Frames in Movies

Mumbai Police- Tracing back the terrific screenplay from its climax

There are several reasons why Mumbai Police stands out as arguably the finest mystery thriller in Malayalam. First “juggling timelines” is so superbly done in this movie. It takes benefit of the fact that the protagonist has lost memory and even the viewer has to learn more along with him. Finally there is suspense filled in each and every frame from opening shot until the very end.

Let’s take a look at its superb climax and trace back from there to the beginning to see how different puzzles Bobby Sanjay kept giving you to solve through the movie. Blessed are those who could watch this movie without knowing anything about it! ( Spoilers ahead)

Mumbai Police Climax
Climax:
This is where four major scenes of the movie converge in below order. (If the editing by Mahesh Narayan is fantastic, only Roshan Andrews could have directed this movie perhaps in the way it is today)
1) Aryan’s practice speech video on mobile : In flashback, Antony Moses A watches the speech on the mobile, realizes how much Aaryan has valued his friendship and feels guilty for his actions.
2) Antony Moses’ phone call to Farhan : The twist that Antony had confessed in the phone call to Farhan. That he was the killer and that Farhan had known it all along.
3) Aaryan’s murder on the stage: You realize after having planted the gun on the building, Antony Moses had activated the trigger from his mobile.
4) The meeting in Farhan’s office: You come back to present. Farhan calls his superior and reports the arrest of Antony.

Now the beauty is that all these 4 scenes had appeared many times before in this movie where the plot was revealed to us only layer by layer. Let’s go backward from climax to those scenes one by one.
Prithviraj and Rahman in Mumbai Police
The meeting in Farhan’s office ( 10 minutes before the climax):

What you know now- The movie’s most famous twist when Antony Moses realized that he was Gay. You return to Farhan’s office again where Antony tells Farhan that he had known the “who” from first. He only wanted the “how” and “why”
What you don’t know – What is Farhan still silent about? What is that last page that Antony wanted Farhan to fill in the case file?
Jayasurya in Mumbai Police
Aaryan’s murder on the stage (At 1:50:00 into the movie):

What you know now- A very pivotal twist in the movie. The sharpshooting expert (Riyas Khan) watches the murder video and confirms that the killer was not present at the time of murder from where the fire was shot. It was staged.
What you don’t know – Why did Antony Moses A fabricate many things during the investigation?
Aaryan’s practice speech video on mobile ( At 1:40:00 into the movie):

What you know now- Antony Moses B watches the speech on mobile where Aaryan credits him for the award. He understands that it is after watching this video that Antony Moses A had found out the killer.
What you don’t know – How does this video really help Antony Moses A to find the killer ?
The meeting in Farhan’s office ( At 1:22:00 into the movie):

What you know now- As promised to Farhan, Antony has closed the investigation on 18th day of investigation and found the “Why, how and who” of the murder. Antony Moses hands over the case file to Farhaan but tells him there is one last page that Farhaan has to fill.
What you dont know – What is that Farhaan knows about the case ? Why is he seen tensed and worried through most part of the movie?
Aaryan’s murder on the stage (At 1:20:00 into the movie):

What you know now- All about the friendship between Aaryan ,Farhan and Antony. How they came close and how Aaryan won the award to get on the stage and deliver the speech.
What you don’t know – Still the “why, how and who”?
What you may not have noticed – Farhan keeps looking at Antony with a worried face.
Antony Moses’ phone call to Farhan (At 43:00 into the movie) :

What you know now- Farhan tells Antony Moses B that after they met at the bar in the flashback, Antony had taken a deviation and spent 45 minutes somewhere within which he closed the case and found the culprit.
What you dont know – What did Antony Moses A find out in these 45 minutes?
Aaryan’s murder on the stage (At 21:00 into the movie):

What you know now- It is Aryan who was murdered and whose murder case that Antony Moses was investigating.
What you don’t know – How is Aaryan connected to Antony and Farhan more than just a murder victim?
What you may not have noticed – Aaryan turned and looked at Antony Moses just before the speech. Antony had turned his head away.( What a clue to drop so early !)
Prithviraj in Mumbai Police
Antony Moses’ phone call to Farhan (Opening shot):

What you know now – Antony Moses says “Farhan, The case is solved. I found the culprit” before his jeep crashes and meets with an accident.
What you don’t know – Everything ! Despite how the clue was hidden in this very first shot!
What you may not have noticed – Antony Moses was very emotional during the call
P.S – There were at least 3 other places where Bobby Sanjay had left clues that Antony Moses could be gay, but still the twist did hit us like bricks. 1) When Antony Moses listens to the recorded messages and we do hear his partner’s message that he was in Qatar and heard about the accident only late 2) When his partner meets him in road and tells him -“Its been a while” 3) When Antony Moses looks at two men in the party with a smile before they turn away.

Mumbai Police would remain one of the greatest screenplays ever written in Malayalam.

Also Read: Lucifer and its frames

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