Chup: Revenge of the Artist
Director: R Balki
With: Dulquer Salmaan, Sunny Deol, Shreya Dhawanthary
R Balki’s ‘Chup: Revenge of the Artist’ is a psychological thriller that feels fresh in a year marked by remakes in Bollywood.
The plot revolves around cops trying to track down a serial killer who targets movie critics. He murders them in a gruesome way and marks the same number of stars they gave a movie on their forehead. Yes, it’s as gory as it sounds! The film, co-written by popular film critic Raja Sen and Balki, also pays homage to Indian cinema great Guru Dutt. The film attempts to emphasize the importance of film reviews.
After an ominous opening, the film wastes no time setting up the story as we witness the gruesome murder of a film critic. Sunny Deol, who plays cop Arvind Mathur, is tasked with catching the killer and he begins to unravel the mystery surrounding the murder.
While this is happening we are also introduced to a florist, Danny, played by Dulquer Salmaan and later we are shown a cub entertainment journalist Nila, played by famous “Family Man” Shreya Dhawanthary.
It is quite easy to guess the killer and also to know the progress of the plot. Instead of irrational plot twists, the film does a fantastic job of building the character of the killer. Dulquer, trying out a complex character, is the film’s best performer.
Along with the cat-and-mouse game between the killer and the cop, the film also sheds light on the impact critics and critics have had on the film industry using Guru Dutt’s latest film and its aftermath as an example.
The pace of the film picks up a bit in the second half. Some practical plot decisions slow the movie down a bit. Deol’s one-dimensional cop persona fails to connect with the audience. While predictability bogs the film down, its engrossing climax and quirky concept warrant a watch.