Directed by: Honey Trehan
Genre: Mystery | Thriller | Drama
Nawazuddin Siddiqui & Radhika Apte starring “Raat Akeli Hai” is a gripping complicated murder mystery.
Honey Trehan, who first held the casting director’s chair at many a production houses for years, turns director with this desi murder mystery called ‘Raat Akeli Hai’ – a Netflix original, which with its ensemble cast and suspenseful drama, holds the audiences’ attention right from the start. With a talented star cast playing roles that are darker than black, the original OTT release only adds more thrills to this convoluted whodunit.
‘Raat Akeli Hai’ starts six years ago, where in the dead of the night, a truck rams into a car, overturning it and mortally injuring the driver and the only lady passenger in the backseat. A goon shoots both the survivors and dumps their bodies in a nearby abandoned area and the scene jumps immediately into the present day. Police officer Jatil Yadav (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) is attending a colleague’s marriage function, where his over-concerned mother (Ila Arun) is trying to fix him up with a suitable girl. Although Jatil is a bit not prepared to enter into wedlock, his doting mother never gives up on the task.
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The movie gets straight to the point then on, when Jatil is handed over the murder case of an ageing, influential landlord Raghubeer Singh, who was murdered on the night of his second marriage, with each of the members of his extended family unwillingly becoming a suspect in the case. Jatil starts his investigation with his needle of suspicion first pointing towards Singh’s young bride Radha (Radhika Apte) and her paramour Vikram Singh (Nishant Dahiya), who also happens to be the elder Singh’s nephew.
Local MLA Munna Raja (Aditya Srivastava) coaxes the SSP (Tigmanshu Dhulia) into pushing his best officer Jatil forward into a quick enquiry, so that the roadblock into his daughter’s marriage to Vikram Singh gets cleared. As Jatil delves deeper into the mystery, skeletons start to appear out of the closet one after the other, intriguing him and taking him to places he had never been before. And on goes with him Radha, who in a series of flashback, is shown to be a girl, Jatil had saved from committing suicide five years ago. So who is it that doesn’t want the perpetrator to get caught or who is it that is trying to bump off suspects one after the other to entangle the threads even more? Find out!
‘Raat Akeli Hai’ is a tightly-wrapped murder mystery, which is slick in its execution and is on point with its suspense story. The dark of the night and the background score, which keeps you anticipating the next scene, is a perfect setting required in a murder mystery. The film also scores in the screenplay department, which without wasting enough time and breath, directly gets to the core of the issue. The script is polished and the editing is crisp. It doesn’t waste scenes and only adds to the storyline. The story keeps throwing you off the scent and misleads you, where you cannot guess what the climax will unfold.
As for the cast, Nawazuddin Siddiqui as the cop, torn between his duty and his heart is in excellent form. The last we remember him playing a police officer was in ‘Kahaani’ and seeing him don the khaki again in a role tailor-made for him is a sight to behold. He is perfect in his role. Also, his camaraderie with his on-screen mother Ila Arun is a treat. Even their daily banters look straight out of real life. Radhika Apte is a superlative performer and it goes without saying that she puts up a fine act here too. All the other actors, although do not have much screen time, leave an impact in a film, where each character turns out to be more sinister than he or she looks.
On the whole, ‘Raat Akeli Hai’ is a perfect weekend entertainer, with all the twists and turns that are expected from a whodunit. Definitely worth a watch!
Eventznu rates Raat Akeli Hai: * * *