Drishyam 2

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Drishyam 2
Drishyam 2.jpg
Promotional poster
Directed byJeethu Joseph
Written byJeethu Joseph
Produced byAntony Perumbavoor
StarringMohanlal
Meena
Ansiba Hassan
Esther Anil
CinematographySatheesh Kurup
Edited byV. S. Vinayak
Music byAnil Johnson
Production
company
Distributed byAmazon Prime Video
Release date
  • 19 February 2021 (2021-02-19)
Running time
153 minutes[1]
CountryIndia
LanguageMalayalam

Drishyam 2: The Resumption, or simply Drishyam 2, is a 2021 Indian Malayalam-language crime drama thriller film written and directed by Jeethu Joseph and produced by Antony Perumbavoor through the company Aashirvad Cinemas.[2] A sequel to their 2013 film Drishyam, the film stars Mohanlal, Meena, Ansiba Hassan, Esther Anil. The story takes place six years after the events of Drishyam.[3]

Jeethu wrote the script for Drishyam 2 when the production works of his another film Ram, got interrupted due to COVID-19 pandemic. After a formal announcement made on Mohanlal's 60th birthday, 21 May 2020,[3] the principal photography began on 21 September and concluded on 6 November 2020, while adhering to safety precautions set for preventing the spread of COVID-19. The film was shot extensively for 46 days in and around Thodupuzha in the same locations as Drishyam, and some scenes in Kochi. Anil Johnson composed the songs and score. Satheesh Kurup handled the cinematography and V. S. Vinayak edited the film.

Originally, the makers planned for a theatrical release, the producers later opted to release the film through the streaming service Amazon Prime Video. The film was released worldwide on 19 February 2021 to widespread critical acclaim, praising the narration style and performances, especially of Mohanlal.[4][5][6] The film is being remade in Telugu as Drushyam 2 under the direction of Joseph

Plot[edit]

On the night of 3 August 2013, a convict (Jose George) is on the run from the authorities for the murder of his brother-in-law. Hiding behind the unfinished building of a police station, he sees Georgekutty emerging from it. Afterwards, he attempts to apologize to his wife but is arrested by the police.

Six years later, Georgekutty, Rani, Anju and Anu lead an affluent life. Georgekutty, now the owner of a movie theatre, yearns to produce a film of his own, despite his family's strong reservations. He is in constant contact with Vinayachandran - a renowned screenwriter, with whom the former seeks to develop the screenplay of the future movie. Although the family is comfortable, Anju has recurring episodes of epilepsy, and is now a PTSD patient - a direct consequence of her fears of being arrested, on account of her complicity in the murder of Varun Prabhakar. Jealous of the family's meteoric rise in wealth, Georgekutty's neighbours have resorted to spreading rumours about Anju having "venereal connections" with Varun - much to Rani's distress. Rani's only source of solace is her friendly neighbour Saritha - a government clerk, who is often abused by her alcoholic husband, Sabu - a real estate broker.

Kerala Police has been humiliated in their inability to decipher the truth behind Varun's case. Meanwhile, Georgekutty has an encounter with Prabhakar - Varun's father, who vainly begs the former to disclose the location of his son's remains. Meanwhile, Anu comes home for spring break and invites her friends for a house party, despite Rani's objections. With Georgekutty remaining aloof to her concerns, Rani spends more time with Saritha, and on one occasion, inadvertently blurts on the truth about her family's complicity in Varun's death. Unbeknownst to her, Saritha and Sabu are actually police agents, assigned by IG Thomas Bastin, who is a friend and colleague of Geetha.

Meanwhile, Jose is released from prison. After struggling to make amends with his now-estranged family, he seeks to find employment. While knowing that Georgekutty’s case is still going on, he recollects Georgekutty's presence in the police station which was under construction. Realizing that Georgekutty was indeed complicit in the murder, he tips Bastin - who later summons Geetha and Prabhakar from the U.S.. After the trio bribes him with a sum of Rs.5,00,000, Jose reveals Georgekutty's presence at the then-unfinished police station on the night of August 3. Armed with Jose's revelations, the authorities raid the police station, eventually unearthing a human skeleton. Concurrently, Georgekutty, having noticed the events through his CCTV cameras (which he had set up around the police station), seemingly gives up.

