Film Review: Nishabd


Film: Nishabd


Director: Ram Gopal Varma


Cast: Amitabh Bachchan, Jiah Khan, Revathi, Nasser


Rating: 3/5


Before you jump onto the wagon and begin comparing it to a million other Bollywood films like Joggers Park, Ek Choti Si Love Story, Dil Chata Hai, Lolita et all; let me tell you it is nothing remotely like any of them.


Nishabd is the story of a sixty year old photographer, Vijay (Amitabh Bachchan) who ends up falling deeply in love with Jiah (Jiah Khan); a friend of his daughter, who is down to spend the vacation with her family.


The fall begins with Vijay’s fascination for Jiah’s carefree attitude. Soon he realizes that it is far more than attraction, this when she starts getting involved with his work and takes an interest in learning photography from him. One thing leads to another and soon an untroubled Jiah confesses her love to him, awaiting a response, it is a yes that she gets.


The film in futility does not analyze the intensity of love between the two, instead analyses the complexity of the relationship and repercussion it has on Vijay’s family life. It is when Ritu (Shraddha Arya) eavesdrops on the conversation between her beloved father and her best friend Jiah that she realizes what is cooking between the two of them. Soon his wife is made aware of this, reacting in the much obvious fashion. An estranged father and a troubled lover is made to forfeit his love; resulting in too many unhappy people.


What is incredible in this film is that unlike the typical movies that are churned out week after week, Nishabd takes a bold step in showcasing the existence and possibility of this sort of a relationship. No time is wasted in scrutinizing if what is happening is moral or immoral; it simply flows as a film without making you question anything that is seen.


Instead of stereotypical portrayal of sensuality through provocative dialogues, the sensuality is brought through the attitude and the costumes worn by Jiah Khan, which is certainly different and hasn’t been seen before.


Dialogues could have been worked on to make the situation more hard hitting. Nonetheless, the insanely awesome camera work and editing made up for it. The wonderful dolly and Milo shots are perhaps Ram Gopal Verma’s trademarks and boy does he take it to a new level!


In a particular scene the camera travels from atop the house, moving down to where Jiah is standing, and then goes back trailing Revathi (amazing camera work). There are times you feel that some shots weren’t framed well, but looking back at, one realizes that that was the best way to provide it the much needed impact.


It does not take a genius to figure out that like many other directors, the background score is of great importance to Ram Gopal Varma as well. The score in Nishabd is brilliant and the build up of the background score makes you anticipate the scene that will follow.


The acting is flawless; the array of emotions Bachchan manages to deliver through his eyes is praiseworthy. Jiah Khan, who is a natural, can safely be termed as the next big thing to hit the film industry, provided she is given a good amount of films and great performance oriented roles. With Revathi, one doesn’t even dare comment as she carries a legacy of great films and breathtaking performances.


The editing in all of Verma’s films is yet another area that distinguishes the riff raffs from an RGV. It is sharp, managing to tell the story in just the right amount of time. The production values are simply outstanding.


The problem with this film lies in its distinctive subject, which will not go too well with the audiences. This movie can be expected to do average business across India. One can expect it to go down well in the overseas market and a few urban cities in India. Multiplexes will be where this movie will be seen running for a stipulated period of time.


Nishabd is a film that everyone must watch with an open mind and a free spirit. Void of stereotypical dialogues and acting, it is a film that dares to be different and is an accolade to Indian cinema, more than being one to Ram Gopal Varma.

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