Movie Highlight: ‘Khamosh’, look, Hitchcock..we too can do a great murder mystery.



    Bollywood is a sneaky bastard. We, as film-buffs are always crying out that bollywood has forgotten to give us  enough thrillers and murder-mysteries in churning out Rom-Coms and Potboilers. But if you look close enough, you will surprised to find many hidden gems throughout the history of bollywood. ‘Khamosh’ is one of those gems.
   ‘‘Khamosh’ is 1985 thriller film written and directed by Vidhu Vinod Chopra and stars an ensemble great cast of Nassiruddin Shah, Amol Palekar, Shabana Azmi, Pankaj Kapoor and Soni Razdan etc. 
       The story of the film takes place on a shoot of a Bollywood film. Amol Palekar and Shabana Azmi play fictionalised versions of themeselves as  the lead actor and actress. Sadashiv Amrapurkar plays the director and Pankaj Kapoor plays the younger brother of the producer.One of the cast  member is murdered and thus the rest of the cast and crew falls under investigation. Nassiruddin Shah Enters the scene as a CID Investigator and thus begins what could be described as a edge of the seat thrill ride.
   Though the premise ‘murder on a film set is catchy, its the powerful screenplay by Vidhu Vinod Chopra that keeps you glued to the screen. The Screenplay plays out exactly how a good Murder mystery should play out. Murder at a unlikely place? check. Long list of characters with something kaala in their daal?  check. A Dashing investigator? Check. Plenty of Red herrings and twists at the right moments? Check. This movie does it well.
   I can’t help but compare this film to this year’s ‘Wazir’ which was co-written by Vidhu Vinod Chopra ( and is how I came across ‘Khamosh’) . ‘Wazir’, Which was also a thriller, mainly failed because of its weak and cliched screenplay. But ‘Khamosh’ not only presents with a great murder mystery, it creates a world for that mystery. A world which has a film-industry which is surprisingly fresh, non- cliched and very interesting reflection of the  real world film industry of 1980s. Moments  where a Rape scene is being is shot with a young novice actress especially stand out. Pankaj kapoor’s drug addicted act is memorable.
    Frankly speaking, having read and watched a fair share of murder mysteries, I was able to guess the killer but the film did manage to make me second-guess my guess (if that makes sense) and I think that is a sign that this murder mystery works. Speaking of negatives, there are few. Some characters are just there as fillers with no consequence on story, The killer takes time to kill his/her last victim as he explains his/her evil plan and some bit of information doesn’t add upto the said evil plan.
   But this are just my nitpicks and won’t hamper the enjoyment of watching this movie. So if you too are a fan of murder mysteries, do watch ‘Khamosh’, you won’t regret it and I will try and reveal what more the sneaky bastard has kept hidden from us.

Related: Movie Highlight: ‘Wazir’, Script is the villain of this Akhtar-Bacchan Starrer.

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