Armed with the discovery of the human remains, Bastin, Geetha, and Prabhakar summons Georgekutty's family for an informal investigation. Georgekutty, Rani, Anu and Anju manage to maintain their alibi. However, Geetha reveals a voice-recording of Rani's earlier confession to Saritha; the police had bugged the family residence earlier. Having exposed the family, Geetha turns to question Anju, resulting in the latter having another epileptic fit. Distraught, Georgekutty gives in, and falsely confesses that he was the culprit in Varun's murder. With the police satisfied, the family is released, although Bastin plots to arrest Georgekutty later. Having been let go for the current period, the family muses on their supposedly bleak future.

Later, the police formally arrest Georgekutty and place him on trial for Varun's murder. Concurrently, Vinayachandaran, having learnt about Georgekutty's arrest, pays a visit to Bastin, Geetha and Prabhakar. He reveals that during his business collusions with Georgekutty, the latter had fabricated a script for a future crime-thriller, loosely based on Varun's murder. He further reveals that Georgekutty had published a novel, titled Drishyam, based on the film script (although it was published under Vinayachandran's name, for copyright protection). The quartet is then informed that Georgekutty had officially pleaded not guilty, with his legal defence submitting that he had been framed by the authorities, which had "misused" Drishyam's plot a way to incriminate him. Realizing that Georgekutty's earlier confession matches with Drishyam's plot, Bastin deduces that Georgekutty had created Drishyam and the confession, as a part of a scheme to escape legal punishment. Despite the prosecution's opposition, the DNA tests conducted on the unearthed remains reveals that it mismatches with Varun's DNA, catching the police by surprise.

Stunned, Vinayachandran divulges that Georgekutty had fabricated an alternate climax for his film - in which the hero (Georgekutty), in his bid to evade legal punishment, would procure the remains of another youngster, who had died under similar injuries like that of the villain (Varun), by befriending the gravedigger of the cemetery where the selected youngster had been interred. The hero would keep the body of the youngster with him for 2 years, and befriend a security guard at the morgue under the pretext of offering him a chance in the film industry. One night after sharing drinks with the security guard, the hero would switch the body in the morgue, just before the day the DNA analysis is to be performed.

With no evidence to prove his culpability, Georgekutty is released on personal bail. Later, the judge calls Bastin to his chambers and tells him to stop Varun’s case as unsolved cases are not new in the system.

Vinayachandran discloses that Georgekutty's alternate climax had a tail end as well - the hero would discreetly transfer the villain's remains to his bereaved parents. Simultaneously, Georgekutty has Varun's cremated skeleton remains anonymously handed over to Geetha and Prabhakar.

As Varun's father immerses his son's ashes into the river, Bastin convinces Geetha to let go of her enmity towards Georgekutty, concluding that they will never succeed in punishing him. Bastin states that Georgekutty's life is his punishment - the latter must constantly endeavour in his efforts to protect his family from the ever-watchful eye of the authorities. Meanwhile, Georgekutty, who was watching the trio from afar, solemnly leaves.

Cast[edit]

