Cinema halls are the only place that keeps me alive and elated thus forming a larger part of my life. For me, Cinema isn’t just an entertainment medium but has also molded me into a better version. The effect of the reel world differs from person to person. But over the years do we fail to understand what cinema really stands for? Now it’s all about discussions and debates on how bad the cinema is thus forgetting how we wholeheartedly enjoyed it long back. R. Balki’s Chup ain’t just built on gruesome murders but spits some hard-hitting facts that everyone must embrace.
A serial killer targets renowned film critics in Mumbai and goes on a killing spree. The Crime Branch is desperately looking for the culprit and this cat and mouse game leads to Chup’s central crux. Chup is an ordinary thriller made in a unique way thus it might not suit your wishes for a perfect crime thriller. Chup is a homage to filmmaker Guru Dutt in the form of his songs, movie references, etc which blends beautifully with the storytelling. The film is not just about the killings but also elucidates how bad the critics/bad publicity can damage a movie or a filmmaker. Chup takes a different route, unlike other murder mysteries the narrative doesn’t create any forced high points or depend on coincidences to solve the puzzle. It unfolds slowly showcasing the emotional and mental imbalances of the protagonists along with the gory proceedings. The excessive bloodshed and visuals of mutilated bodies may disturb your experience but it was very commendable of Balki to retain those visuals without blurring them. Chup is uneven in places mostly due to the style it took to deliver the content and the investigation could’ve been explored a bit. However, the romance works big-time for the film that constitutes the film’s central part. Rather than being a namesake, the love contributes to the story and it works thanks to the scintillating chemistry between Shreya and Dulquer neatly. But Balki fumbles at the final act which lacks a nail-biting finish even though it serves its purpose. The showdown could’ve been set in a larger space and the hasty execution slowed down the intrigue it had till then.
Dulquer Salmaan as Danny is probably the actor’s most audacious act despite a few shortcomings. He is of utmost comfort and confidence as the deeply wounded, unstable hero and a charming lover. Shreya Dhanwanthary makes the proceedings bright with her presence and does a laudable job. Sunny Deol does his part neatly but my pick is Saranya Ponnvannan who adds laughter as the witty, affectionate mother.
The setting worked well for the film’s atmosphere. Be it the flower shop, horrific killings, or Guru Dutt’s tribute everything balances well to fit into R. Balki’s world of storytelling. Chup hasn’t got any fast-paced developments or the quintessential thriller elements but it does make you connect with the beauty and pain of Cinema.
Review By ©Rahul Babu