Movie Review Khamoshi (1969) – love as the most destructive force

One of the most heart rendering scenes in the movie is Waheeda Rehman holding Rajesh Khanna on a boat. He is remembering his girlfriend who has left him while she is reminded of the man she fell in love with and left too. Khamoshi is the story of nurse Radha and how she is broken down piece by piece till she is driven to madness. In both cases by the power of love.

Plot – A complexified simple story

The movie begins with a patient leaving a mental hospital and a nurse trying hard so that her feelings are not seen by the hospital staff around. But the viewer knows, something is wrong here.

Head of Psychiatry ward is an ex army doctor, Colonel Sahab who is obsessed with a new line of treatment for mentally ill patients, an alternative to medicines and shock therapy. He had tasked Radha to take care of the patient in Room No 24 and “love” him as a way to overcome his trauma. Now Dev fully cured is leaving the hospital to marry his ex-girlfriend. Unknown to both the Doctor and Nurse Radha herself she has been placed on the path of destruct.

Enter patient Arun (Rajesh Khanna) who is a writer. He has become an emotional wreck because his girlfriend has left him. Arun now sees Sulekha in every girl. Our good doctor is naturally thrilled at the arrival of Arun who is moved to Room No 24. He asks Radha to play her part of loving again with Arun. To his surprise, she refuses. He then starts to bully and blackmail her and then finally reminding of her duty as a nurse.

As Radha starts interacting with Arun, the hospital staff believes that she is enacting a role, the same way she did with Dev. How difficult is to pretend love? Dosen’t it come easy to women? But for Radha the time she spends with Arun reminds her of Dev. The man whom she loved but who did not love her in return. All those happy moments of love and loving come back to her, piece by piece. But those moments of love are now causing her pain and grief.

Arun is ironically responding to the care of Radha and falling in love with her. When Radha responds, he thinks that she is responding to him. But in reality she is getting torn down with memories of Dev. Every moment spend with Arun reminds her of Dev.

Fully cured in the end, Arun still in love with Radha and wants to marry her. Too choked up with memories, Radha cannot see Arun’s love. She is overwhelmed by grief and believes she has no one to share her grief with. She suffocates within and becomes the new occupant of Room No 24. Arun tells the doctor that he will wait till she is fully cured and discharged from the hospital.

The nature of a destructive force

Radha falls in love with Dev who is under treatment so neither can he understand her love, nor respond. After he is cured, he simply forgets and leaves to be happy ever after. He goes away to marry his ex-girlfriend. Arun is in love with Radha and wants to give his heart out for her. But her memories of Dev are so strong that she cannot see Arun’s love for her.

The good doctor in his passion to cure patients, forgets that Radha is also a human being who can fall in love. The doctor believes that a woman can pretend to love a man. The movie also bring to the fore the burning issues of fake love and rejection in love.

Loneliness is a serious problem faced by a lot of people. If only we are supportive of people around us can we help each other.

Some interesting points about Khamoshi

Khamoshi is based on a short Bengali story “Nurse Mitra” by Ashutosh Mukhopadhyay which was his first story published in the newspaper Basumati.

The director of Khamoshi, Asit Sen worked in both Bengali and Hindi cinema. Between 1948 to 1984 he directed 17 movies. He first made Deep Jweley Jai in 1959 and Khamoshi in 1969 based on the same story. The Bengali version stars Suchitra Sen playing the part of Radha. At the end of the movie Suchitra says the words, “I wasn’t acting, I couldn’t” which meant that she fell in love with the patient.

Nurse Radha’s first patient Dev played by Dharmendra appears on screen for just five minutes in the whole movie.

The most remarkable song of this movie “Woh Shaam Kuch Ajeeb Thi”

You cannot choose whom you fall in love with, but if you do …

As a life lesson, the movie bring about the fact in stark reality. You cannot choose whom you fall in love with. Once the falling begins, there is no stopping too. Lucky are the people who feel love even for a brief moment. Traditional societies believe in marriage as a means to find love. Quite a few of them end with served for life. But if you have found love in whatever shape and form, cherish those moments for a lifetime.

Does Radha comes out of Room No 24 fully cured to the guy who is waiting for her

As Radha holds on to Arun, she is once again reminded of Dev. With the deepest sorrow of loneliness in her eyes she hold on tighter to Arun. Caught between her longing for Dev and the warmth of Arun who is holding her right now, she closes her eyes and rests her head on his chest. The fight within her is now clearly visible to the audience.

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