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Times of India
Travelling on a Mumbai local, Chini witnesses a woman being molested. This incident triggers a bad memory from her childhood that comes haunting back to her.
The issue of sexual abuse is as burning a topic today, as it was in 2015, when The Silence was made. It took the critically-acclaimed film two years to get a theatrical release but it's worth the wait. Based on a true story, The Silence unfolds through the experiences of three women who recount the horrors they've gone through. But primarily, it is Chini (Vedashree/ Mugdha) and her aunt's (Patil) story.
Director Gajendra Ahire is known to make hard-hitting films and this is one of them. It is not a topic that many would deal with the way he has. Be it the young Chini's nightmarish experience of being molested at the hands of a family member or Manda's (Kadam) confrontation of a sleazy employer or the aunt enduring pain and horrible treatment at the hands of her husband (Manjule), these are examples that every woman can relate to or recollect having seen.
The film unfolds in flashback chapters and each chapter is interlinked. It is a film that confronts your tendency to look away from a crime and urges women to speak up. Ashwini Sidwani's story is as real as it can get and Ahire's treatment does justice to it. Interestingly, Ahire has incorporated silences in between scenes to make a lasting impact. The presentation is so impactful that it is bound to make you think. A drawback of the film though, is its pace. Crisp editing at certain places would've added to the overall impact.
Gajendra and Ashwini's work is complemented brilliantly by the actors in the film. Sairat director Nagraj Manjule, in his first major acting role, makes you want to clench your fists and land a punch in his face; that's how convincing he is as the misogynist Mama. Time and again, Anjali Patil has proven that she's a fantastic actor. After Newton, she delivers another excellent performance here. She brings out the angst of the character precisely through her body language and expressions. Another Newton actor, the talented Raghubir Yadav, adds to the acting prowess of the film in the role of Chini and Manda's father. It's a treat to watch him perform. Mugdha, Veena and Kadambari too do justice to their parts.
The Silence leaves you numb for quite a while after the climax. It is after you overcome the numbness that you feel ashamed of being a part of a society that treats women like commodities.
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