Starring: Ajay Devgn, Tabu, Akshaye Khanna, Shriya Saran, Ishita Dutta, Mrunal Yadav, Rajat Kapoor, Kamlesh Sawant
Director: Abhishek Pathak
The sequel of the 2015 superhit Tamil film, Mohanlal starrer ‘Drishyam 2’ achieved something very unique. It created history by being one of the rare breeds of sequels that surpasses its original. Additionally, the Ajay Devgn starrer Hindi version of ‘Drishyam’ only heightened our expectations for this 2022 Hindi comeback. But despite retaining outstanding storyteller Jeethu Joseph as its scriptwriter, Abhishek Pathak's ‘Drishyam 2’ felt like a delicious but saltless curry.
‘Drishyam 2’ rides on the plot of its prequel and gives ample references right from the beginning. 4th class fail middle-class cable operator who is obsessed with Bollywood films, Vijay Salgaonkar (Ajay Devgn) lives in Goa with his wife Nandini (Shriya Saran) and daughters Anju (Ishita Dutta) and Annu (Mrunal Jadhav). After Nandini and Anju accidentally killed a young boy, Sam, who was blackmailing Anju, Vijay had to come up with new ideas every other day to save his family. Unfortunately, Sam turned out to be the only son of Goa IG Meera Deshmukh (Tabu). And thus, the force took particular note of this crime. Drishyam ends with Vijay's wit winning the day and the case being unresolved and closed. However, though not legally, the truth of Sam's death doesn't stay obscure for Sam's parents Mira and Mahesh Deshmukh (Rajat Kapoor).
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The sequel introduces us to a middle-aged middle-class Vijay Salgaonkar, after a gap of 7 years, who has now put on weight and owns a theatre. He also aspires to produce a film and even has the script ready. Both his daughters are now grown up, although the past still haunts Anju.
Surprisingly, however, wife Nandini hasn't changed a bit, either in her looks or in her wide-eyed mannerisms, and couldn't portray effectively what little the script had offered to her. For Anu and Anju, nothing can be said as they have very little to do in this film. The saddest part of the film is that even a powerhouse actor like Tabu appeared as an afterthought, a cameo. Kamlesh Sawant perfectly reprised his character of the ruthless and corrupt police Inspector Gaitonde, generating as much audience hate as was needed.
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The only new character in the sequel is the new cool IG in town, Tarun Ahlawat (Akshaye Khanna), who could have lent the much-required freshness and excitement in the film, but failed miserably. Just like in 'Mom', his character of a top cop had very little to perform in the script.
In fact, in ‘Drishyam 2’, Khanna's character borderlines caricature of a top brass. He was introduced in the film as extraordinarily brainy and smart, who can simultaneously play mental chess on both sides. But in the end, one would ask what he gained with all that brain. Also, throughout the film, his stoic facial expressions only reveal some urgency of pressure, if anything, and ended up playing cheap tricks of threatening the suspects to get to the truth.
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After a relatively slow start, the film only picks up in the second half because of the dummy-proof script. Hence it is evident that, apart from the script, a lot was riding on Devgn's shoulder alone, and thankfully he did not disappoint.
To find out how Vijay has been finally trapped in a water-tight case by the police, and even then how he escapes scot-free once again, one has to meander through the several plot twists within twists, which I can assure you won't be a boring ride altogether.