Drishyam -2, sequel to the super hit Drishyam, a malayalam blockbuster, is a continuation of the the struggles and tirades a peace loving minority community family has to go through in this new India run by fascist forces of the majoritarian kind.
The films not only portray the daily trials and tribulations of a quiet family and its head, but also the daily terror of having to prejudge every moment of existence so as to protect themselves from the aggressively poised officialdom run by the majority maniacs.
While in Drishyam-1, Mohanlal, as George Kutty, had to go to extremes to safeguard the peace in his family, he continues to do that in the sequel to ensure peace and respect to his family. The extents to which a malayalee christian has to go, not to do something spectacular but only to provide a decent livelihood for his family, speaks volumes about the precarous nature of polity in India that is increasingly becoming intolerant towards the minorities.
Drishyam-1 came about in 2013. That the writer, Jithu Joseph, had to come up with a sequel in 2020 paints the picture of India post 2014 – the decisive year when India took a draconian turn towards the right and gave up all pretences of being a secular nation safe for the minorities.
The depiction of the characters speak for themselves.
Geetha Prabhakar, an IPS officer, is married to a Mr.Prabkarar, an IAS officer. While the IAS controls the civil society, the police wife, in the form of IPS, instills terror in the minds of the cinema loving and not-so-educated George Kutty. It should be noted that this depiction of the people in power, though done subconsciously, presents the India of today, where the bureaucracy is held by the same group of people who want to destroy the tranquility that prevails in the lives of the minorities, that too, in a progressive state like Kerala.
The extent to which the IAS-IPS duo go to bring trouble to the peace loving George Kutty family is seen in the manner of purchase of 2 acres of the latter’s land. By using their financial clout, Mr and Mrs Prabhakar ensure that Saritha and Sabu infiltrate into the serene lives of the Goerge Kuttys.
The Prabhakars are even able to influence the top rungs of the policy hierarchy (Thomas, Phillip) and use them to seek vengeance on the George Kuttys. A tale of damaging the enemy’s eye with his own hand – a device expertly conceptualised and executed by the vengeful Prabhakars, even when they are out of the police and bureaucratic force. One shudders to think what would have happened if the Prabhakars had been part of the bureaucratic setup.
The majoritarian maniacal side of the Prabhakars manifests itself yet again when it makes Thomas, the Inspector General of Police, to begin digging the local church cemetery, much to the consternation of the local bishop. The Prabhakars wouldn’t rest before they disturb those that are awaiting their day of redemption too.
In Drishyam -1, the eatery owner, Ikka, a kind and elderly muslim man is cheated routinely by Sahadevan, a police man. While Ikka can’t retaliate, Sahadevan continues to harangue the former. In Drishyam -2, Ikka continues to be kind and even provides employment to Raghu, a differently enabled worker. Ikka is so kind that he even advises Jose, a on-time-criminal, to find a new livelihood.
While in Drishyam-1 Rani, George Kutty’s wife is practically illiterate in English, even after six years, she continues to be so in Drishyam -2. This is the true state of the minorities in India. Neither can they progress nor can be be educated. While George Kutty has moved on to become a theatre owner, one should not forget the struggles he should have undergone to come up in life. We also come to know from Rani that George Kutty has had to take huge loans to become what he had become. We also need to understand that Rani had to continue to labour and peel the coconut by hand so that the family could come up in life and send the second daughter to a convent.
To sum it up: Drishyam 1 and its sequel are the microcosm of the current state of affairs in India where minorities live in constant fear of their lives and properties. The two movies are nothing but the personification of the India that the country has become since 2014.
P.S.: I expect to be appointed to the editorial board of either The Hindu or Puthiyathalaimurai.