Movie review: The Stoneman Murders

Cast: Kay Kay Menon, Arbaaz Khan, Vikram Gokhale, Rukhsar, Virendra Saxena

Director: Manish Gupta

Back in the early 80s, a series of brutal murders held Bombay in thrall. The victims were all pavement dwellers, killed in their sleep, with the same weapon: a big, heavy stone was used to smash their heads.

The killer was dubbed `Patharmaar' in the press, and with passing time and no results, the case got buried, and forgotten.

`The Stoneman Murders' reveals the horrifying secret, like a proper murder mystery should, right at the end. The narrative is linear and non-fussy, the story-telling direct, peppered with some truly chilling moments.

It unspools with discredited cop Kay Kay being assigned to the case in an unofficial capacity: he's on suspension because of a custody death, but he's so convinced that he can crack it, that his boss agrees.

The gathering of forensic evidence, the photographs of the corpses, and the sifting that follows is classic detective territory, and the director does a good job of keeping it simple, but keeping it going.

Some forced moments intrude: what was the need of a nude back shot of Rukhsar, playing Kay Kay's lonely wife? As things stand, the deeply-troubled Kay Kay doesn't follow through, just turns his back on her, and goes off to sleep.

On the whole, though, `The Stoneman Murders' delivers on what it sets out to do: building a portrait of a disturbed, deranged mind, which thinks killing will set it free. And a solid performance from the always-watchable Kay Kay.

Please read our terms of use before posting comments
TERMS OF USE: The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writer's alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of The Indian Express Group or its staff. Comments are automatically posted live; however, reserves the right to take it down at any time. We also reserve the right not to publish comments that are abusive, obscene, inflammatory, derogatory or defamatory.