Some of R Balki’s movies can be summed up by one-liners. Real-life father and son cast as son and father with central protagonist is genetic disease: Paa. Mute actor borrows thespian’s voice to hit the big league: Shamitabh. She works, he doesn’t: Ki & Ka. Guru Dutt as the inspiration for a serial killer who murders film critics: Chup: Revenge of the Artist.
While it’s all about a great plot, CHUP is the story of a serial killer. Danny (Dulquer Salmaan) is a florist in Bandra, Mumbai. A young journalist Nila (Shreya Dhanwanthary), who has recently shifted to Mumbai, discovers his shop and is impressed that he sells tulips, his mother’s favourite. Both get attracted to each other. Meanwhile, a prominent movie critic, Nitin Srivastav, is killed ruthlessly at his residence. Inspector Arvind Mathur (Sunny Deol) is given charge of the case. This film is all about a psychopath serial killer set loose and is targeting film critics who give inappropriate ratings to movies opposite to the merit of the product. The police are chasing him but he is always a step ahead. No stress readers, I am alive! (wink wink).
Dulquer Salmaan is definitely here to stay and rule industries regardless of languages. In his portrayal of a man with a mental disorder, his approach is subtle and not overly dramatic. It is his performance that brings the ‘real’ vibe to a world that is highly fictional and borderline demands a lot of suspension of disbelief. Writers and actors, here’s your reference for how to balance a movie.
Shreya Dhanwanthary plays an entertainment journalist and is limited to that part. Of course she is the love interest and does more than just being a journalist, but not enough to root for her. She does an amazing job and she is an actor who can make you root for her, but that is her capabilities, that doesn’t mean the script gives her to prove that.
Sunny Deol is a treat here, you guys. Just like the hand pump he gets to jump across two walls while he could have taken the stairs, but I bought it because it was so much fun! I would have been disappointed if there was no such moment between a performance that is rightfully restricted and seasoned with mean one-liners.
Full marks to the originality of the Chup Revenge of the Artist story: there’s a serial killer on the loose in Mumbai, whose target is film critics. Oooh, shiver me timbers. It’s the kind of thought which I’m sure must have come to so many filmmakers not just in the Bay, but in film-making centres around the world, basically wherever the creators of cinema feel done against by callous critics being stingy with their stars, and generous with their criticism.
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The 57-year-old, who has helmed acclaimed films such as Cheeni Kum (2007) and Paa (2009), has also decided to hold a screening of Chup where the critics and the industry people will watch it together. The norm is to hold a separate show for both. The director explains, “It’s a film about the kind of opinions people have about each other, so we might as well watch it together! Rather than sit individually and form an opinion, why not watch it together.”
Film has got massive push at box office due to National Cinema Day but how well it sustains from Saturday onwards is a big question.