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After the sudden death of a suspect in custody, Sub-Inspector Sanjay Shellar from Bombay's Special Crime Unit gets suspended. Shortly thereafter the police come across a recently deceased corpse of a homeless person, treat it as a random killing and close the file. But when more pavement dwellers are killed only between the hours of 10 PM and 4 AM in the Sion - Matunga Harbor Line area on Tuesdays and Saturdays, they review their decision and conclude this to be the work of a serial killer. Sanjay approaches A.I.G. Satam and pleads with him to handle this incident but is told that he cannot do so as he has been fired. When he insists, Satam asks him to do this on his own, and if successful, he will approach Mantralaya and have him reinstated. A grateful Sanjay commences his investigation - not aware that soon he will himself become a suspect after police come across evidence linking him to these killings.Written by
The shooting was commenced late nights on Mumbai streets while shooting the film the roads were covered up with long black rubber sheets as in 80s the pavement were made of tar while today it is made of star shape concrete.Also advertisements and poster of current era were covered with the black sheets. See more »
Engrossing little thriller
For a long time I thought The Stoneman Murders was a investigative documentary of some sort by NDTV – because I always saw the ads only on the news channels. And the ads only showed some guy shrouded in a blanket, about to smash someone with a big stone. It was only later that I saw Kay Kay Menon and Arbaaz Khan in the promos and realized it was a proper movie.
But the big question about each movie - is it a proper/watchable movie ? Answer - Hell yeah !! It might be small budget and without any catchy item songs (there is one mandatory dance-bar song, but its eminently forgettable) – but it's a very involving and riveting thriller. Of course, it manages to trip itself up when it uncovers the mystery man – it's a time honored Hindi movie tradition (Raaz etc) after all !! But since it's the last 10 minutes of the movie, you can easily skip that part in your mind and remember its engrossing moments.
As the movie title and the trailers announce – its about the gruesome Stoneman (or 'Pattharmaar') serial killings in Bombay in 1983 – whose identity remains a mystery till date. According to google, this is the only serial-killer case in India that was never solved – not even a definitive arrest !! Director Manish Gupta claims that there was no way a crime like this was unsolved – there must have been a massive cover-up afterwards. Now I am not in a position to verify if this is just a publicity gimmick or he actually believes that – but it definitely adds to the enjoyment of the movie.
The Stoneman Murders has Kay Kay Menon playing inspector Sanjay - his now-regular characterization of a man with an inflated self-belief, aggression and a liking for violence (Sarkar, Mumbai Meri Jaan, Life in a Metro, Via Darjeeling and many more). I guess it goes without saying that he does that role pretty well. The movie begins with inspector Sanjay getting suspended from the police force for a accidental custodial death, right when the Stoneman kills his first victim. As the bodies pile up, he gets permission from a sympathetic senior Satam (Vikram Gokhale) to pursue a secret parallel investigation on his own. Sanjay latches on to the thin hope that cracking the case before the police department does, might be his only chance of getting back into the force ... and mobilizes his underground network of informers for clues. But the killer doesn't give himself up easily and that is what the story is all about.
With a perfect accompanying background score that heightens the terse moments and shot mostly at nighttime Mumbai streets, The Stoneman Murders is a very intelligent cat-and-mouse game between the renegade cop and the mystery killer. The director/script-writer have come up with a very realistic & engrossing story – and I cant tell you more about the narrative without giving away some of the mystery. There are scary moments throughout the movie, and there were times I forgot to chew the popcorn in my mouth as I cringed inwardly about the gory death awaiting the pavement-dweller.
However, the director cant match this suspense buildup with the final expose of the Stoneman – and the identity of the killer is rather underwhelming. That spoils what is otherwise a perfect suspense movie. But even with the stinky ending, The Stoneman Murders is entertaining as hell, especially at just 1 hour 40 min runtime and hence deserves a watch
I regularly review movies at http://bombaycinephile.blogspot.com
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