8 - 17 August 2019

Namdev Bhau - In search of silence

Namdev Bhau - In search of silence

Hindi/Marathi with English subtitles
Australian Premiere
Sunday, August 11, 03.00 PM | HOYTS Chadstone
A flustered chauffeur, NAMDEV BHAU (65) is surrounded by noise. Be it the uninterrupted honking of Mumbai traffic, his employers constant chatter, his wife's relentless yelling, a mumbling and slightly delusional uncle and his fairly vocal aspiring politician daughter. Throw into the mix, that he lives between a train station and highway and it's a recipe to send anyone over the edge- to where Namdev now sits. He communicates in silence and in occasional grunts.

Namdev stumbles upon a newspaper clipping which mentions "Silent Valley"- a location where the sound circles at a zero-decibel level. Without saying a word to his manic family, Namdev packs his suitcase and hits the road. Namdev travels by train to a mountain town only to find that it's noisier than the city. At the closest bus stop, he encounters a young hyper boy, AALIQ. Aaliq explains that his parents have sent him on a secret mission: he needs to reach 'Red Castle'. Namdev continues on his mission only to have Aaliq follow closely behind.

That night Aaliq cooks some noodles and asks Namdev for his choice. For the first time we hear Namdev speak. The next evening, they finally reach Silent Valley. Except it's not what we'd imagined. Silent Valley is a tourist trap and is filled with disorderly students on a field trip. Namdev, disappointed - tears the newspaper article. The next morning while Aaliq is asleep, Namdev goes to the local cafe for breakfast. He overhears a television news-report about a couple who was killed by their relatives for eloping. It also mentions that their 12-year-old son is missing. Namdev gets a hunch that they are speaking of Aaliq and rushes back. After a brief conversation, Namdev understands the boy's naivety for believing that his parents will meet him at the Red Castle as per their instructions. Namdev decides to take him to Red Castle and see what ensues.

They reach the Red Castle- which we is a Monastery. Aaliq rushes ahead and delivers the scroll to the King in Red Robe- a Monk. After reading, the Monk glances at Namdev, who nods to affirm the worst. The Monk escorts Aaliq inside, where he begins to have his head shaved- a sign of a new beginning where he will be trained in the ways of Buddhist monks.

Namdev leaves the monastery and stops for tea. Fireworks go off nearby and a big procession passes. People dance wildly and a smile appears on Namdev's face. Amidst the noise and chaos, Namdev joins the crowd and begins to dance.
Festivals and Awards
  • Busan International FIlm Festival - World Premier
  • BFI's London FIlm Festival - UK Premier
  • Palm Springs International FIlm Festival - US Premier
  • Goteborg Film Festival - Swedish Premier
  • Dharamshala International FIlm Festival - Opening Film
  • MAMI Mumbai FIlm Festival - Indian Premier
  • IFFI
  • Goa - World Panorama
  • Dhaka International Film Festival - Best Feature Film
  • Indian Film Festival of Los Angeles
  • Dar Gai
  • Namdev Bhau (as Namdev Bhau), Aarya Dave (as Aaliq)
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