When Drishyam was released, it set the bar for thrillers in the Indian film industry. And that shows in the fact that even seven years after its release, the audience remembers the timeline Vijay Salgaonkar created to protect his family from the police. So, it is no surprise that Drishyam 2 has opened to super high expectations and packed halls. But does it live up to the hype?
Directed by Abhishek Pathak, Drishyam 2 introduces Akshaye Khanna (IG Tarun Ahlawat) and Saurabh Shukla (writer Murad Ali) as new characters to join the original cast.
More trouble for the Salgaonkars
Drishyam 2 begins with a story that’s running parallel to the main one. While Vijay is busy burying Sam’s body, David, a murderer on the run from the cops, sees the protagonist leaving the under-construction police station. Vijay, of course, doesn’t know about this witness and David doesn’t know what Vijay was burying. David is sent to jail for seven years for murder and is never a part of the initial investigation.
Cut to 2021, Vijay now owns a movie theatre and is planning to produce his first film. The family is now living in a much bigger house in the same location, but beneath the happy, carefree facade, they are still haunted by the killing. Anju, the elder daughter played by Ishita Dutta, also suffers from seizures as a result of the trauma.
Meanwhile, the Deshmukhs, portrayed by Tabu and Rajat Kapoor, return to Goa and Meera Deshmukh vows to catch Vijay Salgaonkar this time. She is aided by her friend, the current IG of Goa police, Tarun Ahlawat (Akshaye Khanna), and the notorious Gaitonde who is brought out of suspension for this case. Together, Tarun and Meera devise a deceitful, long-running plan to ensnare Vijay. And then begins the actual story of Drishyam 2.
Money, manipulation, and loopholes
Do you remember how Drishyam left us talking about the various angles of the film long after watching it? Drishyam 2 does that too but falls a little short. A slow, mediocre first half leads up to a rushed second half full of loopholes. However, when the story picks up, it picks up really well. Drishyam 2 leaves the audience gasping and shrieking with delight at the intelligent twists and turns, but it doesn’t do that for long enough. As soon as the film reaches the peak of intrigue and suspense about what comes next, it ends.
There is a lot of room for Vijay’s plan to go awry in Drishyam 2. In fact, it seems impossible for it to not fall apart at every second point. But unlike the first film which was all about his genius mind at work, Drishyam 2 relies heavily on the power of money and manipulation. We already know the big secret he’s hiding, so it takes a while for Drishyam 2 to hook the audience, unlike its prequel.
Ajay Devgn is expectedly the same in the sequel–surly, expressionless, and deep in thought. And similar to the impact of Vijay in Drishyam, you know a big twist is coming when Ajay Devgn takes centre stage. If you enjoyed his portrayal in the first Drishyam, you will enjoy it once more in this film. However, the other characters have suffered in his shadow.
Shriya Saran, as Nandini Salgaonkar, is constantly in panic mode throughout the film. There is no change in her expression at all. Some thought in developing this character could have gone a long way for the story and been a pleasant surprise for an audience with high expectations.
Akshaye Khanna, as IG Tarun Ahlawat, is unmemorable. After all, it’s difficult to match the terror that Tabu’s Meera Deshmukh brought to Drishyam. He tries, but it doesn’t work. So, of course, we thought Meera would return with a vengeance. Tabu’s character starts with the promise of an exciting conflict between her and the Salgaonkars. But the thrill falls flat as Meera doesn’t really do much in Drishyam 2.
If we write any more about the film at this point, we would risk giving spoilers. So, we won’t do that. Go with patience to enjoy the smart twists and turns of this film. And a bit of naivete for the rest of it. Drishyam 2 is out now in theatres across the country.
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