When you usually see movies that sort of exposes the corruption in the system, there is a real track that will connect us with the plot, and then there is something dramatic which sort of shapes it as that cinematically appealing idea. What I found unique about the new Eros Now movie Halahal directed by Randeep Jha was that it was constructed in a way to make you aware of the situation rather than pleasing you by giving a usual solution.
So the plot here revolves around a father who wants to find the real reason behind the death of his daughter. Dr. Shiv Shankar Sharma who has a great reputation in his field one day comes to know that his daughter Archana who was pursuing a career in medicine was found dead and the police concluded that death was a suicide. The irregularities in the post mortem report and the suspicious behavior of the investigating officers made Mr. Shiv believe that some cover-up is happening. As things weren’t really under his command, Shiv decides to hire the paid services of a corrupt police officer named Yusuf. What they find out at the end is what we witness in Halahal.
This is the kind of script where we would know what will happen in the climax and in most cases what makes such movies great is the believability in the journey of the truth-seeking characters. When you look at the moral ground of the characters in this thriller, there is a transition happening from that usual black and white zone to a murky grey zone. Randeep Jha and his writers Gibran Noorani and Zeishan Quadri aren’t going after the glory of the truth triumphing over evil. Rather than making the thriller an escapist pleasure for the frustrated, the story gives you a tight slap at the end and surprisingly it felt as shocking as a dramatic twist.
Randeep Jha uses those thriller nuances to narrate the story. The medium shots and the color tone of the movie give you that intense and eerie vibe throughout. And in the script, they are not creating moments that look unrealistically dramatic. There is a portion in the film where we get to see a group that sort of plots things against the good guys and the bad guys, and honestly it felt like a possible scenario. It made the plot a bit more intricate and also showed the possible depth of such a nexus. The frames are aptly colored and like I already said, the shots were able to convey the intensity of the sequences.
Sachin Khedekar as Dr. Shiv was able to portray the anger, helplessness, and the dilemma of his character very naturally. He never makes Shiv look emotionally fragile and yet conveyed the desperation of the father pretty well. Barun Sobti as the corrupt police officer Yusuf played the role with ease. His body language and dialogue delivery were good enough to make Yusuf that irreverent police officer. These diametrically opposite characters being in the same mission somewhere gave the whole narrative another dimension of being a possible foul play.
Halahal in its totality is gripping, disturbing, and has a tail end different from the usual template. With an impressive cast that delivers convincing performances, Randeep Jha’s Halahal is a political commentary and a disturbing thriller that has enough and more to be a recommendable film.
Halahal in its totality is gripping, disturbing, and has a tail end different from the usual template.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended