Drishyam 2 is watchable, but it fails to live up to its predecessor's legacy with its lousy plot and ineffective mystery.
Drishyam was a successful film full of gripping and entertaining mysteries. Its successor Drishyam 2, however, fails to keep up the legacy. For the uninitiated, the abovementioned films are remakes of Malayali films by the same respective names. In Drishyam, Vijay Salgaonkar (Ajay Devgn), a humble cable operator from Goa, protects his family after his daughter Anju (Ishita Dutta) unintentionally murders Inspector General Meera Deshmukh's (Tabu) son Sam, who harasses her for sexual favors. In Drishyam 2, Vijay again tries to protect his family seven years later as the case comes back to haunt his family.
Vijay is richer now; he even owns a theatre. However, the case continues to trouble his family. There are rumors that Vijay killed Sam because he found Sam and Anju in a compromising position. Anju, meanwhile, suffers from epilepsy which worsens with stress. While the case seemed to be closed in Drishyam, Deshmukh has not yet forgiven the Salgaonkars and continues her search for Sam's body with the help of the new IG, Tarun Ahlawat (Akshaye Khanna). The film uses the first half only to establish this setup. Then it quickly brings the compelling twist but resolves it rather plainly. With Vijay outsmarting the police earlier so cleverly, I expected more in the sequel. However, the mystery here doesn't make you bite your nails in anticipation; it only brings about a frown.
The film lies mostly on the shoulders of Devgn, who plays his role convincingly as the humble but smart Vijay. Shriya Saran's role as Vijay's wife Nandini is limited to being permanently anxious; she never breathes. Tabu also has very limited screen time. The trailer convinced us that Khanna is a powerful part of the film. However, he comes across as just another arrogant villain. "Sanki hai par genius hai," they say about him. Nothing about his character is genius, though. He plays chess with himself, and his deductions are as vague as having a jasmine plant denote that someone suffers from stress. His dialogues, too, sound like they came out of a '70s movie. For instance "Film shuru woh karega, lekin uski ending hum dekhenge" and "Mera waqt bahut keemti hai. Isliye kuch bhi karna par mera waqt barbad mat karna." He acts intimidating, speaking every dialogue slowly in a deep voice with a frown on his face. However, his poorly written character drags him down. Even the humor is ineffective with dialogues like, "Main apni biwi ka birthday bhool sakta hu, par 2 aur 3 October ko nahi bhool sakta." In fact, the dialogue, music, and acting try very hard but fail to generate tension.
For a mystery that has sexual harassment at its core, the misogyny surely doesn't go unnoticed. Vijay saves his family, whereas Nandini is forever anxious. Even though they never talk about the case, she foolishly confides in her neighbor. The father and daughters together laugh at the "always negative" Nandini for not understanding English. On the other hand, while Deshmukh lost her son, she mostly takes a back seat while Ahlawat acts mightier and sharper and as if his son was killed.
Drishyam 2 is watchable, but not without making you zone out. Drishyam deserved a better sequel, and the skilful cast deserved better direction and plot.
Drishyam 2 is currently running in theatres.