Drishyam 2 (2022) Review!!

Synopsis – A gripping tale of an investigation and a family which is threatened by it. Will Vijay Salgaonkar be able to protect his family this time?

My Take – Released in 2015, the late Nishkant Kamat directed Drishyam, the official Hindi remake of Malayalam film Drishyam (2013) starring Mohanlal, was not just a box office success in India but also a cultural phenomenon that saw instances of the screenplay such as the dates October 2nd and 3rd becoming national memes for a wide section of the audience.

Taking over directorial duties this time around, Abhishek Pathak (Ujda Chaman) and co-writer Aamil Keeyan Khan had a massive task ahead of them when adapting the sequel’s script to the level of last year’s Drishyam 2, which as one would have expected also found widespread critical acclaim for its performances, thundering climax and filmmaker Jeetu Joseph‘s electrifying screenplay.

Thankfully, with an excellent story already in hand, the duo manage to deliver a sequel that thoroughly keep one engaged as a solid, smartly structured suspense-drama, with enough surprises, throughout. They deftly weave in multiple threads, leading to a stellar climax packed with numerous twists that are as good as its predecessor. While the first one undoubtedly had a certain novelty to it, the sequel stands strong too, it intrigues and entertains.

Sure, the Hindi version has nothing novel to offer to those who have seen the Malayalam version. But for those who haven’t seen it, backed by yet another powerful Ajay Devgn performance, the film provides several thrilling moments and a very engaging time at the cinemas as the story of the Salgaokar family continues to prevail.

Taking place seven years after the events of the first film, the story once again follows Vijay Salgaonkar (Ajay Devgn), who along with this wife Nandini (Shriya Saran), and two daughters, Anju (Ishita Dutta) and Anu (Mrunal Jadhav) are still reeling through the events of the past and struggling to move on. Though Vijay has busied himself in the management of his recently opened theater, at home, Nandini seems to be always on guard while Anju suffers from episodes of epilepsy, with a haunting sense of fear never leaving the residence.

Meanwhile, former IG Meera Deshmukh (Tabu) and her husband Mahesh (Rajat Kapoor) continue to desperately search for closure, with Meera especially driven to punish the Salgaonkar family for the loss of their son. In order to do so Meera employs the help of her old friend Tarun Ahlawat (Akshaye Khanna), the new IG of Goa, who is determined to nab Vijay at any cost. And when a witness to the almost-perfect crime finally turns up, it gives the police impetus and ammo to revisit the Sameer Deshmukh missing-case investigation so many years later.

Following a similar pattern like the first, here director Abhishek Pathak takes things slowly in the first half. The family’s dread and anxiety are palpable as he gradually builds the tension in the narrative. The series of events infuses life to the film and will keep you guessing with what-will-happen-next scenes. Filmmaker Jeethu Joseph, who wrote and directed the Malayalam original, gets full credit for the intriguing story.

Loaded with ingredients of a commercial potboiler from the dialogues to the subtly placed humor the film doesn’t disappoint at any corner. In terms of the plot, this film is more implausible than the first one. Vijay is shown to be more cunning and foresighted than ever before. He’s thought of all the various possibilities that can occur in the coming years and has a solution for each one of them.

While it all looks good on screen, life, as we know, is too random for anyone to actually prepare for every contingency. Anything and everything can go wrong at any given moment but here, all of Vijay’s plans fructify successfully. It’s something which is hard to stomach for sure. Each track opens a new can of worms and justifies the story and the equally captivating screenplay. While the first half does have some slow patches, the second half picks up pace and the last 30 minutes will make one cheer due to its spine-chilling climax and unpredictable twists and turns.

Without a doubt, the film rests squarely on Ajay Devgn’s able shoulders. He shines as a protective father who loves his family unconditionally; he is a simple man with a razor-sharp mind. Here, Devgn never strays off character and his sincere performance stays with you from the first frame to the last. He infuses his character with so much conviction that you’re willing to forget the implausible happenings on screen.

Akshaye Khanna makes an impressive comeback on the big screen. Despite playing a cop in in films like Mom (2017) and Ittefaq (2017), he brings his own set of gravitas to the gripping proceedings.

Tabu is outstanding as always, while Shriya Saran, Ishita Dutta, and Mrunal Jadhav seem well settled in their roles, though they lesser importance this time around. In other roles, Rajat Kapoor, Kamlesh Sawant and Saurabh Shukla are effective. On the whole, ‘Drishyam 2’ is a highly effective sequel which ups the stakes and delivers with skillful writing, brilliant performances and an astounding climax.

Directed –

Starring – Ajay Devgn, Shriya Saran, Tabu

Rated – PG13

Run Time – 140 minutes

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