It’s just a coincidence. But a week after Emily Blunt’s very quiet very scary shiver giver A Quiet Place, Prabhudheva is all set to do his own wordless horror-thriller in Mercury.
Says Prabhu, “There is much to be said about the virtues of silence. We speak too much in our films. We are afraid if we don’t talk non-stop the audience will lose interest in the goings-on. But that’s not case. There were long passages of silence in the opening scenes of Guru Dutt’s Pyaasa. In Gulzar Saab’s Namkeen, Shabana Azmi didn’t speak at all. In Koshish both Sanjeev Kumar and Jaya Bachhan were dead and mute. They could convey so much through their silences.”
Prabhu says it was tough conveying his character’s inner thoughts without words. “We are so used to acting out loud. Here I had no verbal assistance at all. There is not a word of spoken dialogue in Mercury. It was entirely up to me to communicate my character’s thoughts without tripping over into incoherence.”
Prabhu feels Mercury is a new language of cinema. “Cinema is predominantly a visual medium. Why turn it into a radio? I am happy to say in Mercury I’ve managed to ‘say’ what I have to without speaking.”
Mercury is also special because it is Prabhudheva’s first negative role. “Did I have to try hard to be evil? Not really. There is a dark side in all of us waiting to be tapped. Shah Rukh Khan tapped it in Darr and Srideviji in Laadla. I enjoyed being evil. It was very liberating.”
Though not intimidated , Prabhu is nervous about his Mercury being pitched against Shoojit Sircar’s October this Friday.
“That’s a big film with a big star(Varun Dhawan) directed by one of the top directors(Shoojit Sircar).We aren’t even competing with October , firstly because we are not equals and secondly because October is a love story. Mercury is a hate story. I believe there is room for both in our lives. If we don’t harbour hatred in our hearts , how would we appreciate love?” says Prabhu,