Perhaps it is preposterous to predict the success or failure of movies based on their hype and trailers. And yet Jithu Joseph's much-awaited sequel to 2013 blockbuster 'Drishyam' left many with a nagging feeling that something was not quite right - that despite the stellar promise of the plot and cast, something can and did go wrong. And that something is the movie itself.
Six years after the events of the first movie, the town's support for Georgekutty and his family has eroded and jealousy has set in after he becomes a successful theatre owner. With rumours about his family's role in Varun's death, Georgekutty must now confront old enemies and the past once more rises to engulf him and his family.
The premise of the film is good, but the plot is so contrived that it fails to keep itself engaging until perhaps the very last moment. It has none of the natural charms of 'Drishyam' nor the spontaneity of humour that made the banter between characters so great. Even the twists - multiple - don't have the same depth or emotional impact because the story itself is lacking. There is a serious attempt to create family drama which is probably one of the only high points of the film as it goes into the impact of the abuse that Georgekutty and family endured and its aftermath.
What 'Drishyam 2' closely resembles is a Malayalam serial with good production quality. Each dialogue is accompanied by screeching violins and dramatic music, with no suspense or subtlety. Dialogue delivery is wooden although Mohanlal and Meena try their level best, and Ansiba makes good of what role she has. Ansiba's character 'Anju' may elicit the most sympathy due to her extended trauma and the lingering effects it has had on her. Murali Gopy is entirely forgettable and Asha Sharath is unfortunately cringeworthy even as she tries to intimidate. In fact, 'forgettable' can sum up the movie and cast as a whole.
The film fails to establish what was so convincing in the first outing - reasoning and solid logic. Georgekutty is reduced to a shell of his former self which might have been deliberate so that the ending appears more shocking but it really does not hit home. Each 'twist' seems to be too convenient, merely to create a story. 'Drishyam 2' also juggles two storylines which could have been made much better had it been integrated into a more solid script.
The rather obvious advertising plugins and not-so-subtle references to Mohanlal the actor also make the film a headache to watch. Anil Johnson's music is strictly average with nothing to equal the first film's haunting tracks.
Overall, the film is another in a list of Jithu Joseph's decline, from solid plots and stories to melodramatic and rather unrealistic films that fail to keep the audience engaged. The same failings can be seen in 'Oozham' and 'Aadhi' resurface in 'Drishyam 2'. It is a lesson that budget and hype alone cannot make a good movie.