What happens when you are forced to scale the heights of gross absurdity? Well you are left with a black hole of damning 'silence' that leaves a gnawing pain in your mind. Karan Darra's KHAMOSHIYAN is a hauntingly boring movie. The makers took the title so seriously that there are hardly any actors in the film. All you get is yawn-inducing spells of baseless silences. Comparing this movie with yesteryear classic MAHAL will be an insult of the highest order. Only saving grace of KHAMOSHIYAN is a wonderful music score.
Kabir (Ali Fazal) is an alcoholic writer who is literally kicked where-it-hurts-the-most by an ex-girlfriend's husband into taking a new course for his life and to write another book. In search of a new story, Kabir travels to a scenic place near Srinagar (actually shot in South Africa) and lodges in a desolate hotel run by Meera (Sapna Pabbi). Kabir falls for the mysterious charm and captivating sensuality of Meera even though strange things happen in the hotel, like falling keys, a deviant photograph doing a vanishing act, or a coquettish fireplace alighting or cooling down surreptitiously. The sexual tension between Meera and Kabir is consummated with a detailed lip-lock session. The mystery of Meera's husband Jaidev (Gurmeet Chaudhary) is unraveled with an eye-popping (literally) 'twist'. The much hyped 'threesome' between the three is a 'spirit'ed tug-of-war that leaves you baffled at the detailed stupidity.
It's not surprising that Vikram Bhatt has been credited as the 'writer' of this silly-horror-fest. He's the man behind some of the most bizarre films in the horror genre in Bollywood. KHAMOSHIYAN surely competes with the regressive-imagination-defying 'gems' Vikram has been associated with in the past. The same man has written some brilliant columns on life in newspapers but has nothing novel to say in his movies. Debutante Director Karan Darra's Twitter bio proclaims him to be, "An Artist. A Poet." There's no artistry or poetry in the idea or execution of KHAMOSHIYAN. It is just a rehash of many such weird movies that the Bhatts are proficient at making primarily aimed at Box Office with ample dosage of sex and melodious music. Sex is good and so is music but a gripping story and execution are missing in KHAMOSHIYAN and that's the problem.
Technically, there's nothing exciting to notice. VFX is strictly average. You can make out the synthetic butterflies flying around. In today's day and age, there's much better scope for perfection. Nigam Bomzan's camerawork is impressive in song picturisations. Kuldip Mehan's editing is taut. The duration of two hours is a correct decision in a narrative where nothing much happens. Music is the biggest USP of KHAMOSHIYAN. The title track, composed by Jeet Ganguly is a simple yet beautiful melody that floors you. Rashmi Singh's lyrics are very effective in capturing the idea of 'Silences'. 'Tu Har Lamha' (Bobby Imran), 'Kya Khoya' (Naved Jafar), 'Baatein Ye Kabhi Na' (Jeet Ganguly) and 'Bheeg Loon' (Ankit Tiwary) are excellent songs that stay with you once the movie is over.
Ali Fazal is a gifted actor. He has a wide range of emotions that effortlessly inhabit his face. At several junctures during the film he surprises you but then the incredulous plot spoils everything. Sapna Pabbi has an earthy sexual appeal. She knows how to use her eyes and body language to her advantage. Gurmeet Chaudhury has a brief role and doesn't really get a chance to display his talent. He will make you cringe, but no credit to him for that, it's all rather unappealing.
On the whole, KHAMOSHIYAN fails to impress or entertain (an extra half star for music though). In these changing times, audience wants something fresh even in the Horror/ Supernatural genre. Bhatts need to realize that at the earliest. For now, you should stay away from this Echoing-Silence!