Let's clear the air. All that talk of steamy scenes and smooches in this movie is just that - talk. And if you still want to watch the movie, by all means you should. There is more to movies than raunchy scenes, especially this one.
Shabd ventures where very few movies even contemplate going. Into the mind of a writer - a place stark, dark, and apocryphal. It is where all those words take shape, a world where the writer is the God, where everything is as real as they make them out to be.
Shaukat Vashisht's (Sanjay Dutt) first book got him the Booker while his second one got him enough ridicule to make him put his pen down for two years. The critics ranted over how his book was disonnected from reality and yet too far away from fantasy. So now he plans giving them something real, so real that there is no demarcation between hallucination and authenticity.
Antara Vashisht (Aishwarya Rai) is his wife, a simple girl next door who is happy and content playing that role. She is also a lecturer in a college. In comes Yash (Zayed Khan), the new lecturer of photography. He does not know that she is married, and she does not tell him that because Shaukat does not want her to. He wants her to do something for herself, for her to let go. Actually, he makes them the subject of his new book.
As Shaukat writes the chapters, he sees those exact events between Antara and Yash unfolding. He starts believing that he can control destiny outside his world of creativity. So confident is he of this ability that he even writes the end of Yash and Antara's relationship even before either of them knew it was going to happen. What happens then is something that you must find out for yourself, the same way that you must find out for yourself the story of this movie. Letting the cat out of the bag would be just too much of an injustice to it.
We all know that Sanjay Dutt is truly in his element when essaying a tapori or a bhai-giri type character. In Shabd, however, he is not in his element. Why? Because he is not Sanjay Dutt. He is writer Shaukat Vashisht, a man who intertwines reality with his world of writing, a man who takes the biggest gamble of his life, and a man who gets what he pens down even though towards the end he wants no part of it. It kind of makes you wonder why he did not replace the gun with a writing instrument sooner. The movie gets half its rating because of him.
Aishwarya Rai may know zilch when it comes to walking down the Red Carpet in Cannes, but she knows acting. Her chemistry with Sanjay Dutt is just too good, more so in the love-making scene. There is not a hint of vulgarity or eroticism in it. It is simply a beautifully shot sequence. What about Zayed Khan? Yes, what about him? He still can't act, and we will leave it at that.
Sanjay Dutt apart, the movie has other things going for it. The songs are more than hummable, the screenplay taut, and the script crisp. More than anything, it is the concept that is going to blow you away.