'Dhwani' means sound. And why the film is named 'Dhwani', you get to know about two thirds down its meandering course, when the 'twist in the tale' is revealed. And the twist, unquestionably, took me my surprise - I least expected it.
Which is, I think, about all I can say favourably about this tortuous film, which just goes on and on, absolutely nowhere. Essentially a simple, and totally lacklustre, love story, which could have been told in a flat 10 minutes, the film drags on, seemingly interminably, for nearly 2 hours, leaving you wondering, at the end, what it was all about. There's a political subplot which has nothing whatsoever to do with the film, and, like most of the film, seems to serve no purpose at all. There's a secondary romantic track between Suresh Gopi and Rohini which lasts exactly 3 minutes, and is left, then, dangling in mid air, remaining unresolved till the end. Stand-out comedians like Jagathy, Innocent, and even that one-man laugh riot Mammukoya, are given two and a half inconsequential scenes each, making you wonder why they ever accepted these roles. Most regrettably, even a star performer like Thilakan, despite being, supposedly, a political manipulator par excellence, who claims to make and break Chief Ministers, leaves you wondering about the truth of his claims, given the utterly juvenile tactics he resorts to in order to win over a favourable judgement from Prem Nazir playing a retired judge - who, it must be said, in his last film of his, hams his way merrily from beginning to end. As the political sub-plot is itself a non-starter, Thilakan, too, unfortunately, contributes nothing.
'Dhwani' remains one of the most disappointing film viewing experiences of mine. Touted as being master-composer Naushad's maiden foray into Malayalam films, the songs, too, were nothing to write home about so far as someone like me, who is a die-hard aficionado of Naushad's work in Hindi films, right from the early '40s, is concerned. Shobhana and Jayaram, despite being talented performers, seem totally disconnected, apparently aware that the entire exercise was going to end in zilch.
I, for one, have never seen a film boasting of such an array of leading lights of the industry, having nothing whatsoever to do.
A total washout.
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