Monday, April 16, 2018

The Stoneman Murders: Dangerous, Noirish Nights

In 1980s there were a series of murders that occurred in Mumbai, then Bombay. Street dwellers- beggers and homeless persons who slept on footpath were killed using a heavy stone. The police were never able to solve them. Some years later, these kind of murders started in Calcutta. The media termed the incident Stoneman Murders, due to the usage of heavy stones as weapon. The police again failed to convict anyone.

Debutant Manish Gupta adapted the case into a suspense thriller titled The Stoneman Murders in 2009. The movie failed to generate any hype though was loved by critics. I wanted badly to watch it then, but soon had all forgotten about it. Last day, I happened to watch it, and it turned out to be a great experience.

K K Menon shoulders the movie with a fabulous performance as a disgraced policeman whose last chance to continue being one, is to solve this case. He is supported by a strictly adequate supporting cast led by Arbaaz Khan. Soon K K is on the brink of losing his sanity over the tough case. Will his persistence and diligence bring results?

The highlight of the movie is the cat and mouse chase between the killer and the officer, the killer being always one step ahead. It also helps that the protagonist is depicted as a questionable character with noble intentions, but rather unconventional method of investigation. K K exudes intense obsession and ruthlessness. The dark atmosphere that pervades the screen for most of the running time of the movie and its ominous score, builds up great suspense.

The resolution of the mystery, I felt was a bit disappointing. Another turn off was the actress who played wife of the protagonist. She was a sore thump in acting department. But the noirish setting and an atmosphere that screams danger every moment, along with an astounding performance of K K makes this worth a watch,

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