Mind Tamer!!

Upendra Sidhaye
Screenplay Adaptation

Jeethu Joseph
Original Story

Film Review
Drishyam:Mind Tamer !

Drishyam cool
MIND TAMER!! surprise 

Spoiler Warning – Care has been taken to avoid spoilers in the main body of the review. But since our aim is Screenplay discussion flaws are discussed separately in the end, which have spoilers.    

FACT – Goan Fish nuggets, with Kerala recipe..    cheeky
fact – You promised me nuggets of wisdom, remember?  enlightened

FACT – Yes I remember. That’s why I have imported the recipe.    
fact – I don’t know the original. So my feedback will be solely based on your recipe..no comparison at all.

FACT – That’s good. This is actually for people like you. wink   
fact – Aa..ah. I see your signature ingredients in this..surprise

FACT – Ya, I made it bit extra spicy.. smiley   
fact – Besides that, you have cooked it little longer. Don’t you feel this extra is muffling the original flavour..?indecision

Ok, let’s begin with ups, which indeed outweigh the downs..yes

The story is powerful which is why it’s getting made in several languages with superstars. The Premise is strong - Your kin commits a crime accidentally and you go any length to protect him/her. Difficult to digest because we have been reading/watching stories where Heros wage wars against their kins if they go on the wrong side of law. But here, that’s the freshness of the story and the beauty of screenplay makes you foot for the Protagonist in his fight against the law.

The Screenplay is simplified to make the unusual Premise palatable. Characters are kept proper black and white. The victim is an absolute social-offender, the guardian of laws aka Police are as usual ruthless. Our Hero is a thorough gentleman, so is his family. Thus, Screenplay takes care that your empathies remain focused.

Ajay Devgn’s Vijay’s character sketch is interesting which seamlessly merges with and enhances the Plot. He is a primary fail cable operator who has acquired substantial knowledge by watching films that he telecasts for his subscribers. So when he rises to protect his family against the dominant Police force, he comes as the little David against the mighty Goliath. How does Vijay do that? He plays Mind Games with the experts of Criminology I mean the Police, represented by IG Meera Deshmukh (Tabu) who is also mother of the missing guy.. to make the fight personal.

Vijay is always a step ahead of the Police. He has already secured his alibis, proofs of innocence, prepared everything much before the cops could even smell the fish.              

After a long First Act of setting up, the crisis strikes and the real drama builds up and keeps you intrigued till a point when things start becoming repetitive.

So that brings us to the downs of the story..

The Length is a big negative. Too much setting up of the corrupt cop Gaitonde and similar other characters, routines, make it tad too long. A couple of witnesses /alibis would have been enough to draw the point as how he pre-empted the police, but the film shows several of them making it repetitive.

Also ‘Tabu’s filmy entry with swaggering close’, I am sure must be the Bollywood tadka in the Kerala recipe – read misfit in otherwise much down to the earth screenplay.

Though everything proves Vijay’s innocence, Tabu harassing them based only on her gut-feel doesn’t come convincing for an officer of IG level. One strong material link somewhere, just enough to make her suspect him, could have made it believable.

Lastly, she just concludes the investigation by her understanding and narrates it to the audience. We expected she finds some ‘Eureka’ link and then connects the events in retrospect to arrive her findings. What happens now is mostly talking/questioning kind of investigation. So while Vijay is playing Mind Games, the same is not coming from the Police side, who are instead just resorting to third degree, and finally doing the mathematics to solve the puzzle!    

Also a radical problem which one can have with such films is the message. The film’s message that ‘to protect one’s family one can go to any length’ - may be perfect in its isolation but the question arises is it really right thing to protect a wrong act? Ok, you are good, and crime accidentally happened, but isn’t that what happens mostly? With that logic – practice to follow the law itself becomes superfluous. Unfortunately more than good guys like Vijay of our film, baddies like tycoons and politicos will feel vindicated by this message, because in their eyes, replacing a car smashed by their kids is enough a redemption.

Well, coming to the flaws. A flawless thriller is a rare satisfaction – an audience’s dream. It’s nearly impossible in this age, so whoever is attempting let’s admire that. So thank you for Drishyum. But like an informed audience let’s also see where the writers left the holes, just for academic purposes..      

Please read beyond this, only after watching the film, and please do watch it..  cool     

  1. If the younger daughter Annu has told the Police about the crime, why is the dead-body so important that not finding it can annul the whole charge of crime? Why can’t the child’s testimony be used to register a Prima Facie crime? 
  2. Also Vijay had anticipated his family to break down at some point and had already prepared for it by getting rid of the dead-body. Again same question - is the dead-body everything? What if the wife/daughter says they killed the victim? If Police don’t find the dead-body will that mean they can’t be tried based on their confessions?   
  3. Also if Vijay was getting rid of the dead-body, why was it necessary to replace it by an animal’s carcass? Couldn’t he just fill it with earth, shut it and forget it, given that he drives Hero Honda? winklaugh
    It looks a false tension & eventually yields nothing.   sad 

FACT – Ok, what’s the conclusion?  
fact – A good thriller is a rare gem, let you mind be little tame and you'll enjoy this mind game.  yes

   Sanjay Sharma

Critic who loves to appreciate.

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