Film: Silence…Can You Hear It?
Cast: Manoj Bajpayee, Prachi Desai, Arjun Mathur, Sahil Vaid, Barkha Singh, Shishir Sharma
Director: Aban Bharucha Deohans
Rating: 3 Moons
Who doesn’t love a good murder-mystery and especially if you have Manoj Bajpayee playing the tenacious, shrewd, intelligent yet reticent, brooding police officer, bidding his time to nab the culprit. In director Aban Bharucha Deohans’ film Silence…Can You Hear It? Manoj plays all these and much more relying on not what he hears but on what he sees in this perfectly serviceable thriller.
Silence…Can You Hear It? starts with a group of young trekkers discovering the dead body of a young woman. It turns out that the high-profile victim Pooja (Barkha Singh) was the daughter of a retired judge-Justice Chaudhary (Shishir Sharma). Chaudhary, hell-bent on getting his daughters killers requests the Police Commissioner to assign his daughter’s murder case to ACP Avinash Verma (Manoj Bajpayee). His reason for doing so is because of Avinash’s hot-headed, impatient temperament and the tendency to not follow the rule book. The judge tells the Police Commissioner that Avinash’s idea of justice isn’t jaded and his impatience will speed up the case.
Avinash quickly assembles a team comprising of three cops- Sanjana Bhatia (Prachi Desai), Amit Chauhan (Sahil Vaid) and Raj Gupta (Vaquar Sheikh), together they try to nab the killer before the case turns cold. Their prime suspect proves to be a young politician Ravi Khanna (Arjun Mathur), at whose house Pooja was last seen and whose wife- also Pooja’s BFF lies comatose in the hospital after an accident. However, there is more to the story than what meets the eye.
Ad filmmaker and author Aban Bharucha Deohans makes her feature film debut with Silence…Can You Hear It? While she manages to tick off most of the boxes and holds the attention of a perfect whodunit without any witness, she loses her grip when it comes to screenplay. The suspense is not very difficult to guess considering that there are few red herrings in the film and one is easily able to smell the culprit and fit in the puzzles once she reveals her cards, which proves to be a dampener. She also adheres to clichés of the lone cop who has no regard for rules and a troubled personal life.
Manoj Bajpayee is impeccable and manages to add quirks to his character making it distinct from his previous cop acts. However, it is difficult to not see some semblance of his other roles in his act. Nonetheless, he leads from the front and manages to garner some laughs with his trademark tongue-in-cheek humour. The three-time National Award winner manages to bring some relief in tense moments and carries the film expertly on his shoulders.
Prachi Desai excels in her role as a cop and it’s good to see her on screen after a long hiatus. She proves to be a perfect ally to Avinash in the film. International Emmy award nominee Arjun Mathur, as a politician, manages to pull off the various shades of his layered character perfectly and effectively. Sahil Vaid, Vaquar Sheikh and Barkha Singh play their parts well.
Arvind Singh’s cinematography helps the thriller keep its suspense intact. However, Sandeep Kumar Sethy’s editing could have been tauter. The makers have not made the film frivolous by inserting unnecessary songs in the narrative which deserves brownie points. The background score helps the story with the right beats.
While the suspense might not be the film’s biggest trump card, it is Manoj’s stellar act that manages to keep your attention hooked.
PeepingMoon.com gives Silence…Can You Hear It? 3 Moons.