Silence (Tamil/Telugu) – is far from golden

Silence Tamil Telugu Movie Review

To tweak Christopher Hitchens quote: Everyone has a story inside them, and in most cases that is where it should stay. Silence, with a story by Kona Venkat, reminds us of this quote’s veracity.

The story starts out as a horror movie with a haunted house plot that is then immediately deserted like the house. It then moves to a whodunit with a mute girl for witness. This idea could have made into an interesting screenplay, but you give up any hopes of that when you realize the witness is named Sakshi (meaning witness). From here it flirts with multiple genres (love quadrangle, possessive girlfriend, revenge drama, psycho killer) but does not commit to any single genre. It becomes a hodgepodge of whatdunit.

That is what you ask from the makers. Something strange happens when movies are set in foreign locations with foreign actors. The acting goes all over the place, the dubbing is not in sync (even when the dialogues are in English) and this alienates the viewers. Last year’s Vellai Pookal starring Vivek suffered from the same problem. It had a good plot and convincing acting by Vivek but the acting of the supporting characters (all American) brought it down and was unintentionally funny and irritating at places. At least that movie had a well written plot, something that is missing in case of Silence.

The casting of Michael Madsen (Tarantino’s muse from Reservoir dogs and Kill Bill) is wasted like the entire term of Trump’s presidency. Famous for his iconic line ‘Are you gonna bark all day or are you gonna bite’ , his role neither has the bark nor the bite. The only thing he does is act as the ‘smoking is injurious to health’ ticker running all through the movie. For some inexplicable reason he introduces himself as Richard Dawkins (the famous evolutionary biologist) while the entire cast calls him Dickens. That tells us the effort that has gone into writing the story. Shalini Pandey gets a role reversal, she plays a crazier and more possessive female Arjun Reddy.

A talented actor like Avasarla Srinivas is limited to mouthing lines like ‘Come back before it is too late’ in a painfully long loop. Anjali gets a role that would have looked good on paper but suffers from terrible treatment. Madhavan has been cast in a role that any lesser known star or less capable actor could have sufficed in. Anushka tries to carry the movie like Dravid carried a lacklustre Indian XI on foreign tracks but the end results in both the cases turn out to be the same.

The screenplay uses seemingly interesting techniques like multiple narrators and flashback within flashback, but the sloppy execution ends up giving one headache. By the time the movie reaches last 15 minutes, where the story picks up, it is too little too late. You end up asking the same question that Madhavan asks a thousand times in the pre-climax reveal: ‘WHY????’

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