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Nishabdham Review: A Plodding Thriller

Nishabdham Review: A Plodding Thriller

Movie: Nishabdham
Rating: 2.5/5
People Media Factory
Cast: Ansuhka Shetty, Madhavan, Anjali, Shalini Panday, Subbaraju, Micheal Madsen and others
Screenplay: Kona Venkat 
Music: Gopi Sunder 
Editor: Prawin Pudi 
Cinematography: Shaneil Deo
Produced by: TG Vishwa Prasad
Story and directed by: Hemanth Madhukar
Release date: October 2, 2020
Streaming on: Amazon Prime

The trend of direct digital releases is continuing in Telugu. Anushka’s “Nishabdham” is the latest film that bypassed the Theatrical to release to premiere on an OTT platform.

Amazon Prime is streaming this thriller. Let's analyze. 

Seattle crime detective Maha (Anjali), who solved many cases in her career, narrates a crime incident that challenged her experience and intelligence. That incident involved celebrated musician Anthony (Madhavan) and mute artiste Sakshi (Anushka Shetty).

Soon after their engagement, Anthony and Sakshi go to a haunted villa where Josephine wood painting exists. Anthony gets killed in that villa and Sakhi gets attacked.

Who killed Anthony and for what motive? Or a ghost attacked them? Sakshi who can’t speak and hear can break her silence finally?

Artistes’ Performances:
With all her experience and acting capabilities, Anushka pulls off the role of a deaf and mute artist with ease. Though there is not much scope for her to perform, she leaves her mark with her screen presence. 

Madhavan gets a role that has multiple shades. He is convincing. As a crime detective, Anjali is okay but Avasarala’s character is irritating. Shalini Panday in a small but important role makes an impression. Subbaraju is okay. Hollywood actor Michael Madsen adds nothing much. 

Technical Excellence:
The cinematography is excellent. His sharp visuals have added richness. Background score Girishh Gopalakrishnan creates a good impact.

Gopi Sundar’s songs are melodious on hearing but they are dull on the screen. The entire film is shot in the USA and the production design is top class. The film needs a lot of trimming.

Anushka Shetty and Madhavan

Unconvincing reason for the twist
Lack of emotional connect
Dull middle portions
Unrealistic investigation sequences
Lackluster direction

Like Keerthy Suresh’s “Penguin”, which also premiered on Prime video, Anushka starrer “Nishabdham” deals with the suspense elements. This is a whodunnit with a twist.

Thrillers like this work only when the twists and turns have a solid reason to back up them or the screenplay is quite engaging. When the motive is unconvincing, the entire plot collapses like a house of cards. This exactly has what happened in the case of “Nishabdham”. 

Director Hemanth Madhukar begins the story with the voiceover of Anjali, who is investigating the story of Anushka and Madhavan. By narrating the story from her angle, the director has able to create good suspense. 

In the very first 16 minutes, Madhavan is murdered, and Shalini goes missing. All these angles have already been shown in the trailer as well. So, the director has managed to hook us to the story. But the unraveling of the mystery where the director falters big time.

The film runs helter-skelter in the middle portions with non-serious treatment as well. The scenes of the US police investigation process are depicted laughably. The conversations between Anjali and her husband Avasarala is testimony to the non-serious approach of a thriller. 

When the story comes to the main twist, the film falls completely. Plus, the backstory sounds implausible. There is no emotional connection either. 

Spoiler alert: The emotion that we feel in “Shawshank Redemption” lacks here. The extended climax is a big yawn. 

While the presence of prominent actors like Anushka Shetty, Madhavan, and Anjali playing the main roles has worked to its advantage. But the narration is Plus, the message, in the end, seems quite forced.

Director Hemanth Madhukar and Kona should have worked on the final portions more.

Overall, barring the screen presence of Anushka Shetty and the initial suspense mood, “Nishabdham” joins the other recent direct-digital thrillers that have failed to make an engaging watch.

Bottom-line: Lacklustre

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