– Yaser Khan
Cast: Prabhu Deva, Sanath Reddy, Deepak Paramesh, Shashank Purushotham, Anish Padmanabhan, Indhuja and Gajaraj
Direction: Karthik Subbaraj
Prabhudeva returns to the screen as an actor after 2016’s ‘Tutak Tutak Tutiya’ for the Hindi speaking audiences with a silent film ‘Mercury’ which is directed by the acclaimed director Karthik Subbaraj known for ‘Jigarthanda’.
Story: A group of deaf and dumb friends party hard one night to celebrate their female friend’s birthday. They’re served all night by a caretaker. One of the male friends has a crush on the birthday girl and he decides to propose her that night. The couple sneak away for a long drive but are soon joined by the other friends. They visit an old factory that seems to be the root cause of a mercury mishap that has made generations of the area born with disabilities, they stone the main gate and then head to a memorial monument built in respect of the lives lost from the incident. The couple sneaks a little away from there and then the guy confesses his love through sign language to which the girl responds positively. The group then sets to head back home. The boyfriend tries to irritate his girlfriend who’s controlling the wheels by putting off the headlights of the car, the third time he does it, she loses balance after spotting a dog ahead and the car drifts. They move further and feel there’s something wrong with the wheel. On inspection they realize there’s a chain attached to the wheel which leads them to a dead man (Prabhudeva). The group panics and decides to dump the body in the surroundings of the factory because it isn’t visited by anyone. Once the deed is done, they return home and decide to leave the place where they’d initially come for a vacation. But one of the friends finds his music player missing which has a unique cover to it, which was identified by the cops who came to stop their loud music a night before. They follow the routes they took last night and end up at the place they buried the body to only find that it is missing. Has their crime been identified? Will they be convicted for the accident? That’s what needs to be found out.
Prabhudeva has proven that his long lasting acting career span should be credited to his acting prowess after all. He plays an antagonist and scares you to the spin with his expressions and over all look.
The rest of the cast makes you believe of their parts which is them being deaf and dumb. You become a part of their joys and sorrows. The young actors show a lot of potential.
Music and Dialogues: The music is given by Santhosh Narayanan which is the highlight of the film. It intrigues you and helps the narrative become even stronger. The fact this film doesn’t have even one dialogue but leaves an impact is a win in itself. The sign language is very much understandable.
Direction: Karthik Subbaraj is one of finest young directors out there and he brings his ability to a larger audience with this silent film which has a global appeal. First half is interesting as the premise gets laid out and we get used to the language, the characters try to communicate in. Happiness turns into thrill when the friends find out about the murder but it’s the second half that brings all the horror and has you at the edge of your seats. The film has the strength to keep you glued till the end. But it’s that climax that suffers and comes across as tad bit unusual. The film tries to convey a message of togetherness despite the hardships we face but towards the end, the message somehow struggles to come through. The incidents in the film are symbolic to the situation people are put in after a massive experimental power plant going wrong. The cinematography by S. Tirru is phenomenal, especially the way night time is captured in the film, it’s speaks horror yet looks breath taking. The camera work is worth all the praises. You tend to feel the film confuses itself to be more on the horror side or the psychological thriller side. Unfortunately, there are also horror elements that are cringed to the extend that they make you laugh. Having said all that, this film serves as an fine example of how a thriller especially of a horror genre should be made and there’s a scope for it in our country, but we are far from perfection.
Cinespeaks Verdict: Watch the film if you want to experience a different kind of cinema where there are no dialogues at all and if you want music to give you an emotional graph. Only if you’re keen to see Prabhudeva in a never seen before light, watch the film this coming weekend. Cinespeaks give ‘Mercury’ 3 out of 5 stars.