Murder Mubarak Review | An Eccentric Knives Out That Works in Parts

Homi Adajania’s latest film, Murder Mubarak, is based on the book Club You To Death by Anuja Chauhan. Set against the backdrop of the high society life of Delhi, there is a layer of humour to this Knives Out-ish murder mystery that gives it some uniqueness. Since I haven’t read the book, I am not sure how Ms. Chauhan kept the suspense in the book. But when it comes to the movie, the layer of sarcastic humour about the rich people is, in a way, working as a shield to hide the lack of surprise when the culprit is revealed.

The elite class hangout place, The Royal Delhi Club, is the center of the story. One fine morning, a death happens in the club, and the police find out that the demise of gym instructor Leo Mathews was not an accident but a murder. The investigation of ACP Bhavani Singh to find out the brain behind the murder is what we see in Murder Mubarak.

The idea here is pretty interesting. What if we see those typical Zoya Akhtar characters in an Agatha Christie kind of murder mystery? And it feels even more exciting when you realize that a Hindi-speaking Pankaj Tripathi will be Adajania’s Hercule Poirot. The most enjoyable part of this whodunit actually lies in the bit that shows us who these people are. The sarcastic patches that expose the shallowness of the elite class, and their narrow-mindedness are really fun to watch. But the film is ultimately a murder mystery, and there should be an even focus on that. Where the film fumbles is in creating excitement around the crime solving.

It is always fun to see Pankaj Tripathi performing these characters with a middle-class thought process. He and his assistant are actually the outsiders in this film, and they are, in a way, representing the audience. The bizarreness we would feel seeing the attitude of the club members is depicted hilariously by Pankaj Tripathi, and even though his character looks extremely soft, there is that ACP charm in the demeanour. Sara Ali Khan, as Bambi, is playing a crucial role here. While she is getting the beats correctly in the initial bits of her character, especially the romantic track, the louder melodramatic flashback bits lack the finesse. Vijay Varma plays the part of this introverted lawyer, and he is good at it. The elaborate cast of the film has names like Sanjay Kapoor, Karisma Kapoor, Tisca Chopra, Suhail Nayyar, etc., in crucial roles, and they all were really good at portraying the eccentricity of their assigned roles. It was actually good to see seasoned actor Bijendra Kala in a vital role in the film.

The whodunit thrillers are nowadays a tricky thing for filmmakers as the audiences are exposed to a lot of content. As soon as the film begins, we as an audience are running our own investigation to find the killer. The satiric gaze of the story at the rich and their obsession to show their richness actually gives a certain kind of agility to the movie. If you look at it, the structure is pretty similar to those Death on the Nile kind of films. There is a pool of suspects, and the investigator is studying them and questioning them to find the killer. Somewhere, I felt the movie was trying to make the audience think about what made the people do all those bad things rather than who did it. Unfortunately, the efforts of Adajania and his writers, Gazal Dhaliwal and Suprotim Sengupta, can’t achieve it completely.

Murder Mubarak is passable for sure, due to the pool of characters with various insecurities. Some of them are hilariously flawed, and some of them are emotionally relatable. The social satire layer of the story actually helps the film have a peppy speed, and thus, what you eventually get is a thriller that works in parts.

Final Thoughts

The social satire layer of the story actually helps the film have a peppy speed, and thus, what you eventually get is a thriller that works in parts.


Green: Recommended Content

Orange: The In-Between Ones

Red: Not Recommended


By Aswin Bharadwaj

Founder and editor of Lensmen Reviews.