Silence (Tamil/Telugu) Review

Silence Tamil Telugu Movie Review

To modify Christopher Hitchens’ quote: Everyone harbors a story within them, and in most cases, that is where it should remain. Silence, with a narrative by Kona Venkat, serves as a testament to the truthfulness of this quote.

The story commences as a horror film with a haunted house plot, swiftly abandoned like the house itself. It then transforms into a whodunit, featuring a mute girl as a witness. While this concept could have evolved into an engaging screenplay, any hopes of that diminish when you realize the witness is named Sakshi (meaning witness). From this point, it flirts with multiple genres (love quadrangle, possessive girlfriend, revenge drama, psycho killer) but fails to commit to a single genre, resulting in a hodgepodge of whatdunit.

This is what the audience demands from the creators. Something peculiar occurs when movies unfold in foreign locations with foreign actors. The acting becomes erratic, the dubbing falls out of sync (even when the dialogues are in English), alienating the viewers. Last year’s Vellai Pookal, starring Vivek, suffered from the same problem. While it had a compelling plot and convincing acting by Vivek, the performances of the supporting characters (all American) dragged it down, unintentionally providing moments of humor and irritation. At least that movie had a well-written plot, something lacking in the case of Silence.

Lost in Translation

The casting of Michael Madsen (Tarantino’s muse from Reservoir Dogs and Kill Bill) is squandered, much 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 lacks both the bark and the bite. The only thing he does is act as the ‘smoking is injurious to health’ ticker running throughout the movie. For some inexplicable reason, he introduces himself as Richard Dawkins (the famous evolutionary biologist) while the entire cast calls him Dickens, indicating the lack of effort in crafting the story. Shalini Pandey undergoes a role reversal, portraying a crazier and more possessive female Arjun Reddy.

A talented actor like Avasarla Srinivas is confined to repeating lines like ‘Come back before it is too late’ in a painfully long loop. Anjali receives a role that might have looked promising on paper but suffers from terrible treatment. Madhavan is cast in a role that could have been handled by a lesser-known star or a less capable actor. Anushka attempts to carry the movie, akin to how Dravid carried a lackluster Indian XI on foreign tracks, but the end results in both cases are the same.

“Silence”: A Chaotic Blend of Genres That Fails to Find Its Voice

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

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