Drishyam: Movie review; Director: Nishikant Kamat; Cast: Ajay Devgan, Tabu, Shriya Saran, Ishita Dutta, Rajat Kapoor
How far would an individual go to bury the past to save his near and dear ones from the arm of the law? Drishyam, Ajay Devgn’s sole release of 2015, answers that question in the form of a far-fetched but intriguing drama about an ordinary family man who resorts to means fair and foul to cover the tracks when an unexpected turn of events threatens to destroy his little idyll.
This 163-minute Hindi film, directed by Nishikant Kamat, is the fourth remake in two years of the runaway Malayalam hit Drishyam. It does not bring anything of note to the table that can be considered an authentic addition to the tale.
For those that have seen the story unfold on the screen before in any of its previous adaptations, it might not, therefore, offer much to write home about. But moviegoers that haven’t not an insignificant number, one reckons might find enough in this gripping thriller to hold their attention.
The placid life of Vijay Salgaonkar (Ajay Devgn), a school dropout who runs a cable TV business in Goa, goes belly up on account of a tragic incident involving his elder daughter (debutante Ishita Dutta) and his wife (Shriya Saran).
The only way Vijay can keep his family of four, which includes younger daughter (Mrunal Jadhav), out of trouble is by creating a web of lies to deflect the unwanted attention of the local police, led by Meera Deshmukh (Tabu), Goa’s no-nonsense Inspector-General.
Vijay also has to contend with a particularly vicious sub-inspector, who is convinced that the Salgaonkar family is up to no good. This corrupt man in khaki will go to any length to prove his suspicion.
Drishyam is an overlong film, and parts of it feel a tad too stretched, especially if you are already privy to how story will pan out.
But the beauty of its Goan setting, accentuated by Avinash Arun’s steady camerawork, and the consistent quality of the performances by the key members of the cast ensure that it is never less than watchable.
Drishyam is a suspense drama with a marked difference. The thrills stem from the desperation of the Salgaonkars to guard their dark secret at all cost. The audience knows what exactly the hero and his family are up against; it is how they labour to wriggle out of the tight corner that is the sole point of interest.
Ajay Devgn gives the pivotal character his very best shot. Playing a part that obviates the need for any form of physical heroism, he delivers an effectively restrained star turn.
The fine actress that she is, Tabu rises above the overtly flashy nature of the persona that she is called upon to project.
She gets the emotional nuances right that is the least one expects from her but is rather ill served by the unconvincing characterisation.
Drishyam is riveting fare. Watch it for the performances and the twists and turns that flow thick and fast once the drama gathers momentum halfway into the first half.