Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Random rants on Drishyam

It has been brought to my attention that reading my 'reviews' of films does not tell readers whether to watch the film or not. While that's mainly because I'm not trying to tell you what to do with your time or money, let me clarify this at the outset: do watch Drishyam. It's an engrossing little thriller that you can enjoy with your family, and that's all you need to know. 

For the rest of this post, I'm going to indulge in more unintelligible ranting about the film that in no way should inform your choice to watch it or miss it.

  1. Before the film started, I started a little game with my sister - we would apply the Bechdel Test as the story unfolded. Surprise, surprise! None of the women in the film ever talk about anything that doesn't have a penis. And we're talking about two women who are complicit in murder. They don't fucking talk to each other while covering a murder. Not even, "hey, remember that murder we're covering up? Pretty cool, huh!"
  2. Shriya Sharan's character has to be the blandest, dumbest and most personality-devoid accessory to murder ever projected on a big screen. And I'm including Mamta Kulkarni from Sabse Bada Khiladi in my sample size. Hell, Nirupa Roy in the worst of her weepy momma roles has more personality than Shriya Sharan in Drishyam. 
  3. We did a thought experiment with the film, around the time our hero takes it upon himself to save his ladies from an impending murder charge and sets about vanishing all the clues to the disappearance of a young boy that could potentially lead the trail to his doorstep. What if there was no 'hero', no father figure here? What if we were dealing with two women who end up killing someone and must cover their tracks? What if it was about some women doing all those awfully clever things we saw Ajay Devgn doing in the film? Something similar (the murder part - not the cover-up part) happens, to spectacular effect in the Spanish film Volver starring Penelope Cruz as a mother protecting her teenage daughter in a vaguely similar situation. But then, that was Penelope Freaking Cruz. This was Shriya Sharan.
  4. Another thought experiment - what if there was no Shriya Sharan? I know, I'm sounding like I have something against her now, but seriously, was her character written so unimaginatively, or was the director unable to use her acting skills, or is she simply a bad actress? Anyway... so picture the film without the mom... the plot, the story, the murder, the cover-up... everything remains pretty much the same. She does not even strike a flicker of terror in the teenage boy who was not expecting an adult at his rendezvous with a schoolgirl. Seriously, my mother would be more terrifying than Shriya Sharan in that shed.
  5. All this seems weird in a film that boasts of its writing being its biggest strength. And it is, to much of an extent - the plot is well-baked, the loose ends are neatly tied up and all that. Except for an annoying little scene at a quarry in the first half, the pacing is generally good. Only the editor in me could not help but wonder if the chronology of the story could have been played around with. What if we, the audience, did not know about the murder before-hand? What if we approached the mystery from Tabu's viewpoint? What if the secretive family came across as a bunch of creeps covering a vital link to the disappearance of a young boy? 
So many possibilities.. so much fun.. only because the story as it is, is essentially a good one. So do watch Drishyam. If nothing else, it's a good little film to stroke your imagination. We don't get too many of those around here.

One final thought - how come everybody is so okay with the morality of the whole thing? I mean, we all just watched an entire movie dedicated to the art of dodging justice and getting away with murder. And it's all justified because the murder victim was a blackmailer? Hmph.

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