Chup: The Artist’s Revenge Movie Review


reviewer’s note:


Movie critics beware! There’s a dreaded killer on the loose and he’s out to get you. So be honest about the artistic merit of the film you’re reviewing or it will cut you off. Considering Balki’s movies have always received favorable reviews, it’s a mystery why he cooked up this revenge fantasy. And given that former film critic Raja Sen is on the writing staff, the mystery is even more confusing. The film is also Balki’s tribute to Guru Dutt and hundreds of other creative souls who found real life too disturbing. The film shows that cinema provides ordinary people with an escape from their mundane lives and therefore it becomes the director’s duty to produce a well-made film. And it’s the critics’ duty to judge a film for its content and the emotions it evokes, and not to put their own biases in the reviews. He points out that Guru Dutt gave up filmmaking after his Kaagaz Ke Phool (1959) was widely panned by critics. That’s a loaded statement, because there’s a line of thinking that says it’s the masses that make a movie a commercial hit or flop. A poorly made movie can become a hit if it gets its act together and a movie that ticks all the boxes can fall flat at the box office if viewers don’t develop the flair. Kaagaz Ke Phool is considered a classic today and is taught in film schools. So perhaps posterity is a better judge than criticism or box office numbers.

There are basic flaws in the script. It is not specified how the killer, who only owns a bicycle, is able to kidnap and transport people out of their homes and kill them at different sites. And he is able to do so under increased police presence. Moreover, he is able to evade all security cameras everywhere. It just doesn’t add up.

But leave those glitches and the laughable premise aside, and you’ll see a beautiful romance brewing between Dulquer Salmaan, who plays a reluctant florist, and Shreya Dhanwanthary, who wants to be a proper critic. It’s a poetic romance, covered in soundtracks from Guru Dutt films, with cinematographer Vishal Sinha reproducing the lighting and mood of Dutt’s cinematographer, the legendary VK Murthy. The romance has never seemed serene lately and kudos to the director and cinematographer for getting the right on.

You will also see Sunny Deol playing a hardcore police detective. Sunny makes a strong comeback through this film. His action star image has always overshadowed his acting abilities. Balki brings out the actor in him, letting him grow into his character. He’s not a frustrated, anxious cop trying to change the system, but a dedicated officer who methodically connects the dots and tries to find a logical explanation for everything. Sunny has a great screen presence that is used effectively and her on-point performance is one of the highlights of the film. Good to see Pooja Bhatt back in action. She plays a psychiatrist who helps the police profile the killer. It’s a short, punchy role where she shines. Southern actress Saranya Ponvannan makes her Hindi debut with this one. She plays Shreya Dhanwanthary’s blind mother and the mother-daughter sequences are as real as they come. His sassy reactions are a delight indeed.

Shreya Dhanwanthary has always been a natural in front of the camera. She gave another believable performance here as a somewhat naive entertainment reporter who experiences emotional growth over the course of the film. Dulquer Salmaan was so good in the recently released Telugu movie Sita Ramam. Hindi audiences know him from Karwaan (2018) and The Zoya Factor (2019). Here, he embodies a complex character who identifies with Guru Dutt. The final scene where he strikes a pose à la Dutt in Pyaasa (1957) will take you back in time. It’s not an easy role to try and the actor gives it his all, convincing you with his sincerity and commitment.

Chup: Revenge of the Artist can only be described as an experience. Watch the film for the fine performances from the entire cast and for its tribute to Guru Dutt and his brand of cinema.

Trailer: Chup Revenge of the Artist

Ronak Kotecha, September 21, 2022, 10:57 AM IST

reviewer’s note:


Story: A psychopath kills movie critic after movie critic in the most gruesome way. Can the police catch him before the next movie review comes out?

It’s a nightmare for us film critics that we never saw coming until co-writer and director R Balki came up with this new idea of ​​our tribe getting ruthlessly sliced ​​for rating a movie. A psycho killer is on the loose targeting top movie critics and he could be just about anyone. A disgruntled filmmaker, a miffed actor, or just an ardent movie buff. The cops led by Inspector Arvind Mathur (Sunny Deol) are equally clueless as this serial killer makes no mistakes and kills his victim with creative finesse.
Conceptually, Balki and his team of writers (Raja Sen and Rishi Virmani) have a pristine plot that focuses on the lives of film critics, whose vocation has never really been explored in Hindi cinema. He spends the first half preparing the story and building the plot, quite brilliantly. So much so that the randomly infused love story of lonely florist Danny (Dulquer Salmaan) and rookie entertainment reporter Nila (Shreya Dhanwanthary) doesn’t seem like much of a distraction. But as the second half approaches, it becomes increasingly difficult to care about the vapid romance between Danny and Nila. Sure, the script does its best to keep everything tied to the main plot of the bloody murders, but the narrative nonetheless begins to drag. Now all you can do is wait for the big reveal at the end, but in a Bollywood thriller that is rarely rewarding. And ‘Chup’ is no exception.

While the love story misses the mark, Balki’s love of filmmaking does not. It executes plenty of footage with exquisite cinematography (by cinematographer Vishal Sinha) and a hauntingly brilliant background score recreated from chartbusters of yesteryear like ‘Jaane kya tune kahi’ and ‘Yeh Duniya agar mil bhi jaaye’ from the classic ‘Pyaasa’ by Guru Dutt. This creates the mystical atmosphere which adds more thrills to the killer’s carefully crafted murders.

Dulquer Salmaan gives his best to play a loner and a lover. You can see the actor’s difficulty juggling his complex character and he does a satisfying job of it. Shreya Dhanwanthary (of Scam 1992 fame) is endearing as a woman in love, but her role as a journalist doesn’t give her much leeway. Sunny Deol makes a resounding comeback. He plays the intelligent and dedicated investigator quite well with due restraint. And it feels good to see him team up with Pooja Bhatt, who leaves a mark even in his short but meaningful role. She plays fierce psychologist Zenobia – a strong, opinionated character who feels tailor-made for her. Amitabh Bachchan’s usual cameo in this Balki film doesn’t seem out of place either. Tamil actress Saranya Ponvannan’s character of Nila’s progressive mother is a hoot.

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