Sunday 23 Nov, 2014

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Drishyam Review
3.5 stars - based on 5 reviews

Thanks Jeethu Joseph for proving me wrong!!!

For quite some time I had this feeling that films like ‘Kireedom’ won’t happen again in Malayalam. I felt, rather cynically, that the sensibilities of film-viewers in Kerala have faltered so irreparably that good, author-backed films won’t happen as in the times of Lohithadas, Padmarajan etc. I felt that filmmakers won’t any longer dare to do films like those made by the Sibi Malayil-Lohithadas team or the Bharathan-Padmarajan team, simply because such films won’t work. I would even share such views with friends and others with whom I’d discuss cinema. ‘Drishyam’ proves me wrong...thankfully!!

‘Drishyam’ is about Georgekutty (Mohanlal) and his family and how they fight out a battle, for survival in a very different, but determined manner. Georgekutty, his wife Rani (Meena) and their two daughters lead a rather happy life, though they have their own issues, mostly financial. Georgekutty, who could study only up to fourth standard, had done all kinds of jobs and now runs a local cable network to support his family. Being an orphan, Rani’s parents are for him like his own parents and his relation with Rani’s brother is like that of a brother. Then one day, in the form of Varun (Roshan Basheer), catastrophe strikes... Sorry I wouldn’t divulge more, better watch the film and find it out...

Unpredictability is definitely one element that keeps you glued to your seats as you watch ‘Drishyam’. At half-time, Deepu, my former student and an entrepreneur who now owns and runs a flower shop, who was sitting beside me, exclaimed- “Hey, we know what’s going to happen now!”. But no, it was going to be different. By the time the film almost ended, Mohanlal fans were standing up and applauding. They were happy, extremely happy. Those guys whom I had found shocked after the first screening of ‘Geethanjali’ were not just happy, they were impressed as well. The care with which the script is done, the finesse with which the direction part is executed and the characterization and performance plus the thoughtful placing of the songs makes ‘Drishyam’ worth real appreciation. That the film has almost zero-‘filmy’ humour is also worth noting.

It’s the logical manner in which the story unfolds (having seen so many films, you won’t ever expect it to have the kind of ending it has) and the very convincing manner in which the characters behave makes it impressive. The other important factor is that the hero doesn’t have a ‘larger than life’ image. He is just one among us, striving to make both ends meet and at the same time so concerned about his family, which is his world. It has been a long long time since we had Mohanlal playing such a character, so real and so down-to-earth. No, it’s not the do-gooder kind of character that he did in ‘Balettan’ and neither is it the self-effacing kind that we have had in ‘Bharatham’. Georgekutty is selfish, like any one of us; selfish because he thinks more about himself and his family is and for that he even decides to stop thinking of what is right and what is wrong... He just knows one thing- his family shouldn’t be victimised. But of course that doesn’t mean he is blind to the woes of others. He is of course sympathetic, but his obligations are focussed more on his family, whom he is forced to protect, at all costs...

Well, I wouldn’t want to go on and on...Let the film speak for itself. I’d just say that Jeethu Joseph has proved that new generation or old, it’s the script on which the whole edifice of a film rests and if the script is well-written and if the direction part is handled well, more than half the battle is won, for any movie.

‘Drishyam’ is also a treat for all die-hard fans of Mohanlal, who has put in a real good performance. Just go and watch the film, I am sure there’s going to be no two opinions about this film. It’s a good film, yes simply good indeed!!

Performance 

Mohanlal has put in a real good performance, as Georgekutty. I feel it’s high time he stopped doing all those commercial, masala stuff and focussed only on such, author-backed roles. Good work indeed. Well, the other actor worth mentioning in ‘Drishyam’ is Kalabhavan Shajon. Shajon, who has been emerging as another comedian, does a totally different role here and in fact lives his role. Good work, you have miles to go. It’s good to see Meena after a gap. She has played her part convincingly well. Asha Sharath is impressive while Siddique is his usual self and of course good too. It’s undoubtedly Asha Sharath’s best performance till date. The others in the cast- Roshan Basheer, Irshad, P Sreekumar etc- do justice to their respective characters.

Technical aspects                                                                                             

Sujith Vassudev has made the film visually appealing, thanks to his excellent camerawork. Editor Ayoob Khan and art-director Saburam also lend able support to Jeethu.

Music

Background score, by Anil Johnson is good. The two songs are placed perfectly well and don’t in any way mar the flow of the film. Well, I believe that’s important since we’ve been seeing of late films where songs are put in just for the sake of songs and go on hampering the flow.

Script

Hey, this is the key area where ‘Drishyam’ scores the most. Just as in ‘Memories’, his last film, Jeethu Joseph takes perfect care of the script and handles it deftly. Kudos! Jeethu has proved that script is what makes a film perfect...

Direction

Jeethu Joseph is very much in control as the director. He knows he is handling something delicate, as writer and director. On the one hand he is to bring out the best in Mohanlal, the talented actor and on the other he has to appease Mohanlal’s innumerable fans, but without disturbing the structural cohesiveness of the plot. It was sort of tight-rope walking and he has come out with flying colours. A standing ovation he deserves for ‘Drishyam’....

Verdict- Impressive, no doubt!! Excellent script & direction; superb performances. No doubt a hit...

Rating: 3.5/5

Rivew by : Unni R Nair (Kerala9.com)

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