Silence starring Manoj Bajapyee, is a desi, old-fashioned whodunnit.
I say this with a feeling of nostalgia more than sarcasm, but the first scene itself brings back a lot of CID memories. A random group of youngsters stumbling over a dead body, soon after this high profile murder case landing in the hands of the most capable ACP in town. Sounds Familiar right?
First time director Aban Bharucha Deohans plays it safe by sticking to the modus operandi of such thrillers. We are introduced to a series of characters close to the victim, out of which all fingers progressively point to one prime suspect. His unprovoked aggression is meant to pit us against him, but having followed ACP Pradyuman and his likes for a few decades now, we know better than believing in the obvious. Now, a good whodunnit would usually have the audience guessing the killer between at least two suspects if not more, but with a uni[CM(1] -directional plot here, there is no scope for our participation as such.
There are enough witnesses, proofs, alibis etc to keep us engaged, but there is hardly any tension or urgency. Infact, the casualness in the narration makes the murder mystery look like quite a mockery at times.
Unnecessary details and absurd interactions disturb the continuity of the film. For example, a scene where Prachi Desai is left alone to take care of an injured Manoj Bajpayee hints at some sexual tension but also gives father-daughter vibes, I am not so sure why this scene was here.
What raises SILENCE above its mediocrity is Manoj Bajpayee alone. His swag is established through his cool t-shirts and one-liners. Like all legendary Bollywood cops, he does not play by the rules and doesn’t mind getting shot once in a while. The film has its moments, and all of them come from Manoj Bajpayee. His natural charm is the only strong hook to keep us intrigued despite the anomalies.
Actors like Arjun Mathur, Prachi Desai and Sahil Vaidya are underutilized in their caricaturish roles.
Special mention and some extra points for not wasting time with music or profanity.
Silence ticks all the boxes of a murder mystery but is too primitive in its approach. It still makes for a casual weekend watch.
Going with 2.5/5