Hollywood has handled the subject of Psychopaths and Serial Killers deftly, intelligently, and by putting in groundwork that is well analyzed and probed. One such outstanding piece of cinema is The Silence of the Lambs (1991), based on the novel of the same name by Thomas Harris.

The Silence of the Lambs (1991) features Sir Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lecter, a former psychiatrist who is now a locked up cannibal, serial killer. Jodie Foster plays Clarice Starling, who is training at the FBI Academy to be an FBI officer, and Ted Levine as Buffalo Bill, the serial killer on the run who skins his female victims so that he can make a Woman’s Suit made of women’s skin.

Starling is given the task to retrieve information from Dr. Lecter since he is the only living source who has been in direct contact with Buffalo Bill. Lecter gives the clues in riddles and conundrums. Eventually, Starling is able to locate Buffalo Bill who has abducted Senator Ruth Martin’s daughter Catherine Martin. She shoots him dead and saves Catherine before Bill could skin her. This Jonathan Demme directed movie was a big winner at the 1992 Oscars.

Sangharsh (1999) is directed by Tanuja Chandra, who, on being asked about The Silence of the Lambs connection, claimed that it is her own original work. For the records, Chandra had earlier directed Dushman (1998) which is another rip off that would be taken on later.

Akshay Kumar is our Lecter, Professor Aman Varma, Preity Zinta does a Foster as Reet Oberoi, the CBI trainee, and Ashutosh Rana is Lajja Shankar (Buffalo Bill) who abducts children to offer their sacrifice to his deity. Here we don’t have Senator but the Home Minister whose son is kidnapped by Lajja Shankar. Shankar is killed, the child is saved and Professor dies in the ensuing melee.

The Silence of the Lambs is way, way ahead of Sangharsh in every department. even though Tanuja Chandra had the luxury of having being served every ingredient served on a platter she just could not do an iota of justice to the original. Sangharsh is hyper, a low-grade psycho-thriller that is forced down the sensibilities of the audience.

Warning: The Silence of the Lambs deals with a mature subject and contains violent gory scenes. Those who are sensitive to such issues please use your discretion if you set out to catch it.

PS: This write-up is for information and fun purpose only.

- Tahir Qureshi/ JPN