Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Khamosh [1985]

Khamosh, Vidhu Vinod Chopra’s sophomore feature film direction, is a film-within-a-film made in the tradition of a classic whodunit. A film-crew has come to the beautiful town of Pehelgaum (in Kashmir) to shoot a movie. Things however take a dramatic turn when a supporting actress (and a wannabe heroine) mysteriously commits suicide. In comes a military man who is convinced that the lady has been murdered, thus kick-starting a chain of events that results in a few more murders with the blame being serially shifted from one person to another. As the murky plot unfolds, we realize that hardly any character is capable of occupying a moral high-ground; rather, ugliness and deceit define most of them, irrespective of what their public veneers suggest. The movie boasts of a terrific ensemble cast – Naseeruddin Shah, as the no-nonsense military man who makes unraveling the killer his personal agenda; Amol Palekar, as a famous actor and a mild-mannered man; Shabana Azmi, as an award-winning actress and a somnambulist; Sadashiv Amrapurkar, as the director; Ajit Vachani, as the film’s lascivious producer; Pankaj Kapoor, as the producer’s alcoholic brother, to name a few. It’s not that the plot is completely bereft of discrepancies, but they never came in the way of my enjoying this delectably suspenseful and tightly structured murder mystery.

Director: Vidhu Vinod Chopra

Genre: Thriller/Mystery

Language: Hindi

Country: India

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