A critic who gives star-based ratings to film reviewers? Sounds strange yet interesting. Dulquer Salmaan's latest Hindi film 'Chup: The Revenge of the Artist' tells the story of a serial killer, who ruthlessly murders film critics, taking the 'dramatic' part of their reviews as inspiration for his murder methods.
The murderer, who is a cinephile as well as a failed director, kills film critics "for their callous attempt to censure a director's baby" (as the killer calls a movie).
The first half keeps the audience glued to their seats, except for some blood and gore scenes that would make them turn their heads off the screen.
But the director does not wait for a grand denouement to reveal the murderer. Towards the end of the first half, we know who the killer is, thus making the rest of the film a cat-and-mouse race to nab him.
Chup also pays a tribute to the late filmmaker Guru Dutt and his artistic finesse. The references from the auteur's last film 'Kaagaz ke Phool', which was panned by the critics and shunned by the box office but is considered a masterpiece today, is a brilliant element to be taken as a backdrop for the film.
Dulquer as Sebastian Gomes aka Danny is the best part of the film and he delivers a remarkable performance. Sunny Deol as inspector Aravind Mathur and Pooja Bhatt as Dr Zenobia Shroff, a criminal psychologist, add enough pace to the film through their performances.
The Family Man-fame Shreya Dhanwanthary, who plays the role of an entertainment reporter Nila Menon, has been able to convincingly portray the ambitiousness of a 'wanna-be' film critic.
'Chup' also includes a cameo appearance of actor Amitabh Bachchan who shares a small talk on the importance of movie reviews that give both the filmmakers as well as actors a scope for improvement in a positive aspect.
Chup, released in theaters on September 23, is directed by R Balki, known for 'Cheeni Kum' and 'Padman'. The film, which also features Saranya Ponvannan in a supporting role, is produced under the banner of Hope Productions. The film teaser had shown a sequence in which Dulquer Salmaan is making paper flowers while singing 'Happy Birthday'. The teaser was released on Guru Dutt's birth anniversary to pay homage to the late actor-director.
For the most part, 'Chup' is a one-time watchable film that has an intriguing yet crisp storyline, except for a few predictable sequences. But it does send a chill down the spine of any film critic who saw the movie to write a review.