Silence of Sleep Review: A Coma-Inducing Sedative

Rhea Srivastava -

Silence of Sleep Review: A Coma-Inducing Sedative

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Format: Film
Platform: Gemplex
Movie Rated: 16+
Genre: Psychological Thriller, Suspense
Language: Hindi
Digital Premiere Date: 20 May 2020

 

The national (and international) - level lockdown has given everyone ample opportunity to experiment with producing more content, and certainly there is ample audience to consume it. There is enough credit to be shared with those who intend to add to the Indian movie canon, and when it happens to be an intriguing but hit-and-miss genre like psychological thrillers, the more the merrier. Unfortunately, Rowdy Rathore Productions’ attempt at ‘hypnotising’ the world with Silence of Sleep is one that only hypnotises you into falling asleep. 
 
What is the Story About
Told in a non-linear narrative, Silence of Sleep is the story of Dr Nivedita whom, when we meet first, is in a coma induced by repeated mental trauma. Over the course of the next hour and a half, we are given bits and pieces of how she reached that stage. After losing her boyfriend Karan to murder, she hatched a plot to kill his murderer Aaditya, with the help of a friend, by seducing him and then inducing hallucinations which would kill him slowly. There are, however, many perspectives to the story, one of which includes Aaditya hypnotising her to have hallucinations instead. Or perhaps all that is happening is in her imagination. Bottom line: maybe the film is trying to make some grand comment on the usage of psychotic drugs for personal vengeance, but all is lost due to the sheer amateur nature of the film. 
 
Analysis:
I’ll be honest, the story of Silence of Sleep (weird as it is) is not as far-fetched in the Indian horror-thriller context as it seems. There are plenty of big-budget productions with more bizarre storylines. This Rowdy Rathore Production obviously suffers from a very small budget because in the hands of more skilled technicians or a more plausibly medical basis to the story, it could have even amounted to something. Either way, the twists and turns that the story wants to give in every ten minutes are essentially wasteful because the production is too shoddy to keep up with. 
 
Most of the story is centred around two characters, Nivedita and Aaditya, who at first seem to be like a couple in love but often resort to extremely aggressive behaviour to put each other down. It is evident that both are suffering from hallucinations in each other’s conscious memory. At multiple points, we are given the inkling that there may be a supernatural presence as well. All of these narrative techniques along with the distorted storytelling technique does little to intrigue the viewer and just creates more confusion over the overall point of the story. There is no subtext in the screenplay, nor attempt to replicate character memory. Just a hotch-potch of elements which don’t serve any purpose except feeding the overindulgence of the writers. 
 
Performances 
Silence of Sleep relies on Rishabh Raj Mehrotra and Naina Khan to remain engaging as they are the only point of focus for most of the film. Neither is there much to talk about. The supporting actors including Krishna Srivastava and Rahul Tomar are even more forgettable. 
 
Highlights 
The film has been released in two parts. At least you can switch it off mid-way. 
 
Drawbacks
To give a raw appeal to the horror element of the film (or perhaps due to a lack of budget), the cinematography has been done in hand-held style. This continues for the dramatic or conversational scenes as well, which would perhaps give you a headache. In some of the scenes, the focus isn’t even on speaking characters, and there are objects obstructing your view. Most of the time, very random things happen which make no sense, especially the climactic moment, all of it making this a harrowing experience. 
 
Music and Other Departments:
There are two frightfully-long musical sequences in the film which provide no exposition and are only there to add minutes. The headache-inducing cinematography is one-upped by bad lighting and terrible editing. The movie has been promoted with the locales of Uttarakhand being a key point as the location of the story. As mentioned, the shoddy production will not give you any opportunity to enjoy the hills, if that was a mild expectation.
 
Did I Enjoy It?
No.
 
Do I Recommend It?
No. Watch Ragini MMS or Love Sex Aur Dhokha. Both streaming on Netflix. 


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