Having a reputation to maintain and expectations to meet can either be a burden or an inspiration. The sequel to Drishyam has one of the best thrillers in Malayalam cinema to live up to, and in its protagonist Georgekutty, a man whose brain is always one step ahead of the police’s.
Drishyam 2 takes off six years from the time when Georgekutty (Mohanlal), a cable television operator, outsmarted the police investigating the murder of Varun Prabhakar, his daughter’s classmate who gets accidentally killed by her, during an attempt to sexually assault her.
Georgekutty is now a theatre owner who dreams of making a film based on a story he has written. His elder daugher Anju (Ansiba) is still recovering from the shock of the traumatic events, while the younger daughter Anu (Esther) is now a slightly rebellious teenager. The entire family, more so his wife Rani (Meena) is living their daily lives with one eye behind their backs, as the fear of the police catching up always beckons.
Meanwhile, Georgekutty’s new-found prosperity has set tongues wagging among the local populace. Compared to the unstinting support that he got six years back, now many believe that he has actually committed the crime. The police too are still cluelessly looking for leads to solve the case. Like in the first fim, director Jeethu Joseph takes things slow in the first half, which was borderline boring in Drishyam as well. There is a lot of conservative family talk and drama, accompanied by loud, over-dramatic background music.
Some life is injected into the flagging script by an intelligent interval twist which not many would see coming. But a script which worships the protagonist’s intelligence can be a liability. Even when we are reminded of the everydayness of Georgekutty, there is an invincible aura around him which tells us that he has foreseen and made arrangements for any eventuality. Now, that is a problem which any sequel to such a film will face.
Jeethu does manage to break that aura later, with the slow unravelling of Georgekutty’s plans. He had before him the daunting task of building a follow-up from the same original story, every possibility of which was discussed thread-bare after the movie’s release. However, a few new elements are brought in, which blend seamlessly with the original thread.
The intensity of the final one hour of glorious twists and turns contributed much to the success of the first part. There was something organic about how it all tied together in the end. But in this sequel, even when things remain unpredictable for the most part, it is achieved using a few conveniently-created characters and a slightly-contrived setup with loopholes. Having said that, it is no easy task to flesh out a script like this from a case which was as good as closed.
Drishyam 2 might not work as a stand-alone film — as many sequels do — since it is completely dependent on the first film with constant references. But despite its negatives, it still is a decent companion piece to its much celebrated predecessor.