Silence 2: The Night Owl Bar Shootout is passable whodunit

Vaquar Shaikh, Prachi Desai, Manoj Bajpayee and Shruti Bapna in Silence 2: The Night Owl Bar Shootout . Photo: Trailer Video Grab

This year, we have had twisted stories in Merry Christmas and Murder Mubarak. Silence 2 The Night Owl Bar Shootout adds to the list, and frankly, though it does not reach the lofty heights of our best thrillers down the years, it is alright as a one-time watch, especially as it has been released on OTT, so you do not need to stroll out into the theatre to watch it!

The movie is a sequel (in the sense of only the same principal investigators) to ZEE5’s Silence: Can You Hear It?, a worthy whodunit released in 2021. But if the franchise is to be continued, a different name should be given as Silence (the term) does not fit this story at all. The Night Owl Bar Shootout would suit much better, but as a title, that too would not be exactly a relatable name for Indian viewers.

That said, another factor that surfaces yet again in an OTT film (or series) is the lesbian angle, and though it is worked in decently, it could have been totally eschewed and the rest of the plot kept the same. Sighhhhhh!

Basically, the film is an investigative thriller into a shootout in a pub in which about ten people are shot dead. The case goes to the Special Crime Unit (SCU) only because a minister’s PA is one of the victims. It is surmised that he was the target and the rest merely distractions or unavoidable collateral damage.

But the intrepid ACP Avinash (Manoj Bajpayee) deduces from certain clues that the prime victim was a young girl named Aazma (Surbhi Rohra), and a lucky break comes when something in her mobile-phone shows a crucial link to a case investigated by his local colleague Jaya (Shruti Bapna) in faraway Jaipur. Things clearly are not as simple as they seem and Avinash and his dedicated team go the whole hog in investigating all aspects and come up with surprises and shocks galore.

Aban Bharucha Deohans gifts this film a sharp sense of police investigations that show how our lawmakers sift through false clues, misleading facts and meticulous forensic truths and use their brains and intuitions to arrive at the right conclusion. Her graphic depiction of how innocent girls get trapped in human trafficking is indeed thought-provoking and alarming as well. The screenplay, however, could have been smoother and less flawed in small details, like an entire police team searching a home for clues without wearing gloves.

The director gets great support from all her artistes, including the smaller ones who shine most. A huge pat is in order for Parul Gulati as the eccentric Aarti Singh, Dinker Sharma as her crazed brother Arjun Chauhan, Surbhi Rohra as the escort Aazma, Ishika Mandeep Gagneja as the escort Amisha, Padam Bhola as Rajeev Singh and Neena Kulkarni as a helpless grandmother are all first-rate.

The police team is also effective, especially Sahil Vaid as Amit and Prachi Desai as Sanjana. So is Chetan Sharma as Rizwan. Manoj Bajpayee repeats his Silence act and is effective but not truly outstanding. So are the technical values and so is the film!

ZEE5 presents Candid Creations’ Silence 2 The Night Owl Bar Shootout Produced by: Kiran Deohans  Written & Directed by: Aban Bharucha Deohans  Music: Sayyed  Starring: Manoj Bajpayee, Prachi Desai, Shruti Bapna, Sahil Vaid, Padam Bhola, Parul Gulati, Chetan Sharma, Surbhi Rohra, Ishika Mandeep Gagneja, Vaquar Shaikh, Ankit Bhardwaj, Dinker Sharma, Neena Kulkarni, Manuj Bhaskar, Nimesh Balaji Shinde & others





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