  • Mohanlal as Georgekutty – A movie theatre owner and aspiring film producer; Rani's husband; Anju and Anu's father
  • Meena as Rani George – Georgekutty's wife; Anju and Anu's mother; a housewife
  • Ansiba Hassan as Anju George – Georgekutty and Rani's college-going elder daughter; a PTSD patient
  • Esther Anil as Anu George – Georgekutty and Rani's school-going younger daughter
  • Murali Gopy as Thomas Bastin IPS - Inspector General of Police; Geetha’ friend
  • Asha Sarath as Geetha Prabhakar - Varun’s mother; former Inspector General of Police
  • Siddique as Prabhakar – Varun's father; Geetha's husband
  • Saikumar as Vinayachandran – A screenwriter
  • K. B. Ganesh Kumar as Philipp Mathew - Circle Inspector of Police; member of Bastin’s Investigation Team
  • Anjali Nair as Saritha – Georgekutty's neighbor-Sabu's wife;an undercover cop; member of Bastin’s Investigation Team
  • Sumesh Chandran as Sabu – Georgekutty's neighbor-Saritha's husband;an undercover cop; member of Bastin’s Investigation Team
  • Ajith Koothattukulam as Jose George – An ex-convict sentenced for homicide
  • Santhipriya as Advocate Renuka - a defense lawyer appearing for Georgekutty
  • Dinesh Prabhakar as Rajan – Kottayam Medical College's Forensic Medicine block security whom Georgekutty befriends with him
  • Antony Perumbavoor as Antony Joseph – Sub Inspector of Police
  • Kozhikode Narayanan Nair as Sulaiman – A tea shop owner who is a sympathiser of Georgekutty
  • Mela Raghu as Raghu - Sulaiman’s assistant in his tea shop
  • Adam Ayub as Judge of District Court, Thodupuzha
  • Krishna as Police Forensic Surgeon
  • Joy Mathew as Advocate Janardhanan – The public prosecutor appearing for police
  • Boban Samuel as DySP Raghuram
  • Rajesh Paravoor as Tehsildar
  • Krishna Praba as Mary – Jose's wife
  • Pauly Valsan as Jose's mother
  • Renjini as Dr. Renjini P. Dev – Anju's doctor
  • Murali Kannur as DGP V. Jayakrishnan IPS
  • Shobha Mohan as Rani's mother
  • Aneesh G. Menon as Rajesh, Rani's brother and local politician
  • Jayashankar as Pathrose – A gravedigger whom Georgekutty befriends with him.

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

Jeethu Joseph and Mohanlal were filming for Ram prior to the COVID-19 lockdown in India, however the shooting of the film was stalled as some sequences they want to film in foreign locations, such as London and Cairo. As the crew realised that the filming would take time to continue, Jeethu decided to start the works for Drishyam 2, a sequel to their 2013 film Drishyam which he had plans for some time. As the shooting of the film would only take place in Kerala, Jeethu realised it was most appropriate film to shoot after the lockdown ends.[7] The film was officially announced by Mohanlal on his 60th birthday on 21 May 2020. It was intended to start filming soon after the government allows permission to begin film shootings.[8] Mohanlal said during an interview that he has read the script, and shooting might begin after lockdown.[9] Antony Perumbavoor who produced Drishyam returns as the producer. Jeethu said that it is a direct continuation of the last film and for that he has retained the principal characters along with some new additions in the secondary cast.[10] In the turn of events, Georgekutty and his family now leads an affluent life and Georgekutty has opened a cinema theatre and is also planning to produce a film.[11]

Filming[edit]

Principal photography began on 21 September 2020 in Kochi.[12][13][14] It was conducted adhering to the safety precautions set for preventing COVID-19 spread. Indoor scenes were shot there.[15] Filming was held at Kakkanad, Kochi.[16] It was shifted to Thodupuzha after two weeks.[17] The same house at Vazhithala featured as Georegekutty and family's residence in Drishyam was used as the location for Drishyam 2, reportedly, an 18-day shoot was charted at the house.[18] The house was renovated to reflect Georgekutty's present-day prosperity.[19] Filming was also held at some other houses in Thodupuzha, and was also shot at nearby areas such as Kanjar and Arakkulam.[18]

A set was constructed at Kaipa Kavala in Kudayathoor where Drishyam was filmed.[20] An entire street was erected at the place, including Rajakkadu Police Station, Georgekutty's cable TV shop, and surrounding stores and structures, which was one of the main locations. Rajeev Kovilakathu was the art director. Following the portions at Kaipa Kavala, filming was concluded on 6 November 2020.[21] The entire filming, which was scheduled to last for 56 days was completed in 46 days. Special team was designated to observe the film crew, including the director, were abiding the COVID-19 protocol.[22]

Music[edit]

The songs and the film score were composed by Anil Johnson, with lyrics by Vinayak Sasikumar. The music album consists of only one song titled "Ore Pakal" which was recorded by Zonobia Safar,[23] and was released on 10 February 2021 by Saina Music.[24][25]

