Khamoshi is surprisingly a black and white movie whereas in that time (1969), colour movies were only made and black and white movies were considered something pertaining to a bygone era. However, perhaps the black and white characteristic only helped the purpose of the movie. The colour version might not have been so effective in touching the viewers’ hearts and displaying the emotional dynamics of the characters of the story portrayed on the celluloid.Khamoshi can be considered a story based on the Freudian concepts of transference and counter-transference that prop up during the psycho-analytic therapy used to cure a schizophrenic patient. Transference is the emotional bond unconsciously built in the patient towards the therapist affecting his thinking and behaving patterns. However, the way the patient is affected by the personality of the therapist, the same way he himself affects the personality of the therapist also. The emotional and behavioural changes occurring in the therapist because of interaction with the patient are summed up as counter-transference. These developments may lead to the cure of the patient which is the ultimate purpose of the exercise but if the process is not handled carefully and by mature and detached people, the exercise may prove to be counter-productive also. The unexpected and unwanted results may not only be detrimental for the patient, but for the therapist also, for, after all, the therapist is also a human-being only, full of emotions, imperfections and contradictions.
Khamoshi reveals these phenomena through a highly emotional and tear-jerking drama very effectively. Radha (Waheeda Rehman), the nurse working in a psychiatric hospital is made to act for the paranoid patients as their love-interest so that they are able to overcome their trauma taken place in their past and become normal to live in the practical world. However, the head of the hospital (Nazir Hussain) while ordering Radha to do that and expecting her to bring about miraculous results for him ignores the fact that Radha is also a human-being and more importantly a woman who can love and who desires to be loved by the man she is in love with. He simply bypasses the truth that she is not a robot or a mechanical device and the trauma of getting separated from the man whom she loved wholeheartedly, albeit considering herself just a treating device in the beginning, may prove fatal for her own personality. First it happened in the case of Dev (Dharmendra) who after becoming normal, courtesy the love and care of Radha, leaves her and gets ready to marry some other girl. Radha gets out of this shock anyhow but not ready to repeat this act for anybody else. However, her destiny drags her into a similar therapeutic turned emotional relationship with Arun (Rajesh Khanna), leading her to develop a fear within herself that history will repeat itself with her. Now, unlike Dev, Arun has really started loving Radha from the core of his heart and willing to marry her after his discharge from the hospital. However Radha, ignorant of this fact and finding nobody to share the grief of her heart, gets more and more suffocated within herself and ultimately goes insane.
The treatment of the story is simply superb. The director has done an excellent job. The performances can be described nothing short of extra-ordinary, especially that of Waheeda Rehman playing Radha. The music by Hemant Kumar is something touching the soul of the listener and adding to the beauty and depth of the emotions embedded in the movie. The lyrics are highly meaningful and any sensitive person can feel his / her eyes wet while listening to the songs during the movie.
This masterpiece is not only a milestone in Hindi cinema, say Indian cinema and a must-watch for the viewers liking sensible cinema but also a visual lesson for the people attached to the field of Psychology in one way or the other.
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