Happy days are here again with Drishyam 2

Ajay Devgn gets his fourth biggest opener in a career of over 30 years with Drishyam 2’s stunning opening-day performance. Photo: Universal Communications

The first Drishyam (2015), a remake of the 2013 Malayalam film of the same, might trace its origins to South India. But never mind if Drishyam 2 also originated in the South, so far as the story and the original film is concerned. For one, the treatment is by the Mumbai-based Abhishek Pathak (who had directed the unsuccessful Gone Kesh). For another, the remake is shown based in Goa, centering round a Maharashtrian family and has significant changes. In addition, the now-cult popularity of the characters from original Hindi Drishyam (which did only above-average business when released in 2015) was harnessed well by the script in this crisp remake of the original’s sequel in Malayalam.

Exceeding trade expectations of a national opening of around or below Rs. 12 crore, the film opened to a historic (for recent times) Rs. 15.38 crore on Friday. The significant Saturday figures are likely to cross at least Rs. 20 crore if not more. In a rare triumph—accorded to few Hindi films only like Gadar—Ek Prem Katha and Bajrangi Bhaijaan —shows have been organized as late as 11.59 p.m. (midnight!) and at 6 a.m. in some movie halls.

My prediction: This film will enter the 100 crore club within 5 days, if not 4! This membership to the club this year has been attained only by RRR (Hindi only) , Gangubai Kathiawadi, Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2, KGF 2 (Hindi only), The Kashmir Files and Brahmastra. Kantara and Ram Setu seem to be heading there, but they are far from dead certs.

In a year singularly plagued by one cinematic disaster after another, Drishyam 2 has indeed come as a heaven-sent face-saver for proper Hindi cinema. This is the fourth biggest opening ever for Ajay Devgn after Singham Returns, Golmaal Again and Total Dhamaal. Significantly, all these have been sequels—the second being the fourth in a franchise and the last being the third. And Singham Returns’ 2011 original, Singham, was also a remake that was much modified by whizkid Rohit Shetty. The movie is also doing well in the UAE, Singapore and Malaysia.

The film also strengthens the belief that a well-made remake can still be a good box-office bet, instead of a frame-to-frame or near-identical reboot. In these days when the original of any film is easily available online, this is a must for a film to make it big at the movie halls.



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