If there's one basic rule of story-telling, it is that you must let the tale unfold in your listener's mind. This is especially the case with thrillers. Anybody from the master of suspense to your brother who narrates all ghost stories holding a torch under his face will tell you that the real thrill is in the anticipation. In the time that it takes for a doorknob to turn, for the rusty hinges to creak slowly open, and the shadows on the wall to spring alive, your mind takes a trip of its own. It opens the door a million times in that fraction of a second, and a million times it finds terrors too great for the imagination to name. By the time the much-anticipated Boo! actually happens, you are sweating in your seat, clutching at the armrest, and suddenly discovering that you do know all the words to the Hanuman Chalisa. Now that is the reason we go to the movies.
With Madhyanam Hatya, however, you're better off watching the trailers and letting the suspense happen in the quiet, (relative) sanity of your own head. Because the movie sucks so damn bad, you'll wonder why you still keep buying into that label which says 'A Factory Product'. This one should be returned for a full refund.
Madhyanam Hatya is all about a man who kills his wife, and then dies a thousand deaths trying not to get caught. Edgar Allan Poe once wrote a story called The Telltale Heart that portrays exactly how long a second can stretch, when guilt hangs heavy on your hands. Unfortunately, Poe hasn't written this script. Poe wouldn't blow his nose with this script. Poe wouldn't have this script to wipe bugs off his windshield. Poe wouldn't use this script to line the litter box of his incontinent cat. Is it perfectly clear what we're getting at here?
Ravi Kumar (Chakri) has the naggingest wife in the world. She doesn't even need a reason to bite his ear off, but when he starts spending more time at office, she assumes he's getting it on with his nubile intern. One day as she's steadily working herself up to another screeching crescendo, hubby dearest beans her on the head with a brass vase. Unable to think of a fittingly acerbic reply, she dies. After he's mopped up the demure puddle of blood, and stuffed her into a Samsung TV carton - subtle brand placement there -, Ravi drops her in a lake outside city limits. Yup, the hoenymoon's definitely over.
Instead of letting the inherent creepiness of this seep through, the director distracts you with lots of inane sound effects. Supposedly nail-biting suspense music plays throughout; as the hero looks as his wife, as the hero's bike approaches a speed-breaker, as the hero drinks water, as the hero hiccoughs gently. Telephones don't ring, they explode, alarm-clocks go off at decibel levels that could peel paint. And the hero looks as guilty as a choirboy caught sneaking porn in his hymnbook. He looks guilty even before he's done anything.
The police are onto him quickly enough, and soon they even get on the trail of the nubile intern (which, btw, did good business at Lamba). It is this girl's car that Ravi uses to transport his wife to her final, watery abode. As he and his unsuspecting accomplice in crime, the intern, run away from the law, Ravi shoots a cop, and the girl kills her boyfriend. It's surprisingly simple to kill people in this flick. One good thump on the head with any store-bought curio can do it. The remainder of the film is a thrilling chase sequence that will make you laugh until you stop laughing.
To get the best out of Madhyanam Hatya, take a cue from the characters of the film, and carry a brass vase to the cinema. Go ahead, knock yourself out.