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    Thread: Drishyam 2: Writing Masterclass

    Description: Has there ever been a better sequel?
    1. #1
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      Default Drishyam 2: Writing Masterclass

      Seven years back, in the final minute of a full-length feature film Jeethu Joseph delivered a knockout punch that can still be felt in some parts of the world as language after language seeks to remake this story. Such was the perfection of Drishyam that no one envisaged this story going forward. It was there, complete, perfect, the perfect cover up of an amateurish crime. Taking the story forward would be like attempting to build an annexe to the Taj Mahal, or adding a blush to the cheeks of Mona Lisa - both fraught with more risk than potential reward. While these might look like comparisons that are too lofty, the fact that a small unassuming movie (Mohanlal was the only big thing about Drishyam back then) from Kerala now has a remake in China and one in the pipeline in Hollywood - we are used to doing things the other way round - says enough about how much it means to Indian cinema.
      We thought Drishyam was finished business, but Drishyam 2 is about Georgekutty and a few others who believe that there is business yet to be finished. Both the protector and the persecutor do not let their guard down and that’s how things come to a second precipice. As one of the character’s says, ‘This is a war, started by him (Georgekutty), and I like to win my wars’. Wars are not won easily. They are won by the ones willing to ‘dig deep’ trenches and hold fort, waiting for the right time to act. This story is also about two sides waiting patiently in their trenches looking for the slightest threat or opportunity. It is this excruciating battle of wits and patience that Jeethu Joseph has written with painstaking perfection, making Drishyam 2, in every way possible, a worthy sequel to the phenomenon that was Drishyam.
      A dead body lying deep under the circle inspector’s seat at a local police station. A police investigation that was reprimanded by the court. The parents of the dead who had left India for good. And no witnesses! Only the infamous Sukumara Kurup could have thought of a more perfect crime. What more is there to be done? This makes us think of that famous line by Mammotty from ‘The Truth’ about how ‘truth’ finds a way to come out no matter how deep you may bury it. That’s where the movie begins, showing us a glimpse of how the truth may ultimately be revealed. But, Drishyam 2 is not just about that. It’s way more than a simple uncovering of the truth. Jeethu delves into the present day lives of Georgekutty and family, showing us the scars of a crime they had to commit and the trauma they endure to this day. That’s where Jeethu shows his class as a writer! He keeps the very tempting reveal in the background and takes us into the psyche of the family so well that for a brief while we forget that bigger trouble might be awaiting them later. Though it might not look obvious, every character in the family has been given an individual battle to fight. Be it Georgekutty, his wife or the daughters, everyone carries a weight in their minds and has to fight off demons in their own way. For a while, we even believe what Jeethu Joseph so tactfully said in his interviews - that this is a movie tracing the psychological journey of the family after the crime. Perhaps, that was his biggest masterstroke, because he jolts us out of the lull with a startling revelation that might have created reverberations in theaters as an ‘intermission block’.
      Jeethu Joseph has strained every sinew of his imagination to come up with this ingenious plot. As we go deeper into the second half, and more and more layers are revealed to us, our eyes open wider. It’s one thing to write outlandish plots with fancy elements, but it’s a totally different game to weave an intricate plot about one man against an entire police force, and yet not once go into the realm of the impossible. Yes, the story does travel in a way that many of us may consider improbable, but not once can you call it ‘impossible’. That tremendous balancing act by Jeethu is what makes Drishyam 2 a truly mind blowing experience. There are many points in the movie where we begin to ask questions about how certain things might have happened. But, Jeethu covers all that with answers in one way or the other. And these answers don’t come on screen like an ‘explanation reel’, which is a technique used in many thrillers where the viewer is shown what exactly had happened. The answers are given to us by characters that are planted so seamlessly into the screenplay in the first half. Even the most movie-crazed minds might not be able to pick the purpose that some characters have in the screenplay until Jeethu chooses to reveal it himself. At this point, I’m willing to put this piece of writing alongside the likes of Agatha Christie for sheer brilliance. Saying anything more would be a spoiler.
      Jeethu the writer was absolutely magnificent in Drishyam 2! Jeethu the director executed the script as required. It’s no secret that Jeethu banks on his actors to produce good performances rather than get it out of them. That difference is clearly visible. The scenes that have the experienced actors look like poetry motion and the ones with the extras look merely functional. We are nitpicking here for such a finely made movie, but one wishes that some of the ‘nattukar (the people of the town)’ were chosen better. Especially the three-four auto drivers who have conversations amongst themselves plainly look like they are saying rehearsed lines that they don’t really believe in. Covid compulsions might have forced those choices, and so we will let them pass, and in the end they look like minor glitches in an otherwise spellbinding product. The one thing you do notice about Jeethu as a director is that he trusts his audience to spot the key moments and remember them as the movie goes along. It’s common practice to let the camera linger a second longer than necessary, or to add an additional sinister angle with an equally sinister BGM to register important moments strongly in audience memory. Jeethu does not do that, instead puts faith in the audiences’ intelligence, which is also one of the reasons that each major twist surprises us that much more. It may be an overstatement, but the screenplay is so good that it makes much of the technical departments merely functional instruments to narrate the story. But, at places the editing stands out with its crispness, especially in the big reveal moments with each character’s awestruck reaction being shown effectively without wasting much time.
      The genius of Mohanlal is often said to be his effortless acting. But, Drishyam 2 is proof that there is a very strong method to this effortlessness. You can’t be the same Georgekutty twice seven years apart without having a deep understanding of the character and it’s evolution. Unlike Drishyam, the sequel places more onus on Georgekutty and lesser space for his family into the second half. A man carrying a secret close to his heart and living every minute with a conscious effort of not saying a word that may spill the truth - that is not an easy thing to depict on screen. Knowing the screenplay inside out is the only way Mohanlal could have so perfectly known exactly how much to ‘give’ in each scene! Drishyam 2 shows us that Mohanlal is spontaneous with a method! The synergy between the lead pair is such a pleasure to watch on screen. It’s almost as if the family lived those 6 years carrying that trauma in their hearts and minds. Meena is subtly effective while Ansiba is challenged with some tough moments that she aces. Esther also shows her teen transformation with ease. But, the man who comes a very close second to Mohanlal is Siddique as Prabhakar. He might not play the most important character in the scheme of things, but everytime he is on screen he makes it count. The moral jeopardy of a man torn trying to find the middle ground between retribution, justice and forgiveness is beautifully expressed on his face. And as one of the characters wonders aloud in this movie, if all men were like Prabhakar, the world might be a much better place. Murali Gopi bites deep into the best character he has yet been offered by another writer. We only pray that he doesn’t get so busy as an actor that he can’t find time to write! Asha Sharath as Geetha Prabhakar unleashes herself in one interrogation scene that crackles with all the pent up anger and frustration.
      All other things aside, Drishyam 2 is about the absolute commitment of the writer to come up with a screenplay that would not let down anyone who has seen Drishyam. One can only imagine the number of times he would have thought, written and re-written and reverse engineered this screenplay to make it as watertight as it is now! It would be too much to ask that every writer do this for every screenplay, but surely any writer attempting a sequel to a celebrated movie should treat Drishyam 2 as a benchmark. Drishyam 2 is about Jeethu Joseph not being tempted by the easy benefits of a sequel and not being overawed by the task at hand. As Georgekutty, he waited, bided his time, and when the opportunity came - he was ready!
      ജീത്തുവാണ് താരം

