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The Voice of Silence Nirabatara Swara

The Voice of Silence

The Voice of Silence Movie (Nirabatara Swara)

What are the points of resemblance between this year’s Oscar winner for Best Picture The Artist and The Voice of Silence – A poem of love under ash (Nirabatara Swara)? They are both silent films and one of the striking characters in both of them is man’s best friend: a dog.

But there the resemblance ends. While The Artist is about a silent movie star’s reluctance to move ahead with the times and welcome the Talkies, The Voice of Silence contrasts two phases of a woman’s life: old age and younger days spent with her lover.

Breaking away from convention, director Manas Sahoo has tried his hand at making a silent film after being involved with theatre and script writing for the past 12 years. The film was screened at Utkal Mahavidyalaya on Monday.

Kaveri sits silently and stares at the emptiness in her life that come with old age. Unbidden, her mind jumps to the days she spent with her lover Krishna. The sharp contrast between the life she had led then and now is the essence of the silent film.

The film begins with Kaveri, a widowed lady in her eighties, alighting from a train and sitting on a nearby bench. Too fragile to make her way to her destination, Kaveri waits for someone who can take her home. She patiently waits for help while several trains pass by. After a long wait, she starts off on her long journey home alone. On her way, Kaveri receives help from strangers, but at home she faces the indifference of her family.

The film then shows Krishna, Kaveri’s deceased husband, in the guise of Lord Yama, provoking Kaveri to end her life. The film ends with the death of Kaveri.

There are some touching moments in the film, especially the last scene in which Kaveri’s pet dog, her sole companion in lonely times, does not leave her side even during her cremation.

In spite of having a strong, sensitive plot, the film lacks finesse and is riddled with loopholes. Monotony grips the viewer at some points during the hour-long film. The scenes, especially those of Kaveri’s younger days, do not communicate a picture of happiness the director wishes to because of its randomness.

The viewer is also left confused with a sudden scene in which Krishna is shown being beaten mercilessly. The reason is never explained in the film. Even the life of Kaveri after the death of Krishna has not been shown in detail, leaving questions unanswered.

But the director’s attempt at a genre that has hardly been experimented with before in India deserves appreciation. The film also received a warm response from the audience. Actor Akash Das Nayak was present in the audience, and he thoroughly enjoyed the film.

“I loved the film and would love to work with Manas sometime in the future. It is good to see that Odisha cinema is going through a period of change,” said the actor.

For director Manas, the film has been a learning experience. “It is difficult to express one’s view simply through emotions. We had several takes and re-takes. It’s good to see that the audience loved it,” said Manas, who is busy trying his luck in the Hindi film industry.

(Source – The Telegraph, Author – CHANDRIMA MAITRA)

The Voice of Silence Movie – Nirabatara Swara Film – Director Manas – A Silent Cinema

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