Raat Akeli Hai

Is mystery drama/crime thriller that is sure to impress you with its rustic setup , earthy characters, grey atmospherics and a superb cast.

CAST -Nawazuddin, Radhika Apte, Shweta Tripathi, Shivani Raghuvanshi, Tigmanshu Dhulia, Aditya Shrivastava

Director- Honey Trehan

Writer – Smita Singh

PLOT

The plot opens to a dark deadly night and we witness two chilling murders.

The story then jumps five years. Inspector Jatil Yadav (Nawaz) is asked to investigate a murder that has been recently reported.

A rich old man has been found murdered in his own mansion on the night of his marriage. The mansion is full of family members including his bride Radha ( Radhika), daughter (Shweta Tripathi), son in law, son, niece (Shivani Raghuvanshi), house help Chunni (Riya Shukla), nephew(Vikram Singh) and sister in law( Padmavati) and none of them heard the gunshot that blew him off !Everything seems murky and the family is tight lipped. Also in the scene is a family friend and political ally turned rival (Aditya Shrivastava).

But our inspector with a swag is hell-bent on finding the truth even though he is charmed by the mistress turned bride turned widow Radha.

The story has some revelations and twists and turns up its sleeves.

What was the motive ? What was the connection to the two old murders ?Who was the culprit ?

ANALYSIS

Honey Trehan has a rich and long filmography as a casting director including likes of Talvar, Sonchiriya, Udta Punjab and umpteen others and his excellence and choice of cast reflects even here. He has worked extensively with Vishal Bharadwaj and Abhishek Chaubey assisting them on films like Dedh Ishqiya, Omkara, Maqbool etc and that influence clearly reflects here in the dark and earthy premise. He definitely impresses with this directorial debut.

The fine set of ensemble cast is the first thing to impress you. The earthy setting, the costumes, the dialect is in perfect sync. Smita Singh’s writing gradually opens the layers to the story and characters .The pace is leisurely but the actors and the performances keep you hooked. A little less of run time however wouldn’t have done any harm. I wouldn’t say that the mystery was intense but then the charm here is more about the entire setting than the whodunnit.

PERFORMANCES

Goes without saying, Nawazuddin wins your heart right from the word go with his characteristic swag and style. His sure-footedness as a policeman, susceptibility to female charm in a cute way, and adamance to find the truth gives his character an interesting tint. And he has always aced with that country dialect and et al.

Illa Arun makes a delightful kickass mother trying to find a match for her “not so fair skinned” son.

Radhika Apte is always spot on. She’s a complete natural as the angsty, mysterious Radha.

The entire cast is a big add-on to the film irrespective of the length of the role. Shweta Tripathi( Masaan,Haramkhor), Riya Shukla (Nil Bate Sannata), Shivani Raghuvanshi(Titli), Aditya Shrivastava( my favourite of his being Gulaal though he is more popular for CID) and Tigmanshu Dhulia look great.

The film is definitely recommended. It’s a must watch for lovers of rustic cinema, dark thrillers and Nawazuddin fans.

SCORE 8 on 10

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