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      First partinte continuation (that is same thing is the plot) enna nilayil vere ethenkilum film ondo ennu doubt aanu. Aa reethiyil best sequel thanne
      Last edited by Observer; 21st February 2021 at 12:28 PM.

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      Beautiful review... I appreciate your sincere effort too.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Observer View Post
      First partinte continuation (that is same thing is the plot) enna nilayil vere ethenkilum film ondo ennu doubt aanu. Aa reethiyil best sequel thanne
      One and only Chenkol���� allathe vere oru filmum drishyathinu munb perfect sequel story paranjitilla(Aadu 2 adakkam chila films almost similar linesil vannu ennallathe)

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      Quote Originally Posted by lalettanbhakthan View Post
      One and only Chenkol���� allathe vere oru filmum drishyathinu munb perfect sequel story paranjitilla(Aadu 2 adakkam chila films almost similar linesil vannu ennallathe)
      Ravanaprabhu?

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      Quote Originally Posted by lalettanbhakthan View Post
      One and only Chenkol���� allathe vere oru filmum drishyathinu munb perfect sequel story paranjitilla(Aadu 2 adakkam chila films almost similar linesil vannu ennallathe)
      Chenkol... ippol Drishyma face cheyyunna athe dilemma face cheythirunnu.. Nayakan rakshappedano atho vaaleduthavan vaalal enna logic nadappilakkano ennu! Annu, Vaaleduthavan vaalal enna logic aanu upayogichathu. Pinneedu TVil palappozhum Sethumadhavan Joseinte kudumbamayittu irangunna idathu padam nirthiyittundu! Rendu possibilityum discuss cheythu, tholkkan thayarayi nikkunna nayakan bhagayapareekshanam vazhi jeyikkunnathu.. avideyaanu Drishyam 2 unique aakunnathu! The hero wins, but the movie also acknowledges that it is not a 'happily every after' victory for him!

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      Quote Originally Posted by lalettanbhakthan View Post
      One and only Chenkol���� allathe vere oru filmum drishyathinu munb perfect sequel story paranjitilla(Aadu 2 adakkam chila films almost similar linesil vannu ennallathe)
      chenkol pakshe Drishyam same story reinvestigate cheyyune allalo. nayakan jeevitham munnotu kaanikunnu.so drishyam2 athreyum challenging project alla IMO. ettovum challenging sequel aayaanu drishyam2 thonniyathu

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