REVIEW: DRISHYAM


REVIEW: DRISHYAM
DRISHYAM was first made in Malayalam in 2013, remade in Telugu as DRUSHYAM and in Kannada as DRUSHYA in 2014 and remade in Tamil as PAPANASAM a few months back and last week the Hindi remake was released as DRiSHYAM. I have seen all the versions barring the Kannada version, and watched them all without getting bored. And my being a movie buff has nothing at all to do with this! If there is one person who has to be credited with this outstanding achievement, that credit must surely go to the Malayalam screen director Jeetu Joseph, who has written the story and directed the Malayalam production (and also PAPANASAM) which has inspired all these versions. But so taut was the original Malayalam production that if anyone could have done justice to remade versions, it could have been only Jeetu Joseph himself. The producers of the Tamil version perhaps realized this and hence assigned the direction to Jeetu Joseph. Although Mohanlal’s acting in the Malayalam original was world class, Kamal Hassan’s portrayal of the lead character showed how he could better a world class performance.
DRISHYAM is not a Hindi word; the correct word is DRUSHYA. I wonder why the producers chose this name for the Hindi remake, but we have had several English names for Hindi movies: so why not a Sanskrit name? But let’s leave the name and explore what lies beneath. This story is so powerful that despite it being a murder mystery and the audience knowing who the killer is, the writer veers the story line cleverly to draw us into a nail biting suspense drama: will the killer be found out or not? Nishikant Kamat, the director of the Hindi DRISHYAM tries to stay close to the original with adaptation to suit Bollywood, and succeeds to a fair extent. Ajay Devgn’s performance is good, but comes nowhere near Mohanlal’s or Kamal Hassan’s stellar acting. Small things tend to distract and Ajay Devgn’s and Shriya Saran’s (Shriya plays Ajay’s wife) dresses don’t really add to creating the characters. Ajay has nicely ironed shirts all the time and Shriya’s sarees do not suit the role which she is supposed to play. Watch Meena in the Malayalam and Telugu versions to get what I mean. The same goes for her performance: Shriya is a real disappointment. Two characters perform outstandingly in the Hindi version, Tabu playing the IG of Police and the local cop Gaitonde, played by Kamlesh Sawant.
DRISHYAM (Hindi) is a must watch; it comes close to the thriller KAHAANI doled out by Sujoy Ghosh. Sujoy Ghosh reminds me of a controversy associated with this movie after the Malayalam original was declared a hit. Sujoy was signed up by Balaji Pictures for a Hindi remake of what was construed to be the real original of even the Malayalam DRISHYAM. Balaji Pictures took the matter to court saying that they had paid and secured the rights for the filming of a Japanese novel THE DEVOTION OF SUSPECT X written by Keigo Higashino in 2005 and which was made into a Korean movie PERFECT NUMBER in 2012. The matter has now been settled, since Jeetu Joseph had said that the theme of someone going all out to protect a killer was indeed common, but the rest of the story is different! I can’t really comment on that, not having read the Japanese novel.
But don’t let this distract you: just watch it!
RATING: 4 out of 5 (the Tamil version PAPANASAM scores 4.5 out of 5)
August 1st 2015

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About Vijay from Muscat

A cheerful person who loves watching and reviewing movies and indulges in random writings!
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