Dhrishyam needs no introduction. Originally conceptualized and directed by Jeethu Joseph, this Mohanlal starrer Malayalam film garnered both critical and commercial success in 2013. Unsurprisingly, this low budget thriller spiraled remakes in virtually all the regional languages ( Kannada, Telugu, Tamil) in quick succession. The hindi version of Dhrishyam brings back the powerful duo of Ajay Devgn and Tabu pitted against each other on screen after a hiatus. Nishikant Kamat, director who helmed the impressive Mumbai Meri Jaan and an above average Force, stays true to the original blueprint of the Malayalam thriller. Despite of minor glitches, Dhrishyam comes up trumps as a compelling and engaging thriller, which will keep you on the edge right till the climax. The film explores the ordinary life of Vijay Salgaocar ( Ajay Devgn) , a 4th class dropout yet a sharp and witty man who runs his own cable business in the outskirts of Goa. He is happily settled with his wife ( Shriya Saran) and two daughters and are a close knit family. While Vijay is obsessed about watching movies most of his time, his affable nature makes him a local favourite at his place. His life is going on a perfect track until an unfortunate incident pits him and his family against Meera Deshmukh ( Tabbu) , a ferocious and unrelenting IG of police and her businessman husband (Rajat Kapoor). Thus begins an intense battle of wits and emotions, fuming up a dramatic conflict which forms core of the film.
Nishikant Kamat does a splendid job in weaving out this gripping story in its own pace. While the first half is mostly spent in delineating the respective characters and their lighter side , its the post intermission part which keeps you hooked and engaged till the end. The watertight screenplay is not designed as a murder mystery or thriller, since the audience is aware of the culprit. But its the cat and mouse game and the battle of wits that is the high point of Dhrishyam. Its a real thrill witnessing a web of lies being concocted by one side, and the other side investing all their efforts in dissecting the theory and clawing back to the truth-This mental combat between the police and an ordinary family is a delight to watch. Its not that the film is devoid of flaws–the length of the film and songs should have been trimmed. Also, unlike the original, the bonding between Vijay and his family is not explored competently. But as i mentioned earlier, the excellent script trumps up all the glitches in one shot and keeps you riveted till the end. Dhrishyam also works because of some fine performances by its dependable cast. Ajay Devgn pitches in a remarkably understated performance, and its good to see him in form after his previous inconsequential ventures. He brings his trademark angst and converts it into a simmering portrayal of a father who can go any extent to protect his family. Tabu brings all her elegance and brilliance in her complex character of a yearning mother under the shell of a unforgiving IG police cop, and she is an absolute winner here. Shriya Saran does justice to her role and so as Rajat kapoor. Kamlesh Savant plays the role of a loathsome cop who revels in tormenting the innocent family with panache. Supporting actors ( a special mention of Ishita Dutta who plays the elder daughter) lend credibility to the proceedings. This film might just fall short of the original, but nevertheless is a great piece of work. A perfect combination of gripping story and terrific performances, Dhrishyam is a must watch.