Track list
No.TitleMusicSinger(s)Length
1."Ore Pakal"Anil JohnsonZonobia Safar04:33

Marketing and release[edit]

Director Jeethu Joseph stated the plans for a theatrical release on 22 January 2021 before Mohanlal's big-budget film Marakkar: Lion of the Arabian Sea,[26] citing that it is served to be a "litmus test in getting the audience back when theatres reopen".[16] However, as the Kerala Film Chamber (KFC) decided against reopening theatres since they demanded relief package from the government as theatre business took a severe hit following the coronavirus-induced lockdown and full exemption from entertainment tax,[27][28] plans for the theatrical release had interrupted and the team opted for the digital streaming platform Amazon Prime Video to distribute the film.[29] A teaser released on the occasion of New Year's Day, confirmed that it will release in Amazon Prime Video.[30][31][32]

The film's official trailer was supposed to be unveiled on 8 February 2021,[33] however on 6 February (two days before the trailer release),[34] the trailer was leaked online which resulted the team to release the trailer officially on the same day,[35] also announcing the release date of 19 February 2021.[36] However, Drishyam 2 was released worldwide on the midnight of 18 February 2021,[37] and was made available for streaming in over 240 countries.[38][39]

The move for direct-to-digital release of Drishyam 2 met with criticism from theatre owners and distributors, with Liberty Basheer president of Kerala Film Exhibitors Federations, opined that "a prominent actor-like Mohanlal accepting this, is a selfish act" and opined that the film will easily bring "huge audience to movie theatres, being the sequel to one of the most successful films in the last decade".[40] However, few trade analysts and members from the film circuit supported that "it is due to Anthony Perumbavoor's (the film producer) financial constraints. He had paid advance from theatre owners to screen Marakkar: Lion of the Arabian Sea, since it is a huge film and made for theatrical experience. But he did not pay advance from Drishyam 2, which is why he accepted for a digital release."[41] In an online interaction with fans, prior to the film's release, Mohanlal stated that there are possibilties for a theatrical re-release.[42] However, Kerala Film Chamber (KFC) denied the producer's request for theatrical release of Drishyam 2 stating that they would not violate the guidelines by releasing a film in theatres, which is speculated for an online platform release.[43][44]

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

Aishwarya Vasudevan of the Daily News and Analysis gave a 4 out of 5 star rating and wrote, "Drishyam 2 is a gripping tale of an investigation and a family which is threatened by it, is a must-watch sequel we didn't know we deserved and the film will make you think for hours after you completed watching it".[45] Sanjith Sidhardhan of The Times of India gave a 4 out of 5 star rating, and stated "Jeethu's script for the sequel is tight as ever; like Drishyam ... the film is an expertly crafted sequel meant for the audience to enjoy and the team to be proud of", and also praised Mohanlal's acting.[46] Haricharan Pudippedi of Hindustan Times wrote that "It's no exaggeration to call Drishyam 2 one of the best sequels ever", it is "a thoroughly gripping and entertaining sequel, a rare occurrence in Indian cinema. Powered by top class writing and plenty of unexpected twists, the sequel packs a solid punch and makes for a riveting watch right till the end. Drishyam 2 is a masterclass in suspense building and it works as effectively as the first part if not better".[47]

Rating 4 out of 5 stars, Sowmya Rajendran of The News Minute said that this "thriller is a superb sequel ... looking at the strength of the writing, it looks like in Jeethu's mind, Drishyam was always supposed to be two films".[48] Rating 4 out of 5 stars, Suresh Mathew of The Quint said that "Mohanlal's gripping thriller is a winner again ... unlike the original, Drishyam 2 grips you from the very start ... Drishyam 2 is a worthy contender to the original. It grabs your attention from the word go and entertains you throughout its two-and-a-half-hour duration", he also praised Mohanlal's acting.[49] Anna M. M. Vetticad of Firstpost called it "a surprisingly satisfying sequel to a spectacular first film ... Drishyam 2 is clever in the way it smoothly slips back into the world of Drishyam ... it now feels as if Part 1 is incomplete without Part 2".[50] Janaki K. of India Today called it "a fitting sequel to Drishyam" and stated "Jeethu Joseph’s staging and strengths to work on a solid script are the film’s assets ... Mohanlal is just excellent", rating 3.5 out of 5 stars.[51]

