First day last show.

And Jiah Khan steals the show.

That’s how I would like to put it. Anticipating full house, we were welcomed by a relatively empty cinema, which is unusual for a Bachchan starrer RGV movie. The last movie of the duo was Sarkar, and it won accolades from all strata of Indian movie buffs. From the day 1 of promos, Nishabdh has been boasting of a different narrative in which a senile gentleman, who is also an artistic photographer, falls in love with a young girl in her late teens. Amitabh Bachchan is Mr. Vijay, a hexagenarian, who owns an estate in the picturesque landscapes of Munnar. He is accompanied by his wife, Amrutha (Revati) and his daughter. Life is quiet for them, until one vacation for which his daughter takes Jia, her college friend with her. Jia is a girl who has an attitude of “I don’t care around her”. Jiah’s childhood has been rattled by the divorce of her parents, followed by the second marriage of her mother.  Though she tries to don a cool girl image with punch lines such as “Take light”, one could see she is not very cool when it comes to things concerning her.

One fine day during the vacation, Ritu gets bedridden due to sprain and Vijay is forced to take Jiah alone for the estate trip for the next 5 days. During this period, they get very close to each other, and Amitabh realizes that he is in love with Jiah when confronted with the proposal from the teenager. Things turn bad when Ritu spots both of them kissing each other, and this leads to big turmoils in the family, and tears start rollicking from the eyes of everyone in the family. The movie ends showing the desolate Vijay contemplating about his future.

Amitabh, known for his domineering personality on and off the screen, chipped in with an uncharacteristic role of an emotionally fragile person and has added another stunning performance into his illustrious career. The rookie Jiah Khan is a treat to watch; she is sensual and has excellently fit into the innocent “I don’t care” desi teenager. She has got the looks, and her bosoms can flutter any guy I should say! Revathy, who has always shown her acting prowess, has done total justice to her limited role. A couple of characters who failed to make any impact are Ritu and her uncle, enacted by Naser. His role of a brother in law, who is unusually tolerant to Vijay and Jiah, looks very artificial. I don’t really believe one could see such brother in laws, unless he is Jesus Christ or Osho reincarnated, and has invented the elixir for life. Nasser, a very good actor known for his captivating roles in south Indian movies has been totally underutilized in the movie. Probably RGV could have given the role to someone else than wasting the talent of

On the whole, as the name says, Nishabdh is a silent, unconventional bollywood movie. Apart from the stunning cinematography (The place is a paradise!) and good acting at times, the movie is mediocre. After watching the movie, one gets a feeling that RGV failed to do justice to a wonderful story, and could have done much better. For the past 10 years, Ramu has displayed his caliber in making thriller and action flicks many a times, and his attempt to make a romantic movie is not up to the mark. The movie is very light, devoid of a powerful screenplay or dialogues. Nevertheless, the actors have performed remarkably, given the limited prospects offered to them by the screenplay. Though I won’t recommend it as a must watch movie, it is a different and daring attempt by RGV and one can go to the theatre and come out after the movie without much difference in their state of mind.

PS: The title reminds me of one of my favorites, The Sound of Silence by Simon and Garfunkel.

Hello darkness, my old friend,

I’ve come to talk with you again,

Because a vision softly creeping,

Left its seeds while I was sleeping,

And the vision that was planted in my brain

Still remains

Within the sound of silence.

In restless dreams I walked alone

Narrow streets of cobblestone,

neath the halo of a street lamp,

I turned my collar to the cold and damp

When my eyes were stabbed by the flash of

A neon light

That split the night

And touched the sound of silence.

And in the naked light I saw

Ten thousand people, maybe more.

People talking without speaking,

People hearing without listening,

People writing songs that voices never share

And no one dared

Disturb the sound of silence.

Fools said I ,you do not know

Silence like a cancer grows.

Hear my words that I might teach you,

Take my arms that I might reach you.

But my words like silent raindrops fell,

And echoed

In the wells of silence

And the people bowed and prayed

To the neon God they made.

And the sign flashed out its warning,

In the words that it was forming.

And the signs said, the words of the prophets

Are written on the subway walls

And tenement halls.

And whispered in the sounds of silence.