Silence 2: The Night Owl Bar Review: What A Waste!

Towards the end of the film, when one character exclaims, ‘What a crazy case!’ your sentiments feel validated, observes Mayur Sanap.

A complex murder case, a killer on the loose, police hunt and Manoj Bajpayee’s towering presence, there are a lot of exciting things going on for Silence 2: The Night Owl Bar.

A sequel to the 2021 film, Silence… Can You Hear It?, the core premise here is pretty solid but in returning Writer-Director Aban Bharucha Deohans’ hands, the drama starts teetering after its initial promise due to an increasingly contrived script.

The first Silence was a murder mystery, whodunit, slow burn thriller, all rolled into one. Alas, Silence 2 ends up becoming only the muffled echoes of everything that was good in the first.

A shocking shootout takes place at the titular Night Owl Bar, which leaves the city shaken.

Several guests in the bar are gunned down, which includes a prominent political figure.

ACP Avinash Verma (played by Bajpayee) and his ‘Special Crime Unit’ are assigned to investigate this murky case.

As the investigation progresses, the team unearth a major sex trafficking racket which happens to have links with one of the deceased in the shootout. It is now up to Verma and his team to track down more clues and nab the killer before more murders are committed.

Right off the bat, Silence 2 takes turns and creates complexity that grabs your attention. But when the script’s absurdity and lack of logic come to play, it quickly derails the drama and leaves you rolling your eyes with all the humdrum.

There are too many problems.

The plot is unnecessarily convoluted.

Except Bajpayee, the other recurring characters are frustratingly monotonous.

The writing is just plain bland, with way too many ‘iska matlab samajhte ho?‘ and ‘we must do our best’ kind of lines.

In an attempt to be grittier, the film has a sub-plot focusing on sexual abuse of minors — similar to the Bhumi Pednekar-starrer Bhakshak — but this track is so haphazardly introduced that it barely leaves any impact.

All of this then proceeds to a mind-numbingly silly final reveal where the film tries to empathise with the perpetrator, arguing nobody is truly evil. Delhi Crime 2 played it good, but here, it is plain awkward and unintentionally hilarious.

Towards the end of the film, when one of the subordinates exclaims, ‘What a crazy case!’ your sentiments feel validated.

What also hurts is that the always reliable Manoj Bajpayee is a mixed bag in his supercop role. He is too experienced as an actor to not fit the character, but his exasperation of working with a banal script is visible in his uneven performance. His exaggerated photographic memory, combined with sharp criminal analysis, appears more comedic than thrilling.

Prachi Desai, Sahil Vaid and Vaquar Shaikh play his subordinate,s but as for returning characters, the script offers them no character arc or development.

Making her Hindi film debut, Parul Gulati resorts to hammy acting as an elite socialite and she talks like she’s leading up to a punchline that never comes.

Such a good premise and cast…wasted!

Silence 2: The Night Owl Bar streams on ZEE5.

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