Nishabdham Review: Then Hollywood’s story is washed away, not too much fear, nor depth

-Dinesh Thakur

A silent-deaf young writer lives in a secluded house away from the city with a pet cat. His friends sometimes come to see him. Suddenly the friend disappears. A masked person is now behind the life of the writer. In his listened house, strange things happen. This is the story of Hollywood’s clever horror thriller ‘Hush’ which came four years ago. Last year in India, this story was followed by ‘Khamoshi’ (Tamanna, Bhumika Chawla, Prabhu Deva) in Hindi and ‘Kollayuthir Kalam’ (season of murders) in Tamil. Imitation was not foolproof. Both films did not play. The story has been re-tried in ‘Nishabdam’ with a bit of manipulation on the lines of ‘Humko Whose Gum Killed,’ by Masroor Anwar. Dubbed versions of this Telugu film in Hindi, Tamil and Malayalam on the OTT platform have been released under the name ‘Silence’.

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The makers are describing ‘Nishabdham movie’ as a horror film, whereas it is as much ‘horribal’ as the two earlier Indian films. The characters are uprooted, the script has many bags and the events are so cumbersome that the audience’s patience begins to break. Director Hemant Madhukar had failed to create an atmosphere of suspense in his previous Hindi films ‘A Flat’ (2010) and ‘Mumbai 125 km’ (2014). In ‘Nishabdam’ they again disappoint. The film seems to stand far beyond emotion and depth. Perhaps he was convinced that he would not be able to give an Indian atmosphere to the story of ‘Hush’. So he filmed this anecdote by reaching Seattle (USA). By changing geography, no more colors can be filled in a weak film, this was proved by seeing ‘Nishabdam’.

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In many places, the film is reminiscent of the horror films of the seventies and eighties, which were made by the Ramsay brothers. His films used to be ridiculous at times trying to intimidate the arguments. There are many such incidents in ‘Nishabdam’ which do not get embraced. For example, why does the heroine go alone to take a rare painting in a lonely house where a couple has been murdered several years ago.

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In the film, Anushka Shetty played the role of a silent-deaf painter. The same thing happens to him in the deserted house, which happened to the heroine of ‘Hush’ (Kate Seagal). In ‘Baahubali’, Anushka did well, but in ‘Nishabdam’, there was no expression of pain and discomfort on her face, which was necessary according to the character. The work of Madhavan (R Madhavan) in his fiancée role is definitely good. Hollywood actor Michael Madson (Kill Bill, Reservoir Dogs), who is a police officer, is just for Khanapurti. His dubbing is also ridiculous.

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Shanil Dev’s photography is the brightest aspect of ‘Nishabdam’. He has captured Seattle’s beautiful scenery. But looking at the map of the entire film, the thing is the same- ‘Where does this piece of an abra (ghata) appear / thirsty / all the dasht (forest) is thirsty.

  • Film: Nishabdam
  • Duration: 2.06 hours
  • Director: Hemant Madhukar
  • Screenplay: Kona Venkat
  • Photography: Shanil Dev
  • Music: Girish Ji
  • Artists: Anushka Shetty, Madhavan, Anjali, Shalini Pandey, Subbaraju, Michael Madson etc.

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