Prachi Desai returns in 'Silence 2': higher stakes and a bolder inspector Bhatia

Actor Prachi Desai is making the most of her comeback with powerful roles, the latest one being a cop in Silence 2
Indian actress Prachi Desai.
Indian actress Prachi Desai.AFP

Her revolver fastened and punches in place, Prachi Desai is all geared up as she returns to the screen after two years. Interestingly, she has chosen to disrupt the quiet with Silence 2: The Night Owl Bar Shootout on Zee5, the sequel to her 2021 film Silence… Can You Hear It?

As she reprises her role as Inspector Sanjana Bhatia, the actor reveals that the stakes in the new installment are higher with multiple murders posing complex problems for the team led by Manoj Bajpayee’s ACP Avinash. “Everyone was certainly more comfortable working with each other the second time; we picked up from where we left off. But, this project was much bigger and definitely tougher to shoot. The audience will also get to see the growth and confidence exuded by Sanjana in the new film,” says Desai, whose success story of transitioning from small to big screen was seen as a benchmark by many in the television industry.

The actor rose to fame at the age of 19 with the daily soap, Kasamh Se, opposite Ram Kapoor. Her popularity, over the two years that the show ran for, landed her a meaty part in Farhan Akhtar’s cult film, Rock On!! She followed it up with another blockbuster, Once Upon A Time in Mumbaai in 2010, for which she won the IIFA Award for Best Supporting Actress.

Desai, however, was unable to cash in on her initial triumphs. Movies that followed, including Teri Meri Kahani and Azhar, did not do much for her career and she disappeared from the acting front for almost four years after Carbon: The Story of Tomorrow in 2017. Reflecting on how she coped with the slump, the actor says, “There were times when there was a gap of one or two years in between projects, but I did not let that get to me,” and adds, “I couldn’t do films just for the sake of doing them. I am grateful that I was in a position to make that choice.”

The comeback with Silence…Can You Hear It? in 2021 may have been a consequence of certain projects getting delayed in the aftermath of the pandemic. It, however, inadvertently set in motion a different career trajectory for Desai, who began choosing powerful roles over playing the quintessential Bollywood heroine. The thriller saw her as a cop. She then played a psychiatrist in Forensic (2022), and the assistant to an editor in her web debut—Telugu series Dhootha. “Forensic was difficult because I had not done something like that before. With a face like mine, nobody had given me a role like that!” she quips, adding, “OTT has been a blessing for actors who want a challenge.”

For Desai, it is all about good stories at the end of the day; it does not matter if she is getting them in theatres or on digital platforms. Ask her if there’s anything she thinks is missing from her kitty, and she responds promptly, “An out-and-out love story.” Refusing to divulge if one is in the pipeline, she says, “All I can share is that my attempt is always to do something new, and there are some exciting things happening. Having said that, a pure love story needs to happen.”

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