After 7 years, our sharpest common guy, Vijay Salgaonkar (Ajay Devgn), has progressed from being a cable operator to being a cinema owner who also picks which films to screen for the greatest profit after reviewing them. The police re-enter the family’s lives, and this time it’s IG Tarun Ahlawat (Akshaye Khanna), a colleague of Meera Deshmukh (Tabu).
Tarun invests several years in Vijay’s family to acquire evidence to show their guilt in court. When he discovers anything, he gathers them all, and if you’ve watched the prequel, you know what I’m talking about. The last hour of the film is about Vijay going to great lengths to keep his family from going to jail for a crime they committed while protecting themselves.
Before I start pouring my heart out on what’s good and terrible about Drishyam 2, let me be clear: this is a remake, and when I laud certain aspects of it, the genuine credit should go to Jeethu Joseph for doing it back in 2021. I added the disclaimer because Jeetu deserves credit for keeping the plot on track. Ajay’s version benefits greatly from the original’s assets, but it’s the superfluous additions that ruined the party for me.
The compulsory inclusion of bringing back the ‘corrupt’ goon Gaitonde screws with the main investigator’s (Akshaye Khanna) character, making him appear ‘limited’ in his study and therefore downplaying the struggle between the two opposing forces.
While building the story, Jeethu’s version had a certain intrigue built around its side characters from hamlet, which is conspicuously absent in this one. Sudhir K. Chaudhary’s camerawork adds a more polished vibe to the dreary setting, but I think Jeethu’s attempt at ‘keeping it simple with Satheesh Kurup made a stronger impact.
When it comes to performers recreating Mohanlal’s brilliance from the original, there is no better choice than Ajay Devgn. The much-touted power to act through the eyes is what binds both stars together rather than separates them. Because his character’s powerlessness is on the relaxed side throughout the bulk of the film, we don’t get to see the intense aspect we saw in the prologue.
Certain decisions made with Shriya Saran’s Nandini character make her a weak point in both the plot and the film. Her character goes over the top, but she doesn’t.
Akshaye Khanna is not the Akshaye Khanna I anticipated. Murali Gopy’s Thomas was far more shrewd and astute than Akshaye’s Tarun. The teaser immediately reminded me of his Ittefaq performance, however, this is not the case throughout the film.
Tabu was as present in the trailer as she was in the film, although key character decisions distanced her from the audience in comparison to the prequel. Ishita Dutta’s Anju never addresses the influence Ansiba’s Anju had on investigating the character’s PTSD. Mrunal Jadhav, too, adds nothing significant to the story. Saurabh Shukla and Rajat Kapoor do their parts well.
Also read: Disenchanted: A Mildly Enchanting Sequel
It happened exactly as predicted, and Abhishek Pathak should not have changed anything from the original. The extras cost the film money to depart from the main plot and roam around no man’s land. The adaptation is excellent, but the addition is not!
Did I overlook Vishal Bhardwaj and Gulzar’s pairing? Yes! Did I object to DSP and Amitabh Bhattacharya’s attempt? No. I missed the ferocity of Dum Ghutta Hai. King’s Bollywood debut may have been greater than Sahi Galat, but that’s what gets played as the credits roll.
The Final Word
After all, is said and done, the last hour does rekindle lost interest, but that’s the problem because the OG was more than simply a jaw-dropping climax.