For a major part of its run-time, Karthik Subbaraj’s Mercury feels like an impressively executed typical horror movie. It is actually in the last half an hour of the movie where a large chunk of revealing happens and the director succeeds in making a statement out of the predictable equation. The tension is high and the culmination is moving and thus mercury is indeed an interesting experience.
Five youngsters have got together after their school alumni meet. One boy is in love with the only girl in the gang and this romantic night takes a dark turn when the vehicle they travelled gets involved in an accident. The panicked youngsters are clueless about what to do and the movie talks about the things that happen when they try to cover up their tracks.
Horror is one genre I am not a big fan of as the variety one get to experience in this genre is very less. I feel that scope for variety and the challenge of making a movie without dialogues might have prompted Karthik Subbaraj to make Mercury. Like I said, the initial reaction one will have towards the movie even after watching 75% of the film would be that what’s so new here other than the peculiarity of not having dialogues? In my opinion the remaining 25% is an answer to that. After one sees the statement written on the car which says “sorry we had to fight the wrong war”, the whole emotional space of the movie changes and we tend to analyze each character rather than looking at it as a series of murders.
Karthik Subbaraj has constructed characters that are hearing impaired or vision impaired. Thus the lack of conversations in the movie is justified. Then he gradually goes to build intriguing situations. The lead actor Prabhudeva appears briefly for a minute or two in the first half. The screenplay then becomes a survival thriller where we get to see our characters trying their level best to use the limitations of the enemy to escape. Some people may find the logic of seeing a ghost with a disability as a flawed one. I am not advocating for Karthik Subbaraj here, but is there a scientific thing that says how a ghost should be? Subbaraj’s ghost has disabilities, he can be touched and more than that he is emotional too. Tirru’s cinematography elevates the tension to a whole new level and the cuts along with the background score enhance the intrigue. The sound design was also terrific.
Prabhudeva who gets to show his acting chops mainly in the second half of the film is really good in being that angry soul and he also lowers the eccentricity in those emotional scenes towards the climax. Sananth was impressive and Indhuja also carried the role effectively. The other members in the cast are Deepak Paramesh, Shashank Purushotham and Anish Padmanabhan and they were all true to their characters. Karthik Subbaraj’s father Gajaraj and actress Remy Nambeesan are also there in cameo roles.
In the last portions of the film you can clearly see the director playing with the DI and conveying certain things in the least verbal manner. Mercury is a thriller set inside a particular plot and the plot is what the issue they are trying to address. Rather than making a preachy film about the problems of industrial revolution, Karthik Subbaraj shows us a war between the victims. Mercury is far from perfect, but it is definitely a captivating experience.
Mercury is far from perfect, but it is definitely a captivating experience.
Green: Recommended Content
Orange: The In-Between Ones
Red: Not Recommended