Drishyam (Hindi) Movie Review: Looks can be deceptive

Drishyam is an official remake of the Malayalam film by the same name. I haven’t watched the original so I wasn’t biased (positively or negatively) before watching this one. The trailer of the film was fantastic and the film looked promising. Thriller isn’t a genre that Bollywood delves into quite often. Even when it does there are a handful of films which are executed to deliver the punch, Kahaani being the sole exception I feel. But we haven’t had a “Sixth Sense” or a “Saw” wherein we the climax will leave you flabbergasted. I had to watch the last five minutes of both these movies again and again in awe and astonishment about what just happened. So does Drishyam come any close to any of these? Read on to find out.

Drishyam Hindi PosterDrishyam is a story of a “fourth standard fail” Ajay Devgn and his family set up in a small town in Goa.  I would not like to reveal much of the plot though. To sum it up, there is a mishap and its Ajay’s job now to cover it up so that he and his family are safe. Does the “fourth standard fail” simple middle class Devgn manage to do that or do Tabu and co. manage to uncover his plot? That I guess you should find out for yourself.

The Drishyam plot has the quintessential ingredients for a thriller. It’s a well-paced movie, starting off slowly and picking up pace as it moves on. The director has been cautious till the very end, not to answer the question that I posed early on. To be honest other than that there is no suspense aspect to the story. We know from the start what has happened, but then the best part of the movie is as to what limits a nearly uneducated middle class guy can go to save his family and how meticulously he plans his cover up. Full marks to Nishikant Kamat (who also directed the Marathi flick Dombivli Fast), as he makes all loose strings meet in the end, which I feel is the best thing about this genre. You have many of these “Acha THAT is why he did this“ moments, thanks to the well scripted plot. One more thing which I liked is that the director never side lined from the main plot, not succumbing into the temptation of putting in random song sequences which are quite the norm in Bollywood irrespective of the kind of movie.

Drishyam Still 1Coming to performances, if I had to single out one performance then that would be Sub Inspector Gaitonde played by Kamlesh Sawant, who plays his role with conviction. He and Tabu are probably the only actors who have been cast aptly for their roles (and also Rajat Kapoor, who is merely playing a supporting role).  But other than these the rest of the cast seems misfit. What hurts most is Ajay Devgn as the lead. He fails to emote as required throughout the movie. I never felt the sympathy which was expected from the character he portrays. Never can we relate to him as the “fourth fail” simple middle class man who cares for his family for whom he would go to such limits. Neither is his “I-am-innocent” avatar convincing enough. Shriya Saran looks way too young as his wife and the daughter played by Ishita Dutta looks way too old (although they give an explanation for the same). Also the Salgaonkar villa and their dressing sense at times doesn’t go with the “middle class” image that the director try to portray.

So is Drishyam the thriller what it seemed like from the trailer? Keeping in line with the movie’s tagline which says, “Visuals can be deceptive”, this one is definitely is. It is not as exciting as it promised to be and is nowhere close to the aforementioned Hollywood thrillers. But it’s not that bad either. It’s definitely a onetime watch and the director does manage to keep you at the edge of your seats. Do watch it in the theatres.

Thumbs up for this one!

Rating : 3/5

Dr.Amar Udare

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