** Minor spoilers ahead **
Its few hours since I completed watching Drishyam 2 . But I am still stunned. “What would be Georgekutty’s next move?”. The fact that the viewers failed to guess this in the 2013 movie Drishyam is what gave it the masterpiece status. 7 years later after having enough time to understand the character and after time to think of 100 ways of how the sequel could be, you still fail to answer that – “What would be Georgekutty’s next move?”
This is exceptional writing to further rise the legacy of one of the most iconic characters to have produced in Indian Cinema. This is also remarkable return to form by a genius actor, just as you may have suspected that he had started seeing decline in his skills.
Drishyam 2’s biggest strength is its “continuity”. Jeethu Joseph creates the atmosphere and places the characters in it giving you a feel that they have almost come directly from the sets of the first movie even when it is 7 years apart. Georgekutty, his wife Rani and kids share that same old camaraderie. Mohanlal and Meena are too good a pair on screen that their chemistry is as solid as it was before so many years. Even the tiniest details like Rani’s obsession with big English medium schools have been carried over from the prequel. When she complains that her second daughter has changed, Georgekutty is quick to pick up that it is because of sending to St. Josephs school. Both Asha Sharath and Siddique also take up their roles completely in sync with how they portrayed them in the prequel.
Mohanlal and Jeethu Jospeh once again keep Georgekutty grounded. Mohanlal is at complete ease and I think I am seeing him this relaxed after so long since Villain in 2017. He does manage to put to rest most of the apprehensions and criticism that he is not the same actor since the transformation for Odiyan. His reaction when Meena calls him “poda” is as good as how he was in Drishyam. I wish the camera focussed on Mohanlal’s face a little more in the second half. But then I think I am going to appreciate his work more in the next viewings like it was the case with Drishyam too. ( Read : Mohanlal in Drishyam – A masterclass in subtle acting) Murali Gopi is such a solid addition. I think the movie looks as engaging it is now because of the urgency he brings in his performance. He should in all probability portray lot more investigative officers in future.
Jeethu Joseph brings in the same format for story-telling as the prequel. He starts in slow, establishes characters and then changes to thriller mode half way. It helps that you are attached lot more to Georgekutty, his family and the village over these years. Which means in the second half, with each turning point, you move further to the edge of the seat because you really want to know what would happens to Georgekutty. The fast pacing in second half doesn’t give you time to think much or perhaps look at the possible loopholes. How he scatters several details in the first half which all come back as strong story points in second half is what once made Jeethu Joseph a household name in thriller genre. There is no doubt that Drishyam 2 was a huge miss for theaters. The small reference to “bills” towards climax and how Georgekutty still has a way around them may have received huge applause in theaters.
Among the very few drawbacks, I felt the background score doesnt gel well with many scenes. Its also surprising that for some roles, very inexperienced actors are chosen. **Major Spoiler starting here** – Another minus I see in Drishyam 2 is that the climax portions lack the emotional depth of Drishyam. Drishyam had such a beautiful structure and calm pace in its last 15 minutes, especially the last three scenes starting from when Rani asks Georgekutty about the body to when Georgekutty comes out of the station. In Drishyam 2 though, there seems to be a hurry in finishing things off ( Perhaps the COVID situation played a part). I wonder if the complete absence of Rani and kids in the last 20 minutes and how you couldn’t get a full grasp of Georgekutty’s emotions during these final scenes ( like the prequel did) could play a role in its repeat value in future – ** Major Spoiler ends here**
Despite its few flaws, Drishyam manages to walk into the elite and rare list of very fine sequels to come in Malayalam- thanks to the twists and turns you never see coming. Jeethu Joseph likes to underplay things. For Drishyam in 2013, he managed to lower the hype by giving out a trailer which was nowhere near the brilliant quality of the end product. Now I am pretty convinced he made a series of below average movies post Drishyam just to make sure we have stopped expecting anything from him. And then his plan was to return and say – ” Do you guys think that you know Georgekutty completely now? Well – Not yet.”
Drishyam 2 is unbelievably good.
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