Drushyam 2 Movie Review: As sincere as a remake can be
Drushyam 2 Movie Review: As sincere as a remake can be

Drushyam 2 Movie Review: As sincere as a remake can be

Jeethu Joseph succeeds in recreating the intrigue in the Telugu remake of his near-perfect Malayalam sequel
Rating:(3.5 / 5)

Drushyam 2 is Venkatesh’s second remake this year. The first one, Narappa, was obsessed with mimicking the original, Asuran, frame by frame, trading an opportunity to accentuate the original for pedantry. Narappa is a faithful remake, perhaps a bit too much, but it offered little more than that, barring its problematic move to eschew caste representation. Drushyam 2 is what I call a sincere remake; it respects its source material, but it’s not just an imitation. There’s an effort to make it work as a standalone film, or well, in this case, a sequel to the 2014 film. 

Director: Jeethu Joseph

Cast: Venkatesh, Meena, Nadhiya, Kruthika, Esther Anil 

Streaming On: Amazon Prime Video 

It’s far from Narappa, where the attention to detail was painstakingly perceivable, from locations to costumes and music and edit pattern. Drushyam 2, thankfully, doesn’t aim for these details, but the focus is on the overall mood instead. It helps that Jeethu Joseph, who helmed the original, is once again wielding the megaphone accompanied by the cinematographer of the original, Satheesh Kurup. Anup Rubens is credited as the music composer but Anil Johnson’s background is prominently used. It is, indeed, essentially a recreation of the original, but the talent, both on and off-screen, involved ensures the film is not substandard in any way. Of course, they succeed.

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It’s been six years since the unfortunate events from the first film and Rambabu (Venkatesh) and his family are trying hard to move on, but the cruel past seems to catch up with them. The family that overcame the accusation of murder of a youth (the son of the IG Geetha, played by Nadhiya), no longer has the sympathy of the public. The crime and tragedy from the first film are now a subject of gossip in the small town, and every member of the family, be it the naive mother (Meena) or the daughter, the most affected of all, Anju (Kruthika) struggles to erase the catastrophe from their memory. On the other hand, the parents of the dead, Geeta and Prabhakar, now seek closure. All hell breaks loose when it’s revealed that the police department, having beheld a setback earlier, has been investigating the case all the while, and new clues that might potentially threaten Rambabu’s shield begin to emerge. It’s a packed screenplay that keeps building up tension throughout the first half, only to erupt in the last act, when Rambabu's smartness comes into play. And when that happens, once again, it’s a scream. The last 30 minutes of the film are a blast. Viewers who have seen the original have little novelty in store, but I can clearly see people who haven’t seen it enjoying the final reveal. 

Drushyam 2: The Resumption is a more pronounced film. It does few changes in dialogues, and although they make no real difference in the larger context, they spell things more. Take, for instance, the first interaction between Rambabu and Jyothi, where the former’s alcohol consumption (which is later revealed to have more significance than what we are initially told) is pressed upon. Even Jyothi’s apprehension and uneasiness are more stressed upon; there’s a scene where she visits a priest, who then reveals that she can find peace only after she can relieve herself of the guilt. Even a light moment, where Jyothi jokes around her husband saying, “Po ra,” is more punctuated. There’s a scene that places Rambabu inside the police station, which beautifully underlines the man’s eternal dread. Even the remorse and guilt Rambabu carries are visible in Venkatesh’s performance. In the scene where Prabhakar meets him for the first time, requesting him to divulge the whereabouts of this son’s mortal remains, Rambabu looks like he is on the verge of breaking down physically, while the teary-eyed Mohanlal keeps things subtle in the original. Such tiny changes, which are resultants of the actors’ inherent style, give Drushyam 2 its own touch.

Does Drushyam 2 overpower the original? Not really. In fact, it’s perfectly in harmony with it. When seen as a standalone Telugu film, it succeeds on all counts. But one cannot help but wish Venkatesh does more than carbon copy remakes.

Cinema Express