There are lots of things great about Nishikant Kamat's latest feature, but that doesn't mean it can be touted as a great film independently.
Starting with a scene so mystic in its own way, the film starts with a flashback. Characters are brilliantly placed into the plot as we witness a family setup being created. Things take a turn when an act of crime enters this scene. One more act of crime follows, and that is when one gets the vibe of a thriller coming into form.
The 50 minute second half, which is also the most engaging minutes for any Bollywood film this year, steals the show and keeps us on the edge of our seats as we are smothered by a series of twists. If one does not feel goosebumps during that master-stroke climax, then I don't know what will.
The build-up is great, and so is the score that accompanies it, but if one pays attention to details throughout the film, even TataSky's native adverts look more professional. The writing is to be blamed. I am all okay with the idea of remaking, but borrowing the frames, hiring lookalikes, and even using some of the dialogs makes the whole drama look like an answer written by an Engineering student: everything out of place and irrelevant. Plus, apart from few minor, clever changes, there is no hint of any improvement which should have been necessary and which would have made it more appealing to the learned masses.
I had problems with the whole cast; like they all watched the original (2013) and just re-enacted their roles. It hardly works, and now this can be taken as a testimonial study by filmmakers in the future before they enter the remake scene. Devgn could not handle the fatherly figure well, nor could Tabu create thunders with her uniform. The guy who played the corrupt policeman Gaitonde acted like he just came out of a wrestling pit and was made to deliver his cocky, cringe-worthy dialogs. The child artistes were fine, if not oversmart. Even Kapoor was a let-down.
The film also questions justice and what a person should do at times like this. Although, the plot constantly makes the family look like protagonists in spite of their deeds, and falsely guides us what it thinks is right (or should be right). But if you look closer, you will realize the climax answers all the questions about righteousness.
BOTTOM LINE: Drishyam, as an edge-of-the-seat thriller, does not tell you how to act during time of brutal crimes, but it finely creates a story so charming that you will want to talk about it with your friends just to understand what is right and what is wrong.
VERDICT: 6 stars out of 10. Watch it!
Can be watched with a typical Indian family? YES