Behind the Movie Drishyam: A proven subject in Malayalm is now remade in Telugu with the same title. Venkatesh, Meena played the main leads supported by a good star cast. Let us see how far director Sripriya could match the depth and execution of Malayalam version?
In the Movie Drishyam: Story begins in Rajavaram village near Vizianagaram town where in lives a cable operator Ram Babu (Venkatesh) and his cute little middle class family of wife Jyothi (Meena) and two daughters Anju, Anu (Baby Ester). Passing through pure middle class family with joyous moments, tragedy strikes in the form of IG Officer Geetha (Nadia)’s spoilt son canning an ugly video clipping of Anju changing her dress. Upon blackmailing Anju using this video clipping, he is killed and dumped in their backyard. Real problem starts for Ram Babu when IG orders for whereabouts of her son using local SI (Sameer), Corrupt Constable (Ravi Kale) and a Good Samaritan (Paruchuri Venkateshwara Rao). What kind of pains did Ram Babu’s family pass through? Finally, were they caught in police trap? All these form rest.
Values of the Movie Drishyam: Basic element one must accept about this film is based on a simple psychological fact that, visuals make more impact on human brains than sounds. That is why the title of ‘Drishyam’ is perfect. Although there are not so great visuals or production grandeur on screen, it’s the magical screenplay of Jitu Jospeh got its re-approval in Telugu version after it success saga in Malayalam and Kannada. There is more of common sense and less of mind teasing puzzles in the story which can connect with any genre of audience. Hats Off, to Malayalam writers for making Indian cinema stand on top. A film made with meager 5 to 6 Crores budget collecting nearly 50 Crores and winning appreciations for remakes in different languages shows class a part in this screenplay.
Enough off Jitu Sir! Now it’s about director Sripriya. Although she bought the mood and momentum with curiosity factor rising to peak in second half, she has fell completely flat in first half. Husband-Wife romance between Venky, Meena and comedy between Venky, Sapthagiri or the establishment of Hotel Owner, Police Constable etc have spread the boredom. On any relative basis, ‘Drishyam’ first half is more of a scrap to second half. Cinematography of Gopal Reddy is pretty ordinary work. Marthand K Venkatesh’s sharpness in editing can be sensed. Sharath’s music is below mediocrity. Darling Swamy, Paruchuri’s pen power is high at even intervals. Production values of Suresh Babu (Suresh Productions) resembled a middle class producer.
On performance front, Venkatesh lived up to his caliber more as a grueling father than as romantic husband or as a simple cable operating businessman. His chemistry with second daughter Baby Ester stood as central emotionally touching feature. Meena did complete justice and the girl who has done the first daughter is also fine. Nadia had the pain of her son missing well portrayed. Naresh needs special applause for putting up a sympathetic show with clean and neat dialogues. Ravi Kale was cruel, Sameer was good. Chalapathi Rao, Annapurna, Sapthagiri, Paruchuri Venkateshwara Rao, Chaitanya Krishna etc did their portions well.
Out of the Movie Drishyam: This film is a classic example approbating the tastes of South Indian audience towards enjoying new genres. A middle class family drama permuted with murder mystery is something sounds new. More importantly, when audiences are prior informed and shown with murder in this straight narration, then screen writer and director needs above the excellent grades to make viewers stick to seats with sustained chill in their spines. This happens only when superbly performing artists are available at disposal. Venkatesh, Meena, Baby Esther, Ravi Kale, Nadia and Naresh have fit so apt into their characters. This is the major reason why a below average first half is well balanced with a super hit second half. You feel as if, is it the same team which worked for second half has worked for first half?
Above all these, family audience who admire Venkatesh for clean family entertainers can safely bet on this film. For those enthusiastic patrons (like me), who even watched the original Malayalam version can still laud our Telugu team. Well done, producer Suresh Babu and hero Venkatesh Babu for experimenting with a right non-commercial subject. On a final note, a good first half could have raised my rating bar but for now below rating is definitely worth for.
Cinejosh Verdict of Drishyam: Satisfactory Attempt.
Cinejosh Rating: 3.5
Reviewed by Srivaas