Saturday, January 11, 2014

Drishyam – Family story turned Intelligent thriller

 

Yesterday I watched what they were calling the best Malayalam movie of 2013, and for once, the rumours were true. It is a wonderful movie, one where the script is the true winner. And backed up by an excellent, but not that expensive cast, and excellent cinematography, its nice to see why the movie garnered so much praise. When I left for the movie yesterday, the plot of the movie was already on Wikipedia, but someone has removed the crucial last bit now, removing the clincher climax.

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The movie depicts how a simple four member low income family from a village in Thodupuzha is faced with a potentially disastrous event, and how they overcome it and stay together and fight the police and law order as a whole, coming out clean on the other end. In the process, they face questions, violence and doubts from the cops, neighbours and society; they lie to everyone, because in this case, the truth would not set them free.  It is after a loong time that I found myself, along with the audience, rooting for the murderers, praying that the police are unable to solve the crime. More ethical points of right and wrong, and truth and lies are dismissed off quickly, because for the family, their family honour is their greatest wealth, which they will protect till the end.

MohanLal plays Georgekutty, a honest ,hard working and self made man. Having only a 4th standard education, and born an orphan, he works in his fields and his local cable television company to earn for his simple family. He believes in hard work, and saving everything, despises any unwanted spending. He loves watching movies, and has learned a lot of ‘life learning’ watching movies of all languages. When confronted with any difficult situation, he recalls from a movie he watched how to solve it. But at the end of the day, his world is limited to his family, he does not want anything more, and is happy providing for them. And his family, may make fun of his stinginess, but love and respect him equally.

Into this small world comes in trouble , Georgekutty’s teenaged daughter gets photographed in the bathroom at a nature camp by a hidden cell phone. The culprit, Varun is the son of police inspector general Geetha Prabhakar ,Varun is accidentally killed by Rani and her daughter when he comes to blackmail them. They hide his body in a compost pit, which is witnessed by Anu. Rani tells Georgekutty about the incident and he devises a way to save his family from the law. He slowly prepares an elaborate and water tight alibi for the entire family, and prepares the family to face any kind of aftermath that may arrived at their door step any moment. He tells them how the police will try to break apart their alibi , try to submit them to confessing the crime, but how these can be overcome if they are well prepared. He then goes around the city, making acquaintances out of strangers, so that they remember his family in case the police question them as well. Just as he predicts, the cops are able to trace Varun’s SIM card, and the cops come chasing the family because an officer saw George driving off in Varun’s car to dispose it off.

In a way, the story is a fight between two families. On one side is George and his family, who live through hard work and sincerity. On the other side is Varun’s family, who are much more well to do and powerful, because Geetha is the IG of police. They start searching for their missing son, and will stop at nothing to get their son back, even when they know Varun has been a bad child. For a mother, her child is the biggest thing in her life. We see how Geetha, first driven by love of her son, and then the mind of a police officer, systematically try to break down George and his family. She is able to make out how George got an alibi for this family, but has no proof which could stand in court. So she orders third degree, that George and family be beaten and tortured to get the truth out of them. Of course, George has thought of that too, and has the media ready to focus on their family after they are beaten up by the cops.

The biggest evidence in the alleged murder is the dead body of Varun, which the police are unable to trace. And without solid proof ,and media coverage, the police has no way to framing the family. The case of the missing Varun goes unsolved, and George is able to save his family. All the officers involved in the investigation are transferred, after media reveals the illegal way the family was treated with violence.

In the final moments of the movie, George still has to go the police to sign the remand register. Because, he still is a suspect. The new SI taunts him ,in his newly built police station, reminding George that he is still not free. It is then revealed that George has hid Varun’s dead body in the foundations of the police station itself, thus sealing the only evidence, and the entire case, in a way it can never be resolved.

What stood out:

  • Story. And Screenplay. It was amazing. The director could have got any actor to play the role of the patriarch Georgekutty. Because the character is convincing and solid. i am not a MohanLal fan, so I will not say that he brought in anything special to the role. The character had to look simple, but possess a mastermind.
  • Editing, music. The first half of the movie has familiar naadan sounds and sights, and casual editing of the country side. Just before the interval, the theme changes to mystery & suspense. Not haunting, the background sounds was just enough to hold the audience at the edge of their seats, when every twist was revealed.

What did not:

  • Sexist dialogues. Barely 30 minutes into the movie, there is lot of sexist dialogues, and double meaning talk. For a movie projected and marketed as a family entertainer, these could have been avoided. Due to the awesome reviews of the movie, there were a lot of families lining up for the movie, and this is going to be a sour point. Just MHO.
  • Violent. Again, IMHO, the scenes where the family is interrogated and tortured could have been torn down. But by the end of that scene, the audience is definitely angry with the police for mistreatment.

 

Awesome story. Good movie. Must watch.

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