Movie Review

Bollywood Movie Review – Raat Akeli Hai – 2020 – Pulsating Crime Drama – Thrilling Watch

Movie Review Raat Akeli Hai

Netflix Crime Drama Raat Akeli Hai – An Edge of the seat Thriller – Movie Review

This Netflix Drama stars Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Radhika Apte, Tigmanshu Dhulia and others and released on 31st July, 2020 but I only just managed to watch it!

The premise of the movie, in its bare bones structure, bears an uncanny resemblance to Rian Johnson’s ‘Knives Out’. The patriarch of the family dies on the night of a celebration at his family home, surrounded by all his relatives. Almost all of them, seemingly, have a motive to kill him. There’s even the silent grandmother, who sees all but says nothing.

Watch the Trailer here

Movie Review – Plot Summary

Raghubeer Singh, a respected Aristocrat from Kanpur in UP, is getting married to social outcast, Radha (Radhika Apte), who he has purportedly ‘purchased’ from Radha’s father. But on the wedding night, someone shoots and kills Raghubeer and also mutilates his face with with the rifle butt. But no one in the house has heard a thing. They all want Radha to be jailed for the crime.

This was Raghubeer’s second marriage, his first wife and driver having been killed five years back, while returning in the night from Kanpur, apparently in a robbery. In comes Inspector Jatil Yadav (Nawazuddin Siddiqui), a quirky but efficient police officer, who smells a rat in this murder case and desperately wants to solve it.

But, in his way, are the usual hindrances of the Indian socio-political milieu…. The politician, the Police SSP who’s sold his soul to the politician and scheming family members – who want property, money and power…Truth be damned! Dialogues between Jatil and his mother bring the earthy tinge to this drama, His relations with his Police Sidekick, Nandu, is laced with humour, subservience and tension. But all along, Jatil is focussed on his mission to catch the culprit.

He develops a soft corner for Radha – who’s feisty nature is a complete antithesis to the ideal woman of Jatil’s dreams – shy, demure and a homebody. With his quiet but dogged efficiency, Jatil peels off layers upon layers from this onion like mystery and as he gets close to getting answers, he is attacked and shot at. Chunni – Raghubeer’s house maid and the slain driver’s daughter – is slowly opening up to Jatil’s persistent enquiries, when she’s strangled and killed.

There’s a bigger force at work here, the SSP pulls back Jatil, the political satrap threatens him and mocks him, but someone’s definitely feeling the heat! In a tense and tight drama, Nawaz and Radhika are outstanding. They just grab you by the scruff of your neck and pull you along for the ride. A very well-made whodunnit!

The climax has few contrived twists but they do not overpower the overall narrative, it flows smoothly enough. Though, the cascading of information, feels a little too convenient. It’s a sordid tale of violence and power struggles, which happens all of the time in human society and once you think about it, it’s not as rare as one would like to think.

Movie Review - Raat Akeli Hai
Radhika Apte and Nawazuddin Siddiqui in a still from Raat Akeli Hai

Conclusion of the Movie Review

Taut screenplay, brilliant acting by all cast members, terrific cinematography and an intriguing storyline all contribute to making a very handsome film. With the liberation of the OTT platforms, Indian cinema is coming of age again. Riveting, hard-hitting stories, powerful performances are all delighting audiences around the world. Nawaz, with his usual aplomb, makes the character his own, making it live and breathe. Radhika matches him step for step. Tigmanshu Dhulia as the SSP is solid as ever, but the actors in the smaller roles are no less, they match these stalwarts punch for punch!

If you haven’t watched it yet, you must. Just for the brilliant acting, if nothing else. director Honey Trehan and team – Take a Bow! Yours has been a fantastic effort!!

Hope you’ve enjoyed reading this Movie Review as much as I loved writing it!

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