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Khamoshh - Khauff Ki Raat

IndiaFM News Bureau/Taran Adarsh

Posted: Apr 15, 2005 at 1554 hrs IST

First things first! Is Khamoshh - Khauff Ki Raat the 2005 adaptation of the Manoj Kumar-Nanda-Mehmood classic Gumnaam, as is being widely speculated?

Nope! Khamoshh - Khauff Ki Raat is a poor imitation of James Mangold's psychological thriller and slasher horror movie Identity (2003; John Cusack, Ray Liotta, Amanda Peet).

What's laudable is that Tijori does venture into a seldom chosen path (split personality disorder) - an issue rarely tackled in Bollywood - but the story has been presented in such an abstract fashion that the viewer starts gasping for a breath of fresh air after a point.

Frankly, Khamoshh - Khauff Ki Raat could've been an ideal popcorn movie with flair, style and intelligence that would've set everyone thinking (or talking) about it on their drive back home. It genuinely had the ingredients to shock and scare the viewer, but the outcome leaves you cold and numb.

The talented actor turned film-maker oozed confidence in his directorial debut Oops!, but Khamoshh - Khauff Ki Raat leaves you khamoshh, speechless, courtesy a sloppy screenplay!

On a stormy night, various people passing through this highway get diverted to this motel, which seems to be their only hope for shelter.

A family encounters a flat tyre on the highway. Due to the stormy weather conditions, the wife gets hit by a speeding car and the husband (Vishwajeet Pradhan) is left with no choice but to take her to the nearest available place -- the motel -- where he could find medical aid.

Also arriving in the motel is a young couple (Rajat Bedi, Kainaaz), who are proceeding for their honeymoon. Others who arrive at the motel include a prostitute, Sonia (Shilpa Shetty), a starlet, Kashmira (Rakhi Sawant), and her business manager Avinash (Rajeev Singh), responsible for the fatal accident.

The receptionist at the motel (Vrajesh Hirjee) manages to accommodate all of them in various rooms.

Yet another person walks in at this stage. Jatin (Shawar Ali), a cop, is transferring one of the convicts (Kelly Dorjee), in his custody, to another prison. He also takes shelter at this motel.

A spate of murders starts taking place at this motel. The mystery deepens… Everyone is on tenterhooks and wants to escape.

Khamoshh - Khauff Ki Raat. falters due to faulty writing. There are gaping flaws in the screenplay, with several questions remaining unanswered. The idea of several people assembling in one tacky motel on a stormy night does make for an eerie setting, but the reason that prompts the murderer to go on a killing spree seems completely unjustified. Fine, the murderer had to settle scores with someone close to him, but the reasons that prompt him to go on a rampage looks juvenile and weird. That is the primary flaw of the film!

Another problem with Khamoshh - Khauff Ki Raat is the way it has been narrated. The director's idea to start off with the present, go into the flashback, go back and forth time and again, seems too abstract for a thriller. Just when you thought that something dramatic is about to happen and your eyes are glued to the screen, the story comes to a grinding halt when it comes back to the present (the Juhi Chawla-Avtar Gill-Adi Irani track).

But the flaw that cannot be pardoned lies in its climax. The identity of the killer doesn't startle you one bit and the reasons that prompt him to commit multiple murders, sparing just one person, appears flimsy. Even after that, the film doesn't end... Strange, but true!

Deepak Tijori has handled a few portions in the post-interval portions with precision, keeping the viewer on the edge of his seat, but a couple of well executed individual sequences do not matter if the overall script is patchy. Frankly, Tijori is grossly letdown by the screenplay department.

The film has just one song (at the start of the film) and it's an okay track otherwise. Gifted cinematographer Thomas Xavier is not in complete form this time around. The lighting at several places is inconsistent.

Shilpa Shetty does a decent job, although there's not much scope for any actor to display histrionics. Newcomer Rajeev Singh has screen presence and as an actor, doesn't disappoint. If given the right roles, has tremendous potential! Shawar Ali doesn't impress. Kainaaz and Rajat Bedi are effective enough. Vrajesh Hirjee is extremely efficient. Kelly Dorjee gets no lines to deliver. Vishwajeet Pradhan is alright. Rakhi Sawant is excellent in a brief role.

Makrand Deshpande goes over the top. Juhi Chawla delivers a sincere performance.

On the whole, Khamoshh - Khauff Ki Raat lacks in chills, thrills and most importantly, it rests on a faulty script. At the box-office, a disappointment!


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