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THE STONEMAN MURDERS : That's how thrillers & murder mysteries - ought to be...Bang on Target ! (Review By Bobby Sing)
20 Feb, 2009 | Movie Reviews / 2009 Releases

Two genres in which Hindi Film Industry has not got many in its kitty are Spine Chilling Thrillers and Murder Mysteries…. There are very few such brave and worth mentioning efforts which come to your mind instantly. Luckily we have seen some good thrillers in the recent times by the young brigade of innovative directors and “The Stoneman Murders” is yet another path breaking and engrossing attempt by the director, Manish Gupta.

The movie is a mix of real life take on the serial killings of 1983 with a touch of fiction added by the writers giving it a more sensational feel. It talks about the horrifying terror on the streets, spread by a brutal killer who used to kill the poor people sleeping on the roadside by crushing their head with a stone, therefore named as Stoneman Murderer. And both the director and the writers come up with a brilliant portrayal of this real life case on the silver screen.
The main merit of the movie is that it straight away starts off with the main topic and sticks to its till the end. There are no deliberately added sub plots, songs or any comic scenes which make it more harsh, bold and impressive. The whole narration revolves around Kay Kay Menon, who is a suspended Police Inspector paying the price for his anger practiced in an interrogation. After his suspension, he is still investiging the Stoneman Case, privately on the instructions of his senior, Vikram Gokhale and also gets assistance by a Hawaldaar played by Virendra Saxena. His colleague inspector, Arbaaz Khan, who is more of an opponent, is also working on the same case creating troubles for KK.
What makes the movie, a path-breaking attempt is the dark & shocking secret behind all the murders committed by the Stoneman. It also shows the ugly side of our rotten system we are all living in. As the search progresses, KK manages to solve the case, but his superiors don’t let the secret come out in the open for some good reasons of their own. So the case which was duly solved by him, still remains as an unsolved murder mystery in the police records due to its disgraceful truth. I will not like to disclose the mystery here for my friends as that is main highlight of the movie, but i would surely like to add that the twist has a great shock element in store for the viewers.
One more interesting observation is that despite the fact that the movie is based on some brutal and cruel murders committed by a psychopath; still it does not have any bloody or weird visuals. The director very impressively gives you a clean and sober picture without moving into some trance or blood-shed. Instead he chooses to show the real news paper pictures to show the murders committed by the killer on the roadsides. Among the well shot sequences, capable of making you jump on the edge of your seat is the sub-way sequence, when KK has a scuffle with the killer but he manages to escape, injuring KK badly. The interval sequence also leaves you awestruck, with your jaws open, asking for more.
Performance wise, KK as expected delivers another gem of his career. The complete movie moves more around him and he manages to carry it all with elegance and conviction. Vikram Gokhale is impressive once again and perfectly suits the role. Arbaaz has got few scenes and he does a fine job. Rukhsaar as KK’s wife though doesn’t get a well defined role, but still gives a sober and sweet performance. Virendra Saxena as KK’s associate Hawaldaar is one of the most under-rated character artists we have. I still remember his haunting presentation of a Sikh Freedom Fighter in the Tele-Serial “Tamas” and since then have seen him giving many memorable performances in several movies consistently.
In a murder mystery or a thriller, background music has a very important role to play and this department is handled well by the music director giving ample support to the subject and feel. The movie is majorly shot at nights and still you are not taken into dark visuals and dim lightning. So the Cinematography is perfect keeping the scenes bright with proper lighting and effects.
In all, if you are fan of thrillers and murder mysteries, then this is a treat to watch after the recent “A Wednesday”. It was indeed a pity that I watched the movie in an almost empty theater.  Attempts like these need to be applauded and encouraged by the viewers. But sadly, the Indian movie lovers still go to the theater looking at the faces on the poster and not due to the subject or theme of the movie. I would also like to thank and congratulate Mr. Bobby Bedi (Kaleidoscope), for backing up such projects in these tough recession times.
So, here is another surprising small movie, simply not to be missed.
Rating :  3.5 / 5

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20 Feb 2009 / Comment ( 0 )
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