Star Cast: Manoj Bajpayee, Prachi Desai, Arjun Mathur, Sahil Vaid, Barkha Singh
Director: Aban Bharucha Deohans
Available on: Zee5
"Khaana khaaya?" asks the caller on the other end of the phone, to which Manoj Bajpayee's character quips, "Kya timing hai aapki! Bas khaane hi jaa raha tha." The endearing conversation between the mother-son duo then steers towards the latter's estranged wife, followed by our protagonist urging his 'amma' to move on before ending the call.
We see him standing with a glass of beer, gazing outside the window. A nazm whose lyrics goes like, "Jaag uthha phir wohi bedard mohabat ka gham, Chot aisi lagi kehta aaj bhi woh zakhm," plays on the gramophone and describes his state of mind. Surprisingly, it's the delicately woven moments like these which linger long in this murder mystery film.
What's Yay: Manoj Bajpayee
What's Nay: The suspense film loses its thrill in a few portions
The whodunnit begins with a group of young trekkers stumbling upon a dead body of a young girl. It turns out, the high-profile victim Pooja (Barkha Singh) was the daughter of a retired judge-Justice Chaudhary. Determined to bring his daughter's killer to justice, the latter requests the Police Commissioner to assign her murder case to ACP Avinash Verma (Manoj Bajpayee), a hot-headed, impatient cop who has never followed rules in his entire career.
With the help of a special team comprising of three cops- Sanjana Bhatia (Prachi Desai), Amit Chauhan (Sahil Vaid) and Raj Gupta (Vaquar Sheikh), ACP Avinash Verma sets out to nab the culprit before the case turns cold. The needle of suspicion points to a young politician Ravi Khanna (Arjun Mathur) whose wife is lying comatose in the hospital and was besties with Pooja. But, is there more to this than meets the eye?
Ad filmmaker and author Aban Bharucha Deohans who previously helmed a short film titled Teaspoon, makes her debut as a feature-film director with Manoj Bajpayee-starrer Silence...Can You Hear It? While Aban ticks off most of the boxes when it comes to holding your attention with her story about an almost-perfect crime minus any witness, she loses her grip a bit when it comes to the screenplay. The execution too, lacks novelty barring a few scenes.
Also, the red herrings fail to build a suspense as one is easily able to smell the culprit from a distance, once Aban reveals her cards.
Manoj Bajpayee's character in the film comes with 'The Family Man' hangover, but the talented actor manages to add some quirks to make it distinct from his previous cop acts. The National Award winning actor with his trademark tongue-in-cheek humour, also brings some relief in the tense moments.
It's good to see Prachi Desai on screen after a long time and the actress makes the most out of her role. Arjun Mathur pulls off the various shades in his character quite effectively. Sahil Vaid, Vaquar Sheikh and Barkha Singh are effective in their respective roles.
Arvind Singh's cinematography aptly captures the tense moments. Sandeep Kumar Sethy's editing scissors could have been a little more sharper to add more grip to the storytelling.
Thankfully, the makers of Silence...Can You Hear It? stay away from inserting unnecessary songs which would have otherwise, diluted the plot. The background score gels well with the theme of the film.
In one of the scenes in the film when one of the characters ask Justice Chaudhary the reason behind assigning his daughter's murder case to ACP Avinash Verma, he replies, "Because his version of justice is not jaded." In a similar way, Manoj Bajpayee also does complete justice to what's offered to him on paper. The actor carries this murder mystery on his sturdy shoulders and brings it to a satisfactory conclusion.
We give 3 stars out of 5 to Manoj Bajpayee-Prachi Desai starrer Silence...Can You Hear It?.