Sanjay Dutt, Aishwarya Rai, Zayed Khan
Rangita Pritish Nandy
Vishal & Shekhar
Gladiators and authors have one thing in common: They challenge their own power to alter reality. And relationships. Love is the first casualty in any such battle. Shabd is one such amazing story. Of great love, unyielding passion, desperate moments between three people who cannot do without each other.
Shabd is the story of Shaukat. Confident author, caring husband, waylost wordsmith. Shabd is the story of Antara. His sensitive, vulnerable wife, desperate for love. And Shabd is the story of Yash. A young man impossible not to fall in love with.
Everything is grey. There is no right, no wrong. Right and wrong are defined by need, by circumstance, by the moment.
So is love.
Does defining love as a need break the myth of loyalty, trust, honesty? Maybe. Or is love a compulsion?
Shabd is a story about three amazing people captured in a moment in their lives, in a circumstance which drives the three to challenge, choose and surrender to need, to love. An idea in the mind translated into words, defined and redefined by every person who works for this film.
Finally, one creation on celluloid, Shabd. For me, Shabd has been about learning to hold on and learning to let go.
Shabd explores relationships. Love, passion, desire, friendship: Each has its own emotional matrix, its own sexual energy. Shabd tries to capture that and, as it does so, discovers what brings people together or drives them apart.
Sanjay Dutt is magnificent as the arrogant, intensely demanding, award winning author Shaukat Vashisht. Aishwarya is magical as his frail, frightened wife Antara, tormented by love and loyalty at the same time. And Zayed Khan, in the role of a lifetime, plays Yash, friend, lover, villain and victim, all at the same time.
Shabd proves one thing: Bollywood is growing up. Leena has made a daring film that challenges stereotypes to tell us what true love is all about. In the process, cinema redefines itself.
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Shabd was Leena Yadav’s debut movie. Yet Aishwarya Rai took barely a minute to say yes to the screenplay. So did Sanjay Dutt. But the reference to a sardar joke in the film resulted in angry Sikhs storming the PNC office, demanding the scene be cut. It was.