6 February 2005 | abhishek-1
Words and misdeeds!
Words and misdeeds!
Shabd Dir- Leena Yadav Cast- Sanjay Dutt, Aishwarya Rai, Zayed Khan and Sadia Siddiqui. Written by- Sutapa Sikdar and Leena Yadav. Rating- *
The only thing worse than a brainless mind-numbing movie, is a brainless mind-numbing movie that pretends to be an intellectual and aesthetic one. Debutante writer-director Leena Yadav(she's even edited this tedious fare) must've thought during the filming that she was making something novel and riveting. Sadly, thoughts and intentions don't always translate into shabds and deeds! So what we have is in fact an over-boiled egg that's not only unappetizing but also comes without any salt to taste!
Shaukat Vasisht(Sanjay Dutt) is suffering from a writer's block after his follow-up to his Booker prize winning Mindscape has been ripped apart by the critics. Actually, 'Mr. I type my novel on an antique typewriter wearing an Armani' is so consumed with desperation that he's unable to notice the fire in his Looker prize winning wife Antra(Aishwarya). Tch! Tch! Anyways, our dude looks like a writer finds his inspiration in Tamanna, his creation of a woman that wants to break free and live her life. To make his story as real as possible, he encourages Antra to don the garb of Tamanna and allow the overtures of a besotted cad, Yash(Zayed Khan). He even convinces Antra to hide her marital status from Yash. The problem begins when Tamanna becomes Antra and the lines between fantasy and reality become thinner. Shaukat soon realizes that Antra and Yash are not his creations whom he can control as he wishes. You must be thinking that the premise sounds oh so abstract and imaginative. Don't let it fool you though! This is an imposter posing as a highbrow! The film is full with passages that appear to be poetic but are actually drab monologues packaged in the baritone voice of Sanju baba.
The proceedings get so repetitive and soporific after a while that you feel tempted to doze off. But what stops you though are the beautifully written(Vishal Dadlani and Irshad Kamil) and composed(Vishal-Shekhar) songs that are scattered through the running time. Also, your heart goes out to Sanjay for performing his part with sincerity and input. For him and the composer duo- what a waste! Aishwarya keeps switching from disinterested to overly dramatic, and she does both acts unconvincingly. And somebody please tell Zayed that his Shahrukh act just doesn't come together. This dude needs to go back and learn the basics. And yes, what was the casting department(if there was any) thinking when they narrowed him for a college professor? Sadia Siddiqui is engaging as the housemaid and brings some life to the events.
One can't deny that the intent of the maker was to make something different. But Leena should've probably developed the plot a bit more. The relationship between Shaukat and Antra is left undefined as are the characters themselves. For a story that revolves around three characters, the characters have to be delineated with unambiguous clarity. One cannot be commended just for being bold and different. Being bold is not always beautiful! - Abhishek Bandekar
* Poor ** Average *** Good **** Very Good ***** Excellent
6th February, 2005