Chup: Revenge of the Artist Review: Dulquer Salmaan is the star of this unique yet flawed story

Planning to watch Chup: Revenge of the Artist this weekend? Read Pinkvilla’s review of this Dulquer Salmaan, Sunny Deol, Shreya Dhanwanthary and Pooja Bhatt starrer.

Updated on Sep 22, 2022 03:59 AM IST  |  257.3K
Pic Credit: Pen Movie / YouTube
Dulquer Salmaan in Chup: Revenge of the Artist (Pic Credit: Pen Movie / YouTube)

Name: Chup: Revenge of the Artist

Rating: 3 / 5

Director: R Balki

Cast: Dulquer Salmaan, Sunny Deol, Shreya Dhanwanthary, Pooja Bhatt

Release: Theatres 

Chup: Revenge of the Artist Review

When it comes to presenting unique concepts on the big screen, R Balki takes the cake, baker and the bakery. After helming some distinctive movies in the past like Cheeni Kum and Paa, the filmmaker’s next - Chup is once again an out of the box story. Featuring Dulquer Salmaan, Sunny Deol, Shreya Dhanwanthary and Pooja Bhatt in pivotal roles, Chup: Revenge of the Artist is an amalgamation of reel and real world elements. A thriller with a twist, it begins with a gruesome murder of a film critic that immediately attracts media attention to the incident. 

Sunny Deol, who plays cop Arvind Mathur, takes on the case, and even while he attempts to solve the mystery of the first slaughter, two more killings follow the incident leaving the system baffled for answers. Along the way, Danny (Dulquer Salaam) and Nila’s (Shreya Dhanwanthary) lives get entangled with the event, thus inviting some expected and unexpected twists in the story. Like I mentioned right in the beginning, kudos to Balki for furnishing an absolutely eccentric idea around film critics and movie criticism. 

However, my grouse is with the genre he chose to present the point of view. The biggest challenge for a murder mystery is to weave a watertight plot, and Chup: Revenge of the Artist is not up to the mark in that aspect. There are a few occasions in the movie when you sense a convenient lack of logic and some explanations too, because it seems there was a larger purpose that writer-director Balki along with his co-writers Raja Sen & Rishi Virmani wanted to achieve. While Balki’s love for cinema evidently comes across in the story, what it lacks is a better screenplay. 

While the first half does manage to keep you hooked, it is the second half that is dragged and lacks high points. Dialogues also penned by Balki, Sen and Virmani, work beautifully in a few scenes especially in the context of cinema, but fall flat in the sequences involving suspense and thrill. However, my most favourite part about Chup is its background score, and the overall music of the film. It’s managed to achieve the right mix of old world charm with contemporary, and the use of “Waqt Ne Kiya Kya Haseen Sitam” from Guru Dutt’s Kaagaz Ke Phool is simply magical. 

Those words can metaphorically mean anything in different contexts, and it perfectly does so in Chup: Revenge of the Artist. Kudos to Balki for giving the rightful credit to lyricist Kaifi Azmi and music director SD Burman for using “Waqt Ne Kiya Kya Haseen Sitam” in Chup, while also acknowledging the efforts of his film’s crew - composers Amit Trivedi, Sneha Khanwalkar, Aman Pant and lyricist Swanand Kirkire. 

Visually too the film is stunning, all thanks to DOP Vishal Sinha and production designer Sandeep Sharad Ravade. Especially those aware of Bandra’s age-old connection with the film industry and cinema in general would love the portrayal of Mumbai’s coastal suburb in the film. While editing by Nayan HK Bhadra could have been a little more sharper in the second half, casting by Shruti Mahajan is bang on. 

As for the performances, Dulquer Salmaan is the star of the film. He delivers a fine, layered and nuanced performance, probably the best that I have seen in this year. Shreya Dhanwanthary plays an entertainment reporter in Chup, and while she has played a journalist earlier too in Scam 1992, she does complete justice with her part here as well. A must mention for an apt portrayal of the newsroom, and life of a newsperson in general too. 

Pooja Bhatt gives a controlled performance, while Sunny Deol gives his best to his cop outing in R Balki’s directorial. Though I do feel that his character needed a little more stronger foundation. Saranya Ponvannan was outstanding in her limited screen time.

There is always a scope of improvement in every field, and Chup: Revenge of the Artist does present a very fresh perspective to film criticism. There is some learning for everyone to take back home. While a lot of debate around movie reviews has been going on for a while, nobody has ever presented it for the audience with this perspective, and with Guru Dutt’s Kaagaz Ke Phool at the core. But it is also important to note and remember, that film viewing in general is a very subjective experience, and every film lover should be entitled to that opinion, obviously presented in a respectful way. 

Overall, R Balki’s Chup: Revenge of the Artist is a unique film, but is not critic proof.  

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