Drishyam helmed by Nishikant Kamat is not only a riveting, gripping tale that leaves you spellbound with its skillful art but also makes you sit in the theater with bated breath, never wanting to miss a moment of the film on screen. Drishyam (2013) was initially made in Malayalam and since than it has been made in three different languages namely Kannada, Tamil & Telugu before its Hindi version hitting the theaters in 2015. All the remake versions of the movie have fared well at the box office, suffice enough to prove about movie's content quality. Needless, to say that the ace of the movie is its script which has a novelty factor attached to it. While most of the thrillers bank upon whodunit factor, Drishyam concentrates on how the crime is committed and than flawlessly concealing it. This gives Drishyam a cutting edge over most of the other thrillers that Bollywood has offered so far. Drishyam is definitely a movie which is in league of its own. The biggest strength of Drishyam is its unpredictability along with milieu around which story has been set giving it a real authentic look. With no superficial over-dramatic flourishes, ear shattering BGM, unwanted item numbers, Nishikant Kamat has delivered a perfectly toned film. And, lot of credit for this perfectly toned film must be given to its story writer i.e. Jeethu Joseph. He has penned down the storyline in such a way that the steam never dries out. Though, the film takes its own sweet time in setting ground for the drama in the first half by drawing the picture of a conventional family but soon it develops into a fascinating thriller with its unpredictability factor looming large. It engulfs you completely unto the movie and makes you put your thinking caps on as it becomes very difficult to predict exactly what will happen next. The very ordinariness of the family makes their reactions and those of the other characters unexpected, while the developments in the screenplay keep you surprising at every turn. There are few moments where the story flounders a little, but overall it's an intelligent piece of writing that showcases the effects of a unforeseen exigency and how imperative it is for a family to stick together while going through catastrophic times. Amalgamation of family ties with a classic thriller format makes Drishyam a fascinating watch.
STORY & SCREENPLAY (SPOILERS AHEAD) :: The storyline of Drishyam has been penned down by Jeethu Joseph who also directed the Original Malayalam version of the movie where as the screenplay of the movie has been written by Upendra Sidhye. The most important factor while penning down an absolutely gripping thriller is detailing, as closing every open end in the most logical way is most imperative. The narrative of the movie has been so intricately woven that by the time second half of the movie begins, you have been entranced by the on-screen proceedings. It compels you to include yourself in the guessing games of the movie but the story doesn't allow you to rise above being a mere spectator by throwing more surprises at you. It is very rare that a story is able to compel audience into playing thinking mind games but Drishyam is successful in doing that making it helluva thriller. The film is based on psychological fact that visuals make more impact on human brain than sounds. The film begins at Pandolem police station in Goa with Vijay Salgaonkar (Ajay Devgn) in frame. Flashback ensues and we are taken back in time to recount the events as to why Vijay is there at the police station. Vijay is fourth class failure academically but hardworking businessman who runs a cable TV business in the area. He is a such hard core movie buff that he generally puts the receiver of his landline phone down while he is engrossed in watching movies. He lives in Goan countryside with his wife Nandini (Shriya Saran) and daughters Anju (Ishita Dutta) and Anu (Mrinal). His family means the world to him. He is quite honest, upright and helpful and because of these qualities, he is looked down upon by a corrupt cop Gaitonde (Kamlesh Sawant). Life is going smooth for Salgaonkars till Anju goes for a school camp. At the school camp, Anju is stalked by Sam. Sam is a notorious guy who plants a hidden camera in Anju's washroom at the camp. After returning from camp, Sam approaches Vijay's daughter and shows her the MMS. He asks her to meet him late night at the courtyard of her house. Anju gets worried and tells all this to her mother. When Sam arrives, he is confronted by both mother and daughter to delete the MMS but Sam asks for sexual favor in order to delete the SMS. Vijay's world is turned upside down when Sam goes missing and he is made the prime suspect in the case. To add to his woes, Sam is the only child of IG Police Meera Deshmukh (Tabu). From here on, a cat and mouse game ensues between the cops and Vijay. Gaitonde who is already at loggerheads with Vijay inflicts torture on Vijay and his family. Is Vijay able to protect himself and his family from clutches of law, What is Vijay's foolproof plan to dodge the cops is what forms the rest of the story.
