Chup, the thrilling movie has finally got onboard. Full points for the Chup Revenge of the Artist’s narrative’s uniqueness: there is a serial murderer on the run in Mumbai who preys on movie critics. Shiver me timbers, indeed. It’s the kind of thought that I’m sure must have crossed the minds of a great number of filmmakers, not just in the Bay but also in other filmmaking hubs around the globe—basically, wherever the makers of cinema feel disenfranchised by callous critics who are generous with their praise but stingy with their stars. Under the leadership of Inspector Arvind Mathur (Sunny Deol), the Mumbai Police find gruesomely murdered corpses one after another and start looking for the assailant who seems to have a thirst for blood. Meanwhile, a love story between budding journalist Nila (Shreya Dhanwantry) and florist Danny (Dulquer Salmaan) is forming. Nila is reluctant to work as a movie reviewer because she is tired of writing about entertainment.
The back-and-forth transitions between the killings and the smitten lovers get too abrupt at one point. You want the film to breathe, and that happens when Danny and Nila (a clever name for a movie-crazy girl, which means moon in Tamil) are tripping the light fantastic. Their chemistry is endearing. You instantly want to know from Raja Sen, a film reviewer, who shares writing credentials with R Balki, Rishi Virmani. “Chup” begins to feel like a love poem to movies and Mumbai, you desire there were more of these moments. The reverent nods to Guru Dutt and his films, particularly “Kaagaz Ke Phool,” which was panned by critics but is now regarded as a classic, counterpoint the killer’s animosity toward this group. However, the intrigue quickly fades away as it returns to the typical blood and gore; astute viewers will quickly identify the murderer.
It’s great to have Sunny Deol back in the movies, and Alia Bhatt’s appearance is enjoyable. Dhanwantry is gorgeous and Dulquer Salmaan is loosey-goosey; she has previously played a journalist in “Scam 92,” but here she gives her character Nila a unique personality by giving her a mom who is light on her feet (Ponnavanan). The movie ckearly deserves as 4 out of five star rating.