About a month back, I had written about "Papanasam" which saw Kamal Haasan show ample evidence as to why he is considered as one of the best actors in the country. Well credit for that definitely goes to Jeethu Joseph whose script & direction was top notch & which was made all the more impactful thanks to the peerless Lalettan. Anywaz that led to a remaking spree with the latest industry to be hooked onto it being Bollywood. So will it be able to create waves there as well after all the cultural differences is pretty marked between the North & the South???
Well I am not even going to attempt saying anything about the plot as it would be known to everyone by now. This version had Nishikant Kamat call the shots who got some pretty decent credentials having won the National Award for his Marathi film "Dombivali Fast" a couple of years back. The screenplay by Upendra Sidhaye has remained more or less true to the original but subtle changes has been made to the script with regard to the locales. So does it actually work atleast in terms of the thrill factor. There is no doubt that it's surely one of the well made thrillers in Bollywood in the recent past, but if you have seen Lalettan's or even Kamal's version, you are bound to be disappointed. Just to cite a few examples, the sequence where the family was brutally thrashed at the police headquarters or the climax between the two parties both of which was brilliantly canned in Malayalam & Tamil, but it barely had an impact here. None of the technical aspects deserves special mention, which doesn't imply it was mediocre but it doesn't quite catch your attention also.
I do agree that it's absolute injustice to even compare Ajay Devgan to a legend like Lalettan, but he is no lame duck also after all he has won the National award twice. Being a person who have excelled in expressing anguish & helplessness through his eyes, I would have to admit that it was disappointing to see him unable to showcase that caliber here. However, Tabu absolutely rocked as the IG & I feel she has performed on par or even better than Asha Sharath. The way she showcases her ability to oscillate between the ruthless nature of her profession & the yearning of her mother's heart, was quite a treat. Rajat Kapoor as Tabu's husband was impressive (the best in all the versions) along with Kamlesh Sawant. As for the rest of the cast, Shriya Saran & the kids were average at best while the kid who enacted Varun's role was far from threatening.
Verdict: With "Bajrangi Baijaan" & "Bahubali" ruling the roost, it wont be possible for "Drishyam" to make a dent in their collections. But to be fair to the makers, I feel they have done a praise worthy job & surely deserves an audience for their effort. So will it appeal to those who have seen the original or even the Tamil version, then the answer will be a big "No". Anywaz give it a try if you haven't seen either of the two or else forget it!!!