A resourceful Drishyam 1, when well utilized, leads only to Drishyam 2
What did you find unique about Drishyam 1 ? The intensity of the screenplay? The logic-based intricacy of the story? The thrill factor? No. It’s the uncommon brilliance. An uncommon brilliance being found in a common man is the unique element in Drishyam 1, and every other thing comes to uplift the film only after this.
So, who is Georgekutty ? He is someone who—in order to save his family—has dared to defy the whole system of law, acted readily, efficiently and smartly, despite having no time to plan much, and remained, as well as made his family remain, silent and stubborn to keep the secret with an inspiring endurance. Given no prior idea about the tragedy he was gonna face, no previous experience like such, if he could do that much, then after all those happened, after knowing life can take a turn at any time, after feeling so confident about the place he buried the body, will he again be a person who will just plant bananas, watch movies, and drink Kattan chai? Won’t he be an internally transformed person this time? Won’t he feel strong and autonomous about himself after accomplishing such a great mission? Writer Jeethu Joseph has seen the post-disaster life of Georgekutty only through these questions and built the whole new context for Drishyam 2, gave lead to new incidents, new people with new motives, built the tension, blew the bubble as big as possible until the last 10 minutes and broke it only to give us another surprise in the end. This is the way a sequel should be approached, where a director shouldn’t rely on anything that happens around the characters but rather on what the characters could be and become thereafter.
Another great thing is the role of society Georgekutty lives in: the people in it, the change in people’s psyche over time, the dynamics time brought in how civilians see the incident now, etc. In the first part, the neighbours were intolerant towards Georgekutty’s lockup tragedy and everyone stood by him, and now, on the contrary, everyone is so jealous about his new status (theatre owner) and behaves cooperatively for the investigation against him. Such a sensible element of evolution the writer has employed here.
Another great thing is the characters with original motives. Of course, it is obvious that many characters were coming to play their part in moving and bringing turns to the story, but all were sufficiently given motives and wills to back up their actions, which adds life to the script.
However, just like Drishyam 1, this movie is also not up to the mark in its drama : event ratio. It was so event-driven that for any solid change to happen in the story, it takes someone new to come and disturb the world—the prisoner coming as an eyewitness. Or it takes some old affairs that were left incomplete and need a reopening—Varun’s father asking for his son’s skull to perform the rituals. So, when people’s emotions and outbursts fail to be the vehicle for the story to unfold but only new people and events keep contributing to change, the story fails to be drama-driven, hence feels less alive. Though the above said two examples are signs of a brilliant screenplay, in the world of both Drishyam 1 and Drishyam 2, you can never see the story grow and take turns because someone went to their extreme. For example, the whole story started only in an emotional crime: the mom and daughter hitting Varun, which is an accident or fear-driven act. But except that, nowhere can we find humans’ momentary outbursts being the vehicle to surprise us but only brains and wills.
Beyond all, Drishyam 1 and especially Drishyam 2 feel so complete when it comes to ethics and justice. Though in the end, it poses to be Mohanlal’s one-man show, or unconventional heroism, with a glorifying tone for his law-deceiving tactics, the film finds its destiny in addressing only the struggle and suffering beneath all those brilliant stunts of Georgekutty, where we get to realize there is nothing to be celebrated about his smartness but watch him plan and plan and plan which itself is a wall-less prison for him forever. Drishyam 2—a well-watered and so a well-grown Drishyam 1.