Reviewed By: Sai Nikhil
Cast: Anushka Shetty, Madhavan, Anjali, Subbaraju, Shalini Pandey, Srinivas Avasarala
Director: Hemant Madhukar
Streaming on: Amazon Prime
Story: Newly-engaged couple Sakshi (Anushka) and Anthony (Madhavan) go to a haunted place called Woodside Villa on the outskirts of Seattle in search of a painting and Anthony ends up being brutally murdered there and Sakshi barely escapes. Who is responsible for Anthony’s murder and is the villa really haunted or not forms the rest of the story.
Performances: Anushka has done her part well as a deaf and dumb lady. Madhavan appears in a role which one wouldn’t expect from him. Nevertheless, he has done his part well. Anjali is impressive as the Seattle police officer and has got maximum screen space besides Anushka. Subbaraju has got a meaty role and does well. Shalini Pandey, Avasarala Srinivas and foreign actor Michael Madsen are the other important characters in the film.
Technicalities: Camerawork by Shaneil Deo is top-class. He has earlier worked for Goodachari. This movie has been entirely shot in US and the locations have been captured beautifully. Girishh Gopalakrishnan’s background score is good whereas none of Gopi Sunder’s songs except the first one register in our minds. Editing is okay and the movie does not pose any major pace issues except in a few scenes. Production values are good.
Analysis: The story of this film is by director Hemant Madhukar himself whereas Kona Venkat has written the screenplay and dialogues. The movie starts off on an interesting note with the horror element coming into play. This prepares our mind for expecting something really thrilling but what we get is something completely different. This film is a whodunit thriller and the police officer played by Anjali has to track down the killer. We are introduced to a few characters in the first hour and we are instantly aware that one of them is going to be the killer. The major revelation is made about halfway through the second half of the film making us exhausted and then, the movie completely collapses. The twist and the reason for it is something we have already seen in other popular movies. So, the last 30 minutes feel highly predictable and stretched. Kona Venkat, who was wise enough to choose a fresh backdrop like Seattle for this story, could not workout a fresh screenplay and could not maintain the momentum set by the initial portions of the film. The horror element completely goes missing after the first few minutes of the film. Also, there are hardly any intense or suspenseful moments in a whodunit thriller like this and even the one or two jump scares create zero impact.
On a whole: Nishabdham has a outdated plot, a fresh backdrop and some decent performances but lacks the most important one, which is a fresh and engaging screenplay making it a boring watch.