The plot goes from annoying to unconvincing in no time and as a viewer, you feel like a mute scapegoat, taken for granted, notes Divya Nair.
In the last few months, there has been a steady flow of multilingual thrillers on the OTT, most of which have failed to impress despite their impressive casts.
The latest is Nishabdham, dubbed as Silence in Tamil.
Directed by Hemant Madhukar, Silence begins with an exhausting monologue of a haunted villa somewhere in Seattle where a couple is killed.
Years later, Anthony (played by Madhavan), a world renowned cello player, visits the place along with his fiancé Sakshi (Anushka), a deaf and mute painter in search of a painting.
While Anthony is killed mysteriously in the villa, Sakshi escapes miraculously.
Investigators Maha (Anjali) and Richard (Michael Madsen) attempt to put together the missing pieces to understand whether the incident was a murder or a supernatural event.
The film's title could be a metaphor to the deaf and mute Sakshi (meaning 'witness'), who is the only witness to a gruesome event that leaves her traumatised.
But as the film progresses, you realise that maybe you are expecting too much from this wannabe product that doesn't even have an original story line.
Twenty minutes into the film, we see a female investigator who gets excited meeting someone from her hometown, picks up clues like stones from mundane conversations she has at her home, and sneaks up on people's properties like she is some private detective with superhuman powers.
Soon, things start crumbling one after the other like someone moved the wrong jenga block.
The plot goes from annoying to unconvincing in no time and as a viewer, you feel like a mute scapegoat, taken for granted.
Even as the characters and sub plots keep emerging, they fail to pique your interest.
None of the characters do justice to their roles.
In fact, it could easily be one of the lowest ranked films in Madhavan and Anushka's filmography.
Silence leaves you with lots of questions the director should have been asked by everyone who agreed to sign up for this debacle.
Like, why is the film set in Seattle?
Why a cello player?
What is the significance of the haunted house?
Where does Maha's brain get all these (insert your favourite expletive) ideas from?
But most importantly, why did they cast Tarantino favourite (Reservoir Dogs, Kill Bill, Once Upon A Time in Hollywood) Michael Madsen?
In fact, as you watch the film, you'll have more questions than the film itself.
It has been 11 years since Madhavan surprised us with his performance in 13B, a spooky, edge of the seat thriller.
Cut to 2020, a young reporter asks Madhavan, once the blue-eyed boy of romance why he is doing lesser films and the actor jokes that he’s getting old and has become a somberi (lazy).
Well, that can be the only explanation why he signed up for this misadventure.
And imagine they wanted to make this film with no audio. Let's just thank our stars that we were spared of that experiment.
This review gets a zero star rating.