Friday, August 7, 2015

Drishyam - Movie Review

The second 10 pm movie in a row - but this time I had Vasu in tow. Had heard so much about this movie which was originally made in Malayalam but is now being made in every other language mainly because the story is so good. The Hindi one starred Ajay Devgn, Tabu and Shriya Saran (and others).

The core idea is that all rules are thrown out of the window when one's family is threatened. Ajay Devgn plays Vijay Salgaokar, cable tv operator in sleepy Pondolem, with a close knit family - wife and two young kids. The family comes under suspicion when the Goa IG's (Tabu) son goes missing and his car is found. How can the fourth-class failed (does anyone fail fourth class?), movie buff, Vijay save his family from a police force that seems to have made up its mind? Watch Drishyam to find out.

But you can read my opinions on it.

The movie lacked something - for want of a better word I will stick to soul (actually, energy would be a better word in retrospect, but its easier to type on than to delete nd retype, so I will continue to type). As in, when you experience a distance even in scenes where you ought to feel the family's anguish, danger, fear. You don't feel for them as much as you should (I'd think it's a director's nightmare when an audience disconnects in crucial scenes.) In a story like this when the emotional connect of the underdog is so high and the ruthlessness of the opposition is so huge, it should happen most of the time. Unfortunately it happens rarely as the story unwinds on a predictable note.

The story is brilliant and you can see its great potential but the director lost the plot somewhere. I'd think it happens when you try to stay true to the original and come out half way between the original idea and your interpretation. You are better off going with your interpretation mostly I think.

Ajay Devgn is nice and restrained in his role. One wonders why he keeps picking fights with the corrupt cop Gaitonde (brilliant performance by the actor who played Gaitonde). Tabu is a big let down. There are moments of course, but nowhere does one see the vulnerability or anguish of the mother - one expects to see more complex shades of that character in that situation. But in the movie she portrays it all in black and white and save some tough looking scenes, she makes no telling impact. Whatever impact is made, is made by Gaitonde who revels in his corrupt act and his innate savagery. After a while one wonders what happened to the original crime - why is everything down between the force and the family? It's not a stranger's case where you wait for a month before you speed up things and that too in such a ham handed manner. Shriya Saran looks positively plastic - literally - there's a tight sheen on her face all through. Great story, great actors (some) - potential wasted. It leaves you with the feeling that something's not quite right.

And what's not right with PVR is that the chap at the projector went off on a long break during the interval. It was a full 20 minutes or more before we got started. And we bought stale popcorn (but we must east popcorn at movies) for 200 bucks and ice cream in small cups (tasteless) for 200 bucks and felt good at having driven our economy further. The popcorn reminded me of the popcorn we used to get in single screen theatres in small packets - advertising their staleness well in advance. Life turns a full circle. 

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