Friday, April 13, 2018


Mercury Didn't Rise

2 stars

Mini Review:

Four lads and a girl are at a school reunion and are happily
partying when they accidentally run over someone. They
find themselves trapped in an old abandoned factory at the
mercy of a madman. The terror is doubled because the
protagonists are speech and hearing impaired. It’s an
interesting experiment but the loud background music fails
many, many times. As does the overacting.

Main Review:

When you have an actor who is famous for his dance abilities and
plays the good guy in the movies suddenly choose to play a mad
killer, then the director must show him as a victim so as to please
his audience. Alas, we don’t know how to make horror film without
being apologetic about evils and horror. Someone did something
bad to him and he goes postal, an evil force takes over the
man’s body and makes him kill. Nothing is his fault. Bad
Hollywood horror films also do the same, some satanic entity or
demon takes over the good guy and… (you guess the rest!)

Here, the town suffers from deaths from Mercury poisoning. As
Google will explain, children exposed to Mercury poisoning will
suffer from visual, speech and hearing impairments. So we are
introduced to four young men and a young woman who are
speech and hearing impaired at their school reunion. At night they
party like crazy with loud music and alcohol at a bungalow they
have rented. Before you ask why play music loudly when you
cannot hear a thing, why gift a watch that also doubles as a music
box when you cannot hear it at all, they’re all being terrorised
by a madman.

Prabhu Deva plays this madman and there are some genuinely
scary moments in the film. As are all movie scenes where
characters hide from Velociraptors, where they are being hunted
down by aliens or sharks even. And we are scared for the
characters, whether it is the girl stuck in The Shallows, or the
madman in Cloverfield. But in this film, so reminiscent of I Know
What You Did Last Summer and Ramsey Brothers’ Khooni
Murda does not enamor us to the characters. You don’t care for
their deaths because they deserve it somewhat. So the odd color
processed film (mostly green, I thought) may create an eerie
atmosphere, but not empathy.

Plus the background music is so loud you want to turn down the
volume. It has been touted as a silent film (an homage to
Kamalahaasan’s Pushpak), but it is deafening. And releasing it
at the same time when the fabulous A Quiet Place is playing in
the theatres, is plain bad timing. Then they add a (I'm gagging)
moral science/save the environment lesson to the whole
thing which is an overkill.

(this review appears on nowrunning dot com)

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