Great narrative paired with powerful performances

Drishyam : Great narrative paired with powerful performances
DRISHYAM is remake of the Malayalam film by the same name, which was directed by Jeethu Joseph and starred the southern superstar Mohanlal and Meena in the lead. The same film was then made in Kannada as DRISHYA with V. Ravichandran and Navya Nair in the lead, and also in Telugu as DRUSHYAM with Daggubati Venkatesh and Meena in the lead. It is only recently that the film was made in Tamil language as well titled PAPANASAM, which starred the legendary Kamal Haasan and Gauthami. The story finally comes to Bollywood Cinema.

Director Nishikant Kamat’s DRISHYAM starts off with Vijay Salgaonkar (Ajay Devgn) waiting at Pandolem police station in Goa. The story, then goes into a flashback mode in which it mirrors all the events that led Vijay in the present day situation. Vijay Salgaonkar is a ‘fourth standard failed’ middle class hard working businessman, running a cable TV business. His life revolves around movies and his family consisting of his wife Nandini Vijay Salgaonkar (Shriya Saran), his teenage daughter (Ishita Dutta) and his younger daughter.

Life goes on pretty smoothly for the Salgaonkars, till one day his elder daughter bumps into a notorious Sam in a school camp. Despite repeated warnings, Sam doesn’t stop pestering her, so much so that he even plants a hidden camera in her washroom. Grabbing this ‘opportunity’ with both the hands, Sam demands sexual favour from Vijay’s daughter in return of the MMS being deleted. And when Nandini intervenes, he asks for a sexual favour from Nandini instead! Raging with anger and helplessness, Vijay’s daughter hits Sam with a rod that results in him collapsing on the spot. The mother-daughter get furthermore shocked when they learn that Sam was the only son of none other than IG Meera Deshmukh (Tabu). Frightened and helpless they narrate their ordeal to Vijay when he returns back from his office in the morning. Vijay then hatches a master plan that will help his family from the clutches of the police. After this begins the cat and mouse game between Vijay and Meera. Does the ‘fourth standard failed’ Vijay Salgaonkar manage to protect his family, does his foolproof plan have any flaws that act as a giveaway, what happens to Sam in the end.. is what forms the rest of the story.

First things first. Writer Jitu Joseph needs to be applauded for having created such a flawless masterpiece that Bollywood, probably, has never witnessed before. When you are aboard on a ship named DRISHYAM, which has ‘powerhouse passengers’ like Ajay Devgn and Tabu, the responsibility of the captain becomes more than double. And this responsibility has been carried off and executed not just extremely well, but also in the most meticulous manner by the ‘captain’ of the ship Nishikant Kamat, who makes absolutely no mistake right from the first frame till the last one. He succeeds immensely in keeping the legacy of the film’s ‘vision’ alive. One really has to give it to him for keeping the audience on the edge of his seat, and not losing them even for a moment.

Nishikant Kamat does total justice to the film’s exceptional script and his direction is spot on. He is the boss and ensures you take note of the story the way he wants to…he’s in complete control. While the first half of the film belongs in totality to Ajay Devgn and his ‘vision’, the film’s engaging second half belongs equally to both Tabu and Ajay’s. The film’s climax is outstanding. One just cannot afford to miss the scenes in which the cops interrogate the Salgaonkar’s family individually and also the small child’s confession to the cops. Even though the film’s pace is slow, you, as a viewer, don’t lose interest at any point of time, because the mystery and the human dilemma keeps you hooked right from the first frame till the last one.

As far as the film’s performances are concerned, it is needless to say that the film belongs totally to Ajay Devgn and Tabu. They are the quintessential torchbearers of the film right from the word go. It is really heartening to see Ajay Devgn  to underplay his usual self and yet come out a winner. One just cannot to afford to miss him in the scenes where he and his family recreate the entire events and incidents and also his helpless condition in the police station when his family gets beaten up mercilessly. His smoldering eyes emote effortlessly. On the other hand, Tabu plays an inspector with  elan. At the same time, she also handles the role of a concerned mother with equal ease. With the kind of portrayal that she has done in the film, it becomes almost impossible to think of any other actress to have played this role with such flawless perfection. Shriya Saran, on the other hand, comes up with a winning performance in the role of Ajay Devgn’s wife.

There is hardly any scope for music. Still, Vishal Bhardwaj manages to deliver a handful of soothing tracks that go with the flow of the film and do not seem thrusted. It is the film’s background music (Sameer Phaterpekar) that acts as a major driving force in the narrative of the film. When a film is of a thriller genre with a ‘whodunit’ as its central theme, it’s editing becomes one of the key factors that can make or break the film. This film keeps it edgy. There is no single moment in the film suffers a lag. DRISHYAM is an absolute winner that keeps you hooked completely right till the end. It is definitely a must watch movie this weekend.

Rating: 8/10


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