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RAAT AKELI HAI (Hindi/2020) and KNIVES OUT (English/2019) - When one film misses the thrill and other delivers it well as an engrossing 'who-dun-it' murder mystery. (Short Review Notes by Bobby Sing)

14 Aug, 2020 | Movie Reviews / 2019 Releases / 2020 Releases

Focusing on the local ambience of the city in UP, RAAT AKELI HAI has everything required for an engaging ‘who-dun-it’ crime thriller. It has Nawazuddin as the unmarried investigating cop, Radhika Apte as the young girl getting married to a rich old man and an eminent dysfunctional family with its every member as a suspect of a brutal murder. Honestly, at one end, its basic setting straight away seems to be from one of the Agatha Christie’s mystery novels, but on the other the film strongly reminds you of an almost similar basic premise of 2019’s highly acclaimed English suspense drama titled KNIVES OUT. However, here we are not talking about any blatant lift or unofficial remake to be clear as it is just the basic settings similar in both the films.
Remaining more involved in its framing, look, a clutter of mostly underdeveloped characters and the sub-plots, RAAT AKELI HAI can easily be called a technically well-made film which unfortunately fails to provide the entertaining thrills expected from a murder mystery. Beginning as a solid crime thriller, it soon starts moving into various directions and then fairly becomes predictable looking at the behaviour of women in the family in particular. The writer and director try to bring in too many elements into the narration, taking the focus away and this unnecessary sensationalism and the overstretched length considerably ruins the build-up of an otherwise potential film. As a result, one never finds the grey-cells satisfied due to its lackluster execution. 

Having said that, the decent performances do keep you involved (without offering anything extraordinary) and thus the film can at the most be rated as an average crime drama that has its moments but doesn’t deliver like any highly engaging and entertaining who-dun-it crime drama. In short, the director intentionally tries to mix up the genres of a socially relevant film talking about the social stigmas and exploitation in our society with a murder-mystery. And that’s what actually hurts RAAT AKELI HAI the most, missing its core essence.

Rating : 2.5 / 5 (with the additional 0.5 for its technical excellence and Ila Arun in particular)

Director - Honey Trehan
Cast - Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Radhika Apte, Tigmanshu Dhulia, Shweta Tripathi, Shivani Raghuvanshi, Nishant Dahiya, Ila Arun, Swanand Kirkire, Aditya Srivastava

Knives Out - BTCBased on an almost similar backdrop of an elder person found dead in the presence of all family members in a mansion, KNIVES OUT is a far superior murder-mystery which deserves to be seen as a must by the die-hard fans of the genre.

Revolving around an eccentric family with all its members hating each other, it’s about a celebration where the family gets together and finds their elderly head dead in his room in the morning. The police and the detectives begin the investigations and in the process reveal the dark secrets of the family suspecting each and every member having a motive of his or her own. Clearly following the set pattern of an Agatha Christie novel, KNIVES OUT successfully keeps you guessing and engrossed in its much shorter duration without getting into any unnecessary sub-plots or forced social angles (as seen in RAAT AKELI HAI).

The delightful performances work like perfect icing on the cake, that actually make you feel sorry for the few, who surely deserved a bit more time and focus among the entire cast ensemble. But then, what actually does the trick is the final twist or the unpredictable climax coming up with a shock, which eventually becomes the major highpoint of the film forcing you to think about the entire narration right from the beginning. 

So where you can try RAAT AKELI HAI for its lead cast and the technicalities, KNIVES OUT should essentially be seen, for its clever script/story progression, execution and the performances all together, perfectly delivering what is expected from a ‘who-dun-it’ murder mystery.

Rating : 4 / 5

Director: Rian Johnson
Cast: Daniel Craig, Ana de Armas, Chris Evans, Jamie Lee Curtis, Toni Collette

Note: At the time of writing this, RAAT AKELI HAI could be seen at Netflix and KNIVES OUT at Airtel Xtream and Google Play with English subtitles.

Tags : RAAT AKELI HAI and KNIVES OUT Review by Bobby Sing at bobbytalkscinema.com, Netflix New Release, New Hindi Films Reviews by Bobby Sing, New English Films Reviews by Bobby Sing, Murder Mysteries on similar plotline, Must Watch Murder Mystery
14 Aug 2020 / Comment ( 0 )
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