Directed by Jeethu Joseph, Drishyam 2 is set six years after the events of its predecessor and follows GeorgeKutty and his family after an old family secret is brought to light again.
I love nearly everything about Drishyam. There is very little that pops out to me as something I would actively expect to be changed in a South Indian Thriller. It has heavy exposition, cheesy Monologues, melodramatic performances, and plot conveniences reliant on a premise in a small town that almost feels like an integral part of the experience. Yes, these would usually be a complaint in films from other parts of the world. This Malayalam film on the other hand welcomes it with open arms and embraces its imperfections. I love that. Drishyam might have a story that feels universal, but the film as a whole isn’t. It is very deeply rooted in Malayalam Cinema and without it, it would probably be a completely different experience.
Retroactive Continuity done well
Drishyam 2 not only understands what made its predecessor work but is an excellent companion piece that synergizes well. Despite the story’s attempts to bring everyone to speed on the events of the first film, the sequel cannot be viewed in isolation. It builds upon everything established previously, down to some very minute details. What’s probably most impressive is that it doesn’t alter the first film’s narrative in the slightest. Sequels often try to overwrite sequences in their previous installments to progress the story further. Drishyam 2 uses retcon in a near-ideal manner, making a sequel’s existence nearly inevitable. Once the premise has been established, you can’t wait for events to unfold in the way that they do. What more can you ask from a sequel to what seemed like a pretty shut conclusion?
It’s not all suspense and mystery though. Just like its predecessor, Drishyam 2 takes a while to get going and builds its family dynamics first. Everything about this family is now as heartwarming as it was earlier, if not more. Prior events have a clear emotional impact on characters, and we witness changes in significant ways.
Jeethu Joseph’s direction clearly feels more evolved and far more subtle. Drishyam 2 doesn’t have the unnecessary close-ups, the abrupt fadeaways, or the awkward transitions of the previous film. As someone, who saw Drishyam in 2021 instead of 2013, it was difficult to not notice those flaws. It’s still nice to see a sequel more grounded in its direction. Especially for something that was made in the middle of a pandemic. Despite some minor production issues, it’s a very well-made film and a sequel much better than anyone expected it to be.
What’s the rush
Unfortunately, this script doesn’t make much use of the family and relies more solely on Mohanlal’s character than before. The premise of the first film made it so that no one except GeorgeKutty could work their way through things. However, despite six years passing by it feels like a missed opportunity to watch characters have such significant screen time but not contribute much to the events unfolding. The end, although as plausible/implausible as the first film, unfolds slightly quicker than anticipated. With a lot of prior buildups, I expected the final act to run longer and it probably should have. I wished it took a bit longer to get to its crazy ending, allowing it to have a bigger emotional impact.
Drishyam 2 might not be as organic as its predecessor but equally engaging, suspenseful, and heartwarming, thanks to Jeethu Joseph’s excellent script and a cast that is as captivating as they were 8 years ago.