STARCAST :: A special mention of Vicky Sidana (Casting director) for choosing the appropriate cast as per their characterizations in the movie. For all the Ajay Devgn fans out there, especially those who were complaining about him performing more of gravity defying stunts in his last flicks with Rohit Shetty and not portraying realistic, grounded and intense roles, just go and watch Drishyam. Go and watch Ajay Devgn deliver one of the finest performances in his highly illustrious career. You can watch him in sheer disbelief as he gives subtle acting a new meaning in Drishyam. He has fit into the character of a common man having extraordinary intelligence with remarkable ease. Ajay Devgn has emoted a common man's struggle to prevent his adored family from falling apart mostly through his smoldering eyes. Watch out for him in the scene when he goes to his cable office and his assistant asks him about his well being finding him in a pensive mood. Ajay Devgn immediately changes his tone and expressions in a brilliant manner so that everything seems normal to his assistant. It's one of Ajay Devgn's finest performances till date. Tabu, once again proves her mettle as an actress with her extraordinary performance in this film.She is seen in two different avatars in this movie ; a top notch, intense Police Officer and a worried, emotional mother. And, to her credit Tabu has stood her ground firmly while portraying both these avatars. She has enacted the right amount of intensity, aggression and emotions that her character was supposed to portray in the film. Pertinent to say, Ajay Devgn and Tabu are the two solid pillars of this movie. Shriya Sharan has given an earnest performance as Ajay's wife. She has ably emoted the expressions of fear when the family goes through crisis and covers them up commendably when interrogated by Cops. Rajat Kapoor has given a restrained performance as Tabu's husband who is worried about his son's whereabouts but is also against the torture being inflicted upon Ajay's family. Rajat is such a natural actor and it is a treat watching him perform in Drishyam. Ishita Dutta & Mrinal shine as Ajay's daughters and have given a commendable performance. Not to forget, Kamlesh Jadhav who looks every inch the corrupt cop that he is supposed to portray on-screen.
TECHNICAL FINESSE :: The musical soundtrack of the film that has been composed by Vishal Bhardwaj comprises of some melodious numbers which are in tandem with the on-screen proceedings. The background music of the movie has been composed by Sameer Phaterpekar who has done a splendid job. Drishyam thrives on the tense moments it creates and the source of the tension is partly, its background music. Sameer's background score is a huge strength to the film as it underscores every scene without hammering in the situations and is not that loud and jarring. The cinematographer of the movie is Avinash Arun who has done a splendid job behind the lens. Avinash Arun's rustic and realistic visuals sans the artificial filters and gloss, capture the true colors and natural prosperity of Drishyam. At the same time, his contribution is not just a functional one. The overall slowness in the composition adds a tinge of curiosity, thrills suspense and grip to the film. A special mention of Rita Ghosh (Art director) and Sukant Panigrahy (Production designer) for their effective contributions in their respective fields. The movie has been edited by Aarif Sheikh who has kept the run-time of the movie to 163 minutes. Aarif has done a wonderful job at the editing table by keeping Drishyam taut & razor sharp. Though, the pace of the movie is slow to begin with especially in the first half yet Aarif manages to keep your interest alive in the proceedings with his precise editing. As a director, Nishikant Kamat has proven his mettle by making a gripping, taut, riveting remake of a movie that has already been made in four other regional languages. It is not an easy job to make a perfectly balanced and riveting remake because the original film serves as a hard benchmark while filming the remake. It is tough to replicate something while maintaining the interest of audience in the same. Nishikant has done this job to more than satisfying extent. Nishikant attempts a stunning mix of the real with imaginary, and the result is an unpredictable cinematic artichoke that takes you by surprise at every turn the movie takes.
CONCLUSION :: Drishyam is undoubtedly cladded with exceptional story telling combined with bravura performances. An exceptional film as far as the content is concerned, the movie is a must watch for all the audience who love to watch family and thriller movies.
Follow me on twitter at https://twitter.com/smgr105