Visuals can be deceiving and what is apparent may not be real. ' Drishyam' seemed just another family drama with a fair dose of lecture on virtues and sprinkling of oft seen melodrama when it was announced. But Jeethu Joseph has managed to surprise the viewer with a completely different approach. ' Drishyam' surely is a film the revolves around a family, but it is much more than that. A thriller in disguise so to speak. Without a speck of artificiality or intentional acceleration ' Drishyam' engages the viewer with steady storytelling. No visual gimmicks or experimentation with narration, but an old fashioned adherence to script supported by nuanced and controlled performances. It has all the elements of what constitutes a family drama. And 'Drishyam' starts of in a sedate manner. George Kutty(Mohanlal) is an orphan who establised himself in his life by dint of hardwork. Lacking formal education this ardent film buff runs a cable network named after his wife Rani(Meena). His business is as much important to him as his family which also comprises of his daughters.
Familial scenes are shot adeptly without a hint of artificiality. The chemistry between Mohanlal and Meena is a delight to watch. It is after a while that one saw a subtle Mohanlal who is at ease with himself. The scenes involving the family life and the interactions between George Kutty and his employee in the cable network are hilarious. Humour is sprinkled deftly and the typical high range village comes to life naturally.
A small tea shop close to George Kutty's Office is a hub of activity. He is a regular visitor there and is held in high esteem by all and sundry. The local police station and a corrupt constable Sahadevan(Kalabhavan Shajon) assumes an importance in the plot. The quiet and uneventful but happy life of the protagonist takes a nasty turn as a ghastly incident takes place at his home. The film transforms into a thriller as the family is forced to undergo a trial by fire. The unity in family is a treat to watch. Love that the husband has for wife and vice versa and the children’s' obedience and love for the parents are wonderfully portrayed without any drama or cooked up humour.
The writing is the principal strength of the movie as loop holes are smartly brushed aside under the carpet. The investigative part is smartly handled and the pacing which picks up towards the latter half serves its cause well. The clever tactics of the rustic and raw GeorgeKutty pitted against the might of police force. The cerebral battle is really engrossing. In these times of twists, ' Drishyam' too has one towards the end but it is deftly weaved into the plot. The climactic scenes are not rushed through. The emotional quotient is never exaggerated and unwanted scenes are absent. It is a rarity to see a thriller devoid of suspense. It is not a whodunit but it holds you in thrall and the insecurity and pain of the family is felt by the audience.
Performances help 'Drishyam' immensely. Mohanlal is in fine fettle and after a long while the subtleties and endearing gestures in his acting comes to the fore. Meena is superb as his wife and so are the girls who play their daughters. Their exemplary enactment of their respective roles gives the movie a real edge. Shajon as a rogue cop is good so are Siddique and Asha Sharreth who play important roles. All other actors have put in adequate shows.Sujith Vasudev's frames give a real taste of the ambience. The songs are just about decent.
Jeethu Joseph has really taken a giant stride forward in his directorial career. He is the man in command here and aided by a well compiled script written by himself he has made ' Drishyam' a pleasing experience. Visuals can be deceiving but this deception is a pleasant one.