A silent thriller. Sounds ominous and intriguing! The teaser of Mercury certainly delivers on both counts. Directed and written by Karthik Subbaraj whose directorial credits include films like Pizza and Jigarthanda, Mercury is one of the most anticipated films of 2018.
The teaser was released by Dhanush on his Twitter account, and it cements Subbaraj’s reputation unequivocally as one of the most thought-provoking directors of modern times. He returns with his directorial venture after a break of over two years. With the atmospheric background score and the greenish hue infused shots, the teaser holds your attention in mere seconds. Set amidst the background of a hill station, the visuals are suitably haunting. With not a single piece of dialogue in the entirety of the film, it really is up to the actors to take the audience through the narrative of the film. And Subbaraj has mounted a stellar star cast that includes Sananth, Indhuja, Anish Padmanabhan and Shashank Purushotham that are more than up to the task. But the real stroke of genius was the director’s casting of Prabhu deva as the menacing antagonist. With his blood-smeared face and unnatural gait, his presence alone is enough to chill the marrow of your bones. The dancer-actor-director brings an intensity and gravitas to his part.
The teaser starts with a shot of a signboard that reads, “Warning. No Trespassing.” With an abandoned building serving as the background, the sense of isolation is effectively conveyed. A headstone memorialising the “84 people who died in this town due to mercury poisoning-1992” establishes right off the bat that this is an unusual story. And that the details of the movie have been painstakingly created.
But more than any other, the true triumph of the teaser rests with the music director Santhosh Narayanan and cinematographer Thirunavukkarasu. Commonly known as Tirru within the fraternity, the cinematographer is acclaimed for his work on movies like 24 and Krrish 3. The possibility of exposition of characters through dialogue cannot be a feature of Mercury. And thus, the onus is on the cinematographer to develop the characters and bring them to life. The background music of a thriller is integral to the film, and if the teaser is anything to go by, Narayanan is more than up for the job.
For the time in perhaps ever, Mercury has people awaiting Friday the 13th and marking it onto their calendars in anticipation.