Disclaimer: In this Nishabdham honest review I am only going to talk about the technical aspects of the film. There will be no spoilers, so you can read it and decide on your on whether you should watch the film or not!
This Amazon Original film Nishabdham (Silence in English), is basically revolving around the mysterious death of a man at a haunted villa. A mute & deaf artist played by Anushka Shetty is found to be connected with the case. The Seattle PD officer Richard Dickens was handed the case to investigate. Who is guilty and who is not is simply the story of the film.
The film’s running time is 2 hours and 5 minutes. It is written and directed by Hemant Madhukar. Kona Venkat has done the screenplay for this film. Music is given by Gopi Sundar and the Cinematography is done by Shaneil Deo.
When the poster and the trailer of the film was released, it was advertised as a Horror thriller but it ended up as a crime thriller instead. Ok, that’s not a big issue for me but the quality of a good thriller was also missing in Nishabdham. Let’s talk about the film in detail.
NISHABDHAM HONEST REVIEW
SOUND DESIGNING & MUSIC
For a crime thriller specially, sound is a key element that drives the audience into the action. Sound designing & mixing in Nishabdham is quite confusing. In moments, it impresses you then in the other, it completely disappoints you.
There are few scenes in the film were sound was abruptly silenced to convey the inner feeling of the deaf person. First it didn’t felt that bad but later on with the excessive use of this method, I really got annoyed. The creative choice to do so, didn’t fits well.
There is a scene in the first half, where you can hear the sound of clapping in the background but all the extras in that scene are standing still, their hands are not even moving. Then comes the dubbing part, which gets even weirder. The voice of Richard Dickens was mostly been dubbed and honestly he sounded like he had gums in his mouth all the time.
Did I told you that, Madhavan is playing a famous Cello player in the film. His scenes were mostly backed with the sound of instruments and music, which gave his character some depth. Those scenes are nice and quite enjoyable.
The editing of this film is very average to be honest. The film was extended to a length of 2 hours which can be shortened by 20-25 minutes easily in my opinion. But when you are taking that much time, why not use it to show the human relations more nicely. While watching Nishabdham, not for a single second I felt the emotional connect with the characters and that is the most underwhelming part.
The film was lead by Anushka Shetty and Madhavan. Both the actors are capable of doing great things on the screen but here, their characters just don’t have that much variation. The written material provided to them is so poor that it made them look like newcomers. But as you know, they are great performers, they even shines in these roles also.
The main supporting cast includes Micheal Madsen, Anjali, Subbaraju and Shalini Pandey. Their characters also were not provided with depth at first. Yes, they have importance in the film but somewhere near the end you will question their intentions.
Micheal Madsen who is playing Richard Dickens in the film, is just unwatchable. His body language and screen presence was so lethargic, that it made me want to stop the film in the middle. However, Subbaraju as Vivek is the only one, who stands out among the bunch. He has a purpose and he genuinely made his character relevant.
SCREENPLAY & DIRECTING
What I expected and what I got? This film is a very poorly executed crime thriller to be honest. It lacks pace and intensity. When it started, I thought it was a horror thriller but moments later it turned out to be a crime mystery thriller. After some while, I saw a romantic angle which also includes some comedy & laughter.
This film has tried to be everything but ended up to be nothing. The narrator keeps on changing and till the very end we didn’t get the answer of, why they are narrating because this film doesn’t need a narrator to tell the story. There are too many flashbacks in-between the scenes which made me forget which timeline they are in.
The storyline, the settings and the materials of the film had the potential to turn it into a great and enjoyable thriller. But due to poor execution and abrupt editing, the film didn’t reached it’s desired goal.
Hope the creators will learn from their mistakes and come back with a bang. And a small request to Amazon Prime Video, please have a look on your English subtitles. They are very confusing at some point.