Raat Akeli Hai (2020) Review – An Impartial Investigation of a Twisted Tale

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The Indian Netflix original Raat Akeli Hai is a murder-mystery whose every character has been an exotic contribution to this whodunnit and definitely ticks all the right boxes. This movie, I promise you, will have the audience craving for a huge scotch peg to watch this with as it unwinds like a tease, because when a casting director like Honey Trehan who has worked in hit films such as –

  • Omkara

  • Fukrey

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    Dedh Ishqiya

  • Raees

  • Hindi Medium and the list goes on!

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also, let’s not forget that he has also been an assistant director to filmmakers like Abhishek Chaubey & Vishal Bhardwaj. The legacy will definitely reflect in Trehan’s directorial debut. It’s a start that will not be forgotten.

An Astral cast creates a one of a kind murder-mystery that unwinds like a slow-burn thriller.

The storyline is built on notable characters and the film has fantastically atmospheric visuals, a background score that will keep you on your toes and a twist that the audience will not see coming.

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Unlike modern whodunnits that aim to hold you spellbound with the big reveal rather than take you on a cinematic journey, Raat Akeli Hai makes sure to let it’s script breath, and focuses on telling you a story of a family, their secrets and their inter-personal history, thus keeping you on your feet with guesses and theories, as the film ever so slowly unravels.

Jumping to the story – Raat Akeli Hai begins with the death of a powerful politician in Kanpur, Thakur Raghubeer Singh (Khalid Tyabji), in his own house, on his wedding night. He was due to marry Radha (Radhika Apte), and this was not his first marriage. Everyone present in the house is a suspect. The joint family comprises Raghubeer Singh’s sister, his niece Vasudha (Shivani Raghuvanshi) and nephew Vikram (Nishant Dahiya), his daughter Karuna (Shweta Tripathi) who is pregnant, their domestic help Chunni (who plays an important role in the scheme of things) and Radha, who has been living in the house before the wedding too, as Raghubeer’s mistress.

Then comes Nawazuddin Siddiqui who has, perhaps, the meatiest part in the film. He plays Inspector Jatil Yadav – A brave and honest cop, who will leave no stone unturned, as he says to the family when he meets them,

“yeh jo kaand hua hai na, uski karenge hum jaanch,”

in his perfect UP accent swag. He lives with his mother – the marvelous Ila Arun who brings a sense of badassery to her mom role, luckily for the audiences, Nawaz Siddiqui and Ila Arun’s mother-son bond brings some comic relief in an otherwise Vaishya Vastu plot.

Each of the other characters in the film is given their day in the sun as Jatil Yadav scans through them. With backstories, secret motives, and truths they are keeping hidden, everyone has a motive to kill hence Raat Akeli Hai sends you on a wild goose chase, exploring the shady dealings between the police-politicians nexus in UP and a rich, reputable family fighting for relevance in their small community. As the secrets start tumbling out, the story gets darker, making you question who to really side with, and whose motivations are the strongest to make them the killer. Despite so much to grab your attention, this is truly Jatil Yadav’s mystery and who ensures to solve it, one way or another, regardless of the situational or human stops that come in the way.

So well even though this film is structured like a typical whodunnit, it doesn’t really play by conventional rules – making it your next Must Watch, 5 star, 18+ Netflix original!

Written by – Siddhi C.Shekhar


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