There were good expectations on Nishabdham, given Anushka is popular for female centric films and the film is backed by writer turned producer Kona Venkat. Starring popular actors Madhavan and Anjali, while Michael Madsen, Subbaraju, Shalini Pandey and Srinivas Avasarala in supporting roles, Nishabdham is a crossover film. Let’s get into actual review part:
A mute artist Sakshi (Anushka Shetty) goes on a vacation along with her fiancé and celebrity musician Anthony (Madhavan) to a woodhouse where he’s killed. It was a haunted house where similar incident was reported in 1972. Crime detective Maha (Anjali) and another Seattle PD cop Richard Dawkins (Michael Madsen) investigate the case. While Maha suspects Sakshi’s best friend Sonali (Shalini Pandey), Richard suspects Sakshi in the murder case. Who’s the killer of Anthony and what is the motive behind his murder? How this case is linked to girls missing in the town?
Hemant Madhukar hasn’t delivered a single hit so far. Fortunately, he grabbed the opportunity to direct a crossover film made with popular stars. The film Nishabdham is another revenge drama with huge setup. Actually, the film can be made in India with limited budget in hill stations like Ooty, Kodaikanal etc. But, unnecessarily, USA is chosen as backdrop. The very first episode gives the color of haunted house. But, it’s just to trick the audience. Then, the back story of villain is obsolete. Most of the lead characters are shown suspicious and there’s big disappointment in the end with no surprising elements or no shocking revelations. Even the story-telling is complicated with three different narrations. Shaneil Deo’s camera work is top-notch, whereas Girish G’s background score is exhilarating. Gopi Sundar’s soundtracks are good. Prawin Pudi’s editing clueless as the film’s story. Production values of People Media Factory and Kona Film Corporation are high in standard.
Onto artists, Anushka has got another meaty role as a mute artist and she played the role proficiently. The hard work she’s put in to play a mute girl can be seen in every frame. However, she looked chubby. Madhavan looked dashing as usual and he’s cool in his role as a celebrity musician. Michael Madsen is wasted, while Anjali got lengthy and significant role. Subbaraju has also got overlong role and he’s good. Shalini Pandey as possessive girl is decent. Others were okay.
Lack Of Commercial Elements
It’s equally important to have a mind-blowing flashback in crime thriller films which have a backstory for villain or a motive behind the killings. That’s the reason why filmmakers try to narrate an incredible or mysterious story in flashback episodes. The problem here is even if the narration was gripping, a bad backstory can play spoilsport. Coming to Nishabdham, neither the main story was engaging nor was the backstory exceptional.
The film begins on a mysterious note with a couple land in a woodhouse get killed in the year 1972. Many see it in ghost angle and it is branded as a haunted house. This was just to give horror color to the movie. Cut to present, Anushka and Madhavan come on a vacation to the woodhouse where the latter is killed in similar fashion of how the young couple were killed back in 1972. Anushka is injured and hospitalized. She then starts narrating her story- her relationship with Madhavan and also her friendship with Shalini Pandey. This story is narrated in three perspectives only to uphold the suspense factor. But, due to poor writing, things move at snail’s pace. Bang in the story with a police officer getting killed in the woodhouse when they go to reconstruct the incident and Anjali finds someone suspicious there.
Anjali then follows the person to a farmhouse where she will get a lead to the case. All of the sudden, actual story is narrated to reveal the culprit. That won’t surprise us. Even the backstory won’t amaze us. The childhood episodes appear a burden and were wrongly placed. Then, Anushka is trapped and brought to the farmhouse where all the crimes happen and the story ends on a happy note with Anjali’s assistance.
All in all, Nishabdham is a poorly written and made thriller with no big surprises. Though Anushka, Madhavan and other artists performed well, they couldn’t help in engaging for a little over 2 hours. Cinematography, BGm and rich production values were the other positives of the film, wherein the drawbacks are numerous. CJ goes with 2 star rating and watch it just for actors and high standard technical values.