Drishyam 2: Mohanlal ‘reacts’ with suspense, twists, and brilliant acting in much-awaited sequel
Let me start with a disclaimer.
I have been an unabashed Mohanlal and Malayalam films fan for over three decades now. Being a journalist, I may try hard not to let this cloud my judgement, but do forgive me if some inherent biases creep in.
For, this, Drishyam 2 – The Resumption is not a film review in the strict sense of the term, but of the craft and the almost-perfect sequel Mohan Lal and director Jeethu Joseph have pulled off.
At the end of Drishyam, we thought Georgekutty had pulled off the perfect cover-up of a murder. Then why, you wonder, was there a need for a sequel?
Drishyam 2 slowly wakes you up to reality. Six years after the incident, the family has climbed up in life – Georgekutty is now a successful businessman (or what the village thinks so), with a theatre, a swanky car, refurbished house, and the younger daughter in a fancy convent school.
But the ghost of the past still lurks – his wife Rani (Meena) is jittery and fidgety as ever; his older daughter, Anju, has psychological issues, is subdued and keeps to herself; and the younger one, Anumol, is busy with her new school and constantly sparring with her nagging mother.
No, the family has not moved on, not even a bit, and while Georgekutty forbids them from talking about what happened, it remains in the air, enveloping them in untold fear as they go about their daily lives.
People around the family have changed too – as time has passed by, tongues have loosened, they are now more confident about their theories of what happened. Rumours threaten to disrupt the family’s peace and Rani worries over Anju’s marriage and the loans Georgekutty has taken on.
The background music sifts between low and brooding to edge-of-the-seat excitement as the first half lags on, building up the characters, introducing the family’s neighbours and the attempts of the police to unravel the mystery.
The character of Varun Prabhakar, the boy who was murdered and whose body is missing looms large, and his parents make an appearance once again, the mother fiercely determined to avenge her son’s death. Murali Gopy is intelligent and convincing as the police officer who is determined to dig into the cold case of his colleague’s son.
For a while, you’d think the film is meandering with a number of innocuous characters and details thrown in – like Georgekutty’s meetings with the scriptwriter (Saikumar) for a film that’s been three years in discussions or a man he has drinks with regularly.
In one scene, after the family has been brutally questioned and bullied by the grieving mother, you are led to believe Georgekutty has finally given in. The director pulls off the biggest twist here, intertwining all the characters to prove that Georgekutty is still the intelligent man we’ve all come to admire. The last one hour is a brilliant piece of writing with the plot racing in tandem with the viewer’s anticipation as we reach a finish we never thought would happen.
If there is any actor who uses his eyes to convey a wide range of emotions, it’s Mohanlal. Love, disbelief, courage, determination, protectiveness and finally understanding – he portrays them all with panache. As the actor told me once during an interview, “I don’t act. I only react.” It’s these reactions along with a powerful screenplay and some brilliant acting that makes this sequel powerful, intimidating, and mind-numbing, all at the same time.
At the end of the film, you can’t help but feel sorry for both Georgekutty and Varun’s parents. But along with the sympathy, there’s also a sense of acknowledgement and pride – for a man who’d go to any lengths to protect his family.
(Drishyam 2 is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video)
Edited by Teja Lele Desai