Mohanlal: Audience is the king for 'Drishyam 2'

Dubai - Malayalam superstar tells us why he is happy with the thriller's OTT release


Ambica Sachin

Published: Wed 17 Feb 2021, 11:13 AM

Last updated: Wed 17 Feb 2021, 11:19 AM

The Malayalam film industry has thrived on showcasing the story of the average, man on the street with such finesse that any and every viewer can immediately relate to the story playing out on the big screen. It is a niche skill set that many other film industries within the country have not been able to tap into with as much success. It’s of course an arguable perspective but one just needs to glance at the supremely talented lot of actors reigning over the Malayalam film screens to realise that behind their ordinary man-next-door demeanor lies a unique skill set that gives them easy access into the intimate mindscape of their viewers.

Among those who undoubtedly possesses this talent in abundance is veteran Malayalam actor Mohanlal. For over 40 years, the now 60-year old actor has been a part of every Malayali household right from his villainous entry in 1980’s Manjil Virinja Pookkal to the fantasy drama Odiyan in 2018. But perhaps nothing has taken him and his fans aback as much as the success of his 2013 family drama turned crime thriller Drishyam. Directed by Jeethu Joseph the movie was centered on Georgekutty, a cinephile, whose world revolves around his family and films. When a murder threatens to tear the family apart, Georgekutty resorts to utilising his obsession with cinema to weave an alternative narrative around the circumstances surrounding the brutal death to waylay the police officers investigating the case.

The film proved to be such a success with viewers that it was remade into other languages including Hindi with Ajay Devgn and Tabu playing key roles in Drishyam.

With Drishyam 2 set to stream on Amazon Prime Video on February 19, Jeethu Joseph admits the main challenge “of creating a movie like Drishyam 2 that has such a well-established character who can display a range of emotions and is always a step ahead, is a lengthy process. There are so many factors and details that one needs to take into consideration, that it takes time to pen down a story like this- a minimum 7 to 8 years, I believe.” Jeethu has admitted eariler that he had no intention of making a sequel when the movie released in 2013. It was the constant fan requisitions that finally made him put pen to paper in 2015 and the result is Drishyam 2 out this weekend on the global streaming platform.

“The movie will have an exclusive premiere on the service and will be made available to avid cinephiles across 240 countries. This will help us reach a wider segment of audience across regions and languages. I hope the audiences will truly enjoy the experience of watching it from the comforts of their home,” he says when quizzed on how catching the sequel to their favourite movie on an OTT platform can elevate the experience for hardcore fans. As for how hard it was to convince the cast including Mohanlal, Meena and others to sign on for part 2, he says, “Actually at the time of Drishyam’s (the prequel) release, everybody had a sense that there might be a possibility of a sequel, but I did not confirm anything to anyone. I started thinking about it in 2016. There were so many fan theories and interpretations around Drishyam 2, that I finally thought that this is the right time for me to write the next part. So I wrote something and told my family and close friends to read it. It took me 5 years to put down the script and maintain the continuity of characters. But when the final script was ready and I showed it to everyone, they all instantly agreed to be on-board.” And why wouldn’t they considering the enormous success of the first one!

Mohanlal on

Replicating the success of the original Drishyam

If you observe carefully, Drishyam was a family drama right till the first half of the movie since one is completely unaware of what is coming their way. The film picks up the pace with the excitement and suspense going several notches higher in the second half in what then becomes a full-fledged thriller. With Drishyam 2 being the continuation, we see the story moving forward thanks to the writer and director, Jeethu Joseph who is very well aware of the big baggage of expectations that come with such an eagerly awaited film. Having put in our best efforts, we are confident that Drishyam 2 will live up to the expectations of our fans and give cinephiles across the world a movie to enjoy and cherish.

The true hero of a movie…

For any movie to be successful, the entire team has to be in sync with each other and share the same vision. Everyone is a hero here - the director, the actors, the script writers and all those involved in the making of the movie as well as the audiences considering the amount of love they shower upon us.

On Drishyam 2 releasing on an OTT platform

I am happy about Drishyam 2’s release on Amazon Prime Video. The advantage of Drishyam 2 releasing on a streaming service like APV is that this movie will have an exclusive premiere globally. Making it available to viewers across 240 countries and territories will help us reach a wider segment of audience across regions and languages. I hope the audiences will truly enjoy the experience of first day, first stream!

Do you believe Georgekutty resonated so much with the audience because he was every man/father/husband trying to protect his family? Does that ever feel like a burden at the end of the day?

It all depends on how viewers perceive the movie. Georgekutty is an unbelievable mix of a psychologist, a family man, and even a criminal. He has so many layers that it’s sometimes difficult to understand him. In the prequel, he was not prepared for the challenge that lay in front of him. Everything that he did then was purely impulsive with emotions driving him towards his mission- to protect his family. The audience now wants to see Georgekutty’s attitude towards his family and how he deals with the difficult situation, knowing that trouble may just be around the corner.

For the second part of your question, Drishyam is an intelligent film and for movies or sequels such as Drishyam2, you need a high level of logic and intelligence. Even I was unsure how Jeethu would continue Georgekutty’s story, but when he presented his script, my god I was in awe!

So if you watch the film, most of it has Georgekutty portraying emotions, which he underplays. He is not expressing the turmoil that’s in his mind. Having said that, in any scenario, the audience is the final decision maker. For a film like Drishyam 2, they are the king, so it all depends on how they perceive the movie and the characters.

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