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Film review: Drishyam has a gripping plot and plenty of twists

The successful Malayalam movie Drishyam has been remade in Hindi.
Ajay Devgn in the Hindi movie Drishyam. Courtesy Panorama Studios
Ajay Devgn in the Hindi movie Drishyam. Courtesy Panorama Studios

Drishyam Directed by: Nishikant Kamat Starring: Ajay Devgn, Tabu, Rajat Kapoor, Shriya Saran Three stars

Drishyam is the Hindi remake of the successful Malayalam film of the same name. The success of the original meant that the remake was highly anticipated. However, the Bollywood version fails to live up to the legacy of its South Indian cousin.

The film’s plot revolves around Vijay Salgaonkar (Ajay Devgn), an uneducated but self-made man running a small cable-TV business, and his wife, Nandini (Shriya Saran). The couple live with their two daughters in a small Goan town. That Vijay is an avid film buff is established early on.

Their lives are turned upside down when Vijay’s elder daughter accidently kills a boy – the son of the Inspector General of Goa Police, Meera Deshmukh, (Tabu) who was harassing and blackmailing her.

As Meera investigates the Salgaonkars in the hope of finding her son, Vijay spins a web of convincing lies and cover-ups to keep the police at bay. In doing so, his inspirations and ideas come from the countless movies he has seen.

Both Vijay and Meera are willing to go to any length for their families and are staunchly unapologetic for their actions, however unlawful they may seem. During their cat-and-mouse game, broader social issues, such as police brutality, are also touched upon, with Meera blurring the line between right and wrong, lawful and unlawful, in her quest to find her son.

The film has a gripping plot with plenty of twists, as Vijay tries to stay one step ahead of the cops.

Tabu, in her first role since winning last year’s Filmfare Award for the Best Supporting Actress in the film Haider, again delivers a strong performance, portraying with great finesse a ruthless cop who is also emotionally distraught at the loss of her son.

Devgn, however, is a little unconvincing as the wily yet devoted family man. Rajat Kapoor, playing Meera’s businessman husband, does well with his small but important role of a father pining for his lost son.

The film’s script has its problems – the overall pace seems laborious and slack for a murder-thriller, especially during the first half.

Further, it seems odd that the plot focuses only on the police trying to convict Salgaonkar and his family, rather than making any effort to look for the missing boy.

A tighter edit with crisper dialogue would have served the film much better.

The tag line for the movie says that “Visual can be deceptive”.

After watching Drishyam, the audience might be left wondering if remakes can be equally deceptive.

Updated: August 1, 2015 04:00 AM

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