Drishyam (2015) *HQ*

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DRISHYAM starts off with Vijay Salgaonkar (Ajay Devgn) waiting at Pandolem police station in Goa. The story, then goes into a flashback mode in which it mirrors all the events that led Vijay in the present day situation. Vijay Salgaonkar is a ‘fourth standard failed’ middle class hard working businessman, running a cable TV business. His life revolves around movies and his family consisting of his wife Nandini Vijay Salgaonkar (Shriya Saran), his teenage daughter (Ishita Dutta) and his younger daughter.

Life goes on pretty smoothly for the Salgaonkars, till one day his elder daughter bumps into a notorious Sam in a school camp. Despite repeated warnings, Sam doesn’t stop pestering her, so much so that he even plants a hidden camera in her washroom. Grabbing this ‘opportunity’ with both the hands, Sam demands sexual favour from Vijay’s daughter in return of the MMS being deleted. And when Nandini intervenes, he asks for a sexual favour from Nandini instead! Raging with anger and helplessness, Vijay’s daughter hits Sam with a rod that results in him collapsing on the spot. The mother-daughter get furthermore shocked when they learn that Sam was the only son of none other than IG Meera Deshmukh (Tabu).

Frightened and helpless they narrate their ordeal to Vijay when he returns back from his office in the morning. Vijay then hatches a master plan that will help his family from the clutches of the police. After this begins the cat and mouse game between Vijay and Meera. Does the ‘fourth standard failed’ Vijay Salgaonkar manage to protect his family, does his foolproof plan have any flaws that act as a giveaway, what happens to Sam in the end.. is what forms the rest of the story.

‘Drishyam’ is a riveting thriller that starts off rather slow but tightens its grip like a python and leaves you little breathing space by the end. It’s littered with interesting twists which I choose not to disclose, but suffice it to say that none of these surprises and bolts from the blue seems forced in the narrative. They blend in seamlessly and piece together like one jigsaw puzzle.

Yes, the melodrama could have been avoided and the film’s runtime generously trimmed by a good twenty minutes from its bum-aching length of 2 hours and 44 minutes.

Drishyam is a remake of director Jeethu Joseph’s namesake Malayalam film which was rumored to be inspired from the Japanese crime-writer Keigo Higashino’s novel The Devotion of Suspect X.

‘Drishyam’ is not your run-of-the-mill thriller. Director Nishikant Kamat executes some really interesting sequences, particularly the ones involving Tabu and Ajay Devgn. However, he fails to keep a check on the runtime and the gratuitous melodrama.

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