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Khamosh… Khauff Ki Raat 
Written by: on March 29th, 2007

Theatrical Release Dates: India, 2005
Director: Deepak Tijori
Cast: Shilpa Shetty, Juhi Chawla, Rajiv Singh, Kainaaz Pervees, Vrajesh Hirjee, Rajat Bedi, Rakhi Sawant, Vishwajeet Pradhan, Gargi Patel, Makrand Deshpande

DVD released:
April 15th, 2005
Approximate running time: 128 minutes
Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Anamorphic Widescreen
Rating: NR
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1
DVD Release: Spark
Region Coding: Region 0 NTSC
Retail Price: $19.99

Fate brings several strangers together on a stormy night. They are all forced to stay at a motel in the middle of nowhere tell the storm passes. Later in the evening a cop escorting a dangerous murderer shows up at the hotel where they are also forced to take refugee from the storm. Bodies start to turn up when the murderer escapes into the night. Will everyone keep clam and wait the storm out or will they panic and fall into the traps the murderer has set for them?

Khamosh’s plot is an almost direct lift of the 2003 Hollywood film Identity. The main difference between the two films is that Khamosh presents the plot as though it is happening and not a figment of the killers’ imagination like it is presented in Identity. The way each films ends is also different. If you have never seen Identity then you will obviously find more enjoyment while watching Khamosh and those who have already seen Identity may be overwhelmed by a feeling of Déjà Vu.

The films plot opens with a doctor named Dr. Saksi Sagar who has found new evidence that could greatly affect the verdict handed down to the killer. Then for the rest of the film we shift back and forth between Dr. Saksi Sagar’s crusade and a reenactment of what happened fifteen years ago. The jumping back and forth quickly becomes distracting and takes the viewer out the murder mystery part of the story. The plot would have worked so much better if they booked ended the flashback with Dr. Saksi Sagar’s segments instead of mixing them into the middle part of the film.

Deepak Tijori’s direction is one of the films strongest assets as he does an admirable job overcoming a weak plot that lacks originality. The tone of film and violence is handled really well and even though it is not in your face the murders are graphic enough. No moments stand out more then any other and if any moment really grabbed me it was the musical number naughty girl with Shilpa Shetty. This musical number doesn’t quite work with in the context of the rest of the film and yet it is so much fun to watch Shilpa Shetty gyrate on a bed. The musical numbers are sparse with only one other musical number in the whole film.

Performance wise the only one who ever rises above an average performance is Shilpa Shetty who portrays’ a prostitute named Sonia. Every scene she is in is enhanced by her presence and the film on a whole tends to suffer without her. Obviously one of the main slights towards Khamosh is that it is too much like Identity and while this is true it is nothing new since remaking films from other countries is something everything does including Hollywood. Khamosh is solid retelling of a familiar story that overcomes all of its shortcomings.

The DVD:

Khamoshh is presented in an anamorphic widescreen that preserves the films original 2.35:1 aspect ratio. Details look sharp in the background and foreground. Thick rain is present in most scenes and it is amazing just how much detail is present in every frame. Colors look vivid and faithfully reproduced with natural looking flesh tones. The source material is free of any defects or damage.

This release comes with one audio option a Dolby Digital 5.1 mix in Hindi. This mix sounds clear and robust especially the dialog. Music and effects sound evenly balanced and never distorted. Overall this audio mix packs a lot punch.

Removable English subtitles have been included that are easy to read and follow. There are few errors that I noticed and these errors are minor as best as they don’t take away from what is being said.

Extras for this release consist of trailers for Zeher, Tango Charlie, Musafir, Julie, Main Aisa Hi Noon and Nazar. The DVD is features forced previews which play before the main menu is displayed. Most players will let you pass these previews by pressing the forward button. All of the previews are in Hindi only and no English subtitles have been included.

Khamoshh is an engaging murder/mystery that will keep you on the edge of your seat with its many twists and turns. Despite the lack of any movie related extras this DVD release is more then adequate since the film comes with a solid audio/video presentation, recommended.

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