The hero of the movie leaves us with a question whether his actions of destroying the evidence of murder committed by his teen-age daughter was right or wrong. He says as a parent he did his duty to protect his daughter who accidentally killed to save her from a culprit. We all confront such dilemmas in our life and when we fail to find answers for such haunting questions within the domain of our ethical understanding, we seek spiritual or philosophical realms to obtain meaning to those actions.
Dhrishyam a Malayalam movie is about a nuclear family in a small village of kerala by the director Jeethu Joseph, who portrays a subtle truth that any action has many contributing individual and social factors. The impulses of an individual not only affects the family but also percolates to the bigger family, the society. The violent shootings and terrorist attacks, all stem from individual disturbances that ripples in the society. An individual who tries to save his "family" or belief then victimizes the bigger family, the society. All ancient cultures protected the community by sacrificing the individual desires.
In the name of catering to the desires of the individual, we now victimize the larger social family. The writer has pulsed this feeling in several instances, example, through the comment "Using fertilizers we have good crop yields, but we have killed all the beneficial soil aerating earthworms of nature".
The feeling of our "progress" and "modernization" is a deceiving visual perception (Dhrishyam) we have created. We have lost the perception of family and social duties. The self-gratification and its nature of victimizing the society is depicted by the actions of the characters in the movies.
Starting from the father of the teenage-girl, Georgekutty (Mohanlal) who stays backs late at night watching lot of movies including some porn at his office, was not on-time there to help his daughter (Anju) when being traumatized by varun.
The mother Rani, was under the peer-pressure of showing off "material status", the current social plague spreading rapidly in post Independent India. She vents it off by constantly nagging her husband for shopping in city malls, buying the latest cars, starting an additional business of owning a movie theater etc. When she fails to get her husband to send her children to "english-speaking" costly schools, she settles with a summer camp for her teenage daughter, Anju.
The third factor is the pampering parents Geetha and Prabhakar who gives ATM card and a video cellphone with which he records nudity of Anju in her bathroom. Modern parents give children inappropriate "gadgets" for their age hindering their own personal growth which ultimately creates many social problems.
Both the parents of middle class family (Georgekutty) and upper class family (Geetha Prabhakar) had spend less time with their children but saturated with all material comforts, one of the biggest parenting error.
The precipitating incident happens when Varun tried to blackmail anju and victimize her mother, a self protecting act of Anju turns into a murderous act. Rest of the movie is about the hero, the father, who creates a deceptive Dhrishyam (Visual-perception) covering up all the evidences of the murder.
A selfish policeman who exploits the villagers through his professional stature, later harasses the family during crime investigations. We hate the policeman who tries to get the truth of the murder out because we dont see his professional duty sense but his selfish vengenace attitude.
We empathize with the Hero who is doing an unlawful criminal activity of destroying the murder evidence, because he is doing his foremost duty to his family by saving his daughter from being a victim of selfish act of an individual.
That is why in the end he questions himself whether he has a clear demarkation of right and wrong. The justice he adhered to, is perceptible from only one particular level of the "Truth". (see the five levels of Truth).
From the Uni5-Selftual stand point, family welfare is the first duty of every individual. But most of us limit ourselves to our own limited individuality or limited family members or to a religious or professional group without embracing the big family, the society. This inertness to out grow from our own limited circled life to a big communal life is defined as "Ego". Intelligence evolved in human beings to overcome this inertness, but we have technologically abused to shelter the Ego to our own self-destruction.
Ego and intelligence: The twist in the end of the movie is not only a memorable one, but left us to ponder why every common man cannot have the perception (Dhrishyam) of the reality of life. One can never find the reality of the life, without having the perception of one's own Ego. Modern science has a clash with spirituality because science investigates everything "out" in nature without doing an introspection of the very observer (Self). See how the very observer can change how electron's move in quantum level. Another video on the physics of quantum observer effect of visual perception.
The hero is so confident that the police can never find the victim's dead body, because they will never look at the very same police-station from which they are investigating. Their Dhrishyam or preception is blinded, similarly are the intelligent minds searching for the reality of this life and Universe. Because we all fail to investigate what we are searching is within our own self itself, the Selftual.
Even if somebody gave a clue to the police to pull down the police station to find the truth which they will be hesitant to do. Similarly, spirituality says to pull down all the belief/sconcepts you have to find out the truth, we are hesitant to do it. This is why our investigating life continues for births after births, eternally.