Film critic Baradwaj Rangan called it a "solid sequel, which swaps tension with existentialism", with a "superb structure. Like Part 1, this is more a writer’s film than a director’s film", he praised the writing – "it’s basic exposition, scene after scene" and "the writing during the climactic portions treats Part 1/Part 2 of Drishyam as two halves of the same story. It’s a brilliant meta touch ... the film is at its best when we look at Part 1/Part 2 as one unified universe".[52] Tina Sara Anien of Deccan Herald rated 4 out of 5 stars, calling it "a thrilling, befitting sequel" and that "Drishyam 2 quashes the notion that sequels lack the magic of the originals ... not many thrillers have succeeded to impress an audience by intensifying the original's plot and that's the clinching proof of this film's special quality".[53] Sajin Shrijith of The New Indian Express also rated 4 in a scale of 5, describing it as "a richer, expansive, and far superior sequel ... successful sequels are a rarity, and rarer still is a sequel that surpasses the original. Drishyam 2 is one such".[54]

Rating 4 out of 5 stars, Sify critic said "It is not always that a sequel lives up to the huge expectations of the highly successful original. Drishyam 2 does that in a brilliant way ... with an engaging script, Jeethu Joseph has presented the sequel in a gripping manner".[55] Joginder Tuteja of Rediff.com said that "this Mohanlal suspense drama may well go down as yet another modern day classic ... this is a true sequel to Drishyam and is, in fact, the first ever suspense thriller to move from the first to the second part with a seamless ease", he rated 3.5 out of 5.[56] Gautaman Bhaskaran of CNN-News18 wrote that "Mohanlal returns with more vigour and charisma ... Georgekutty is not a man to be cowed down, and the rest of the movie is an exciting game of how he foxes the cops and saves his family. The twist, in the end, is simply superb", he rated 3 out of 5 stars.[57]

Critic from Asianet News rated 4 out of 5 and called it a "perfect sequel" and that its "a must-watch for the sheer brilliance of Georgekutty aka Mohanlal and the marvellous script of Jeethu Joseph".[58] Saibal Chatterjee of NDTV gave a 2.5 out of 5 stars and wrote, "Mohanlal is flawless yet again ... in terms of structure and rhythm, writer-director Jeethu Joseph follows pretty much the arc of the original film", but felt "the writing could have done with more punch".[59] S. R. Praveen of The Hindu opined, "Drishyam 2 might not work as a stand-alone film — as many sequels do — since it is completely dependent on the first film with constant references. But despite its negatives, it still is a decent companion piece to its much celebrated predecessor".[60] However, Nirmal Narayanan of IB Times felt that it "failed to match the cinematic making quality of its prequel [sic]... the first half of the movie had its originality, but the second half of the film was a pure letdown, as it questioned the thinking capability", but he praised Mohanlal's acting.[61]

Sequel[edit]

After the release of Drishyam 2, producer Antony Perumbavoor commented that it is possible for a third film in the series, although Jeethu had neither confirmed nor denied it. Antony also said that Jeethu is researching on possible story arcs for Drishyam 3, and there had been discussions with Mohanlal.[62] On 23 February 2021, Jeethu said in a press conference that he currently has figured out the climax for Drishyam 3, but the screenplay and production may take at least three years to materialise.[63]

Remakes[edit]

Producer Kumar Mangat has bought the Hindi remake right of the film for making a sequel to the Hindi Drishyam, with Ajay Devgn returning in the lead role. It is intended to start by the last quarter of 2021 for a release in 2022. A director has not yet been selected.[4] On 20 February 2021, Jeethu confirmed that he will be directing the Telugu remake and had plans to direct Tamil and Hindi remakes as well.[64] The Telugu version Drushyam 2 starring Venkatesh began its production in March 2021.[65] It is also being remade in Kannada as Drishya 2 directed by P. Vasu, who earlier directed the Kannada version Drishya.[66] Its Hindi remake rights were bought by Panorama Studios in May 2021.

References[edit]

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