'Drushyam 2' has started streaming on Amazon Prime Video. A remake and a sequel, it was shot in the early months of this year in a short span of time. The direct OTT release has not come as a surprise. Let's find out what the film is about.
There was a time when Rambabu (Venkatesh) went out of his way to intelligently save his wife Jyothi (Meena) and elder daughter Anju (Kruthika Jayakumar) from being charge-sheeted in a murder case. He successfully covered up the murder in 'Drushyam'.
In the sequel, which is the film under review, Rambabu has to once again use his smarts to save himself and his family from imminent legal action. It's because the parents of the murdered son are back, with the mother (Nadhiya as a top cop) seeking vengeance. What does Rambabu do to subvert the forces that are out to get him? That's the crux of the film.
'Victory' Venkatesh had to look somewhat weathered in 'Drushyam 2' and he does exactly that. While there are no surprises in store, he manages to sustain our interest. However, the senior actor takes time to heighten our interest. Meena, as his wife, is good but she is not endearing enough. Kruthika and Esther (who plays the younger daughter) are so-so.
The film's ensemble cast comprises also of the redoubtable Sampath Raj (as Inspector Gautham Sahu), theatre artist Vinay Verma and Tanikella Bharani. The former two are able, while the last of the three is impressive because of the characterization.
Nadhiya and VK Naresh are not distinguishable from the first edition. Satyam Rajesh, Chammak Chandra and Poorna are seen in different roles, with the last of them playing a lawyer. After playing a 30-something woman in the recent '3 Roses' (web series), the 'Avunu' actor shines in an extended cameo.
The producers brought in a roster of fairly talented technicians. Anup Rubens didn't have much to do in terms of songs. His background music should have been way edgy. The cinematography by Satheesh Kurup follows the visual scheme of the Malayalam original.
When 'Drishyam 2' was released on OTT in February this year, it received glowing reviews, with film critics and a large section of audiences calling it a layered thriller. As such, a remake in Telugu was a given. Director Jeethu Joseph, who also wielded the megaphone for the original, has roped in seasoned actors.
The film is well-written if you consider the storyline and the execution in the second half. At 154 minutes, 'Drushyam 2' is also unapologetically long. But barring a few portions in the first half, it doesn't atrophy itself anywhere.
The family conversations are natural, whereas the gossip between the villagers doesn't look realistic. Rambabu is a potential film producer running a not-so-profitable theatre. He has become more intelligent in six years.
The script doesn't come into its own until the police investigation takes off on a serious note. The second half, as such, has precious moments.
The last 20 minutes would have been more thrilling with better sound and visual grammar. The first half, one must say, is purely OTT stuff. There are no visual highs here.
The best part of 'Drushyam 2' is that it doesn't dilute the sentimental aspect. That said, since we already know everything about the family and the issues between them, the plot doesn't feel fresh until the final act.
'Drushyam 2' makes for a thrilling watch in the second half of the second half. But if you have already watched the original, it might tire you out.