Raat Akeli Hai directed by Honey Trehan is a whodunit that isn’t completely surprising. Well, the trailer of the movie showed us an inspector Jatil Yadav who was completely clueless about the criminal. When it comes to the movie, that cluelessness is definitely there, but the excitement is slightly off. With the help of the visual grammar they have followed, the film does manage to engage us.
So the movie opens to the murder of an influential individual named Raghubeer Singh. He was shot dead on the night of his second wedding. When Inspector Jatil Yadav came to the crime scene and did the investigation, he found it extremely fishy that nobody in the family had emotional trouble with the death and what was even more suspicious for him was the fact that nobody heard a gunshot. Raat Akeli Hain is Jatil’s detailed and eventful investigation to find out the culprit.
There is a track in the movie that is trying to make the hero a bit weak by adding a link between him and one of the suspects. If you look at it, that track is used to show us the change in the character of Jatil Yadav. The way he judges an individual definitely changes over the course of the investigation, but the coincidences and the past links in some way reduce the authentic thriller feel of the movie. Jatil Yadav is not really afraid of the powerful people involved in this case. But at times you will feel that he isn’t vigilant enough to care for some people. The way he handles Chunni is a good example of that. What I found interesting about the movie was that instead of creating a person who was never on the list of suspects, it focuses more on why that murder was committed.
Honey Trehan makes sure that the investigation feels grounded. In the opening scene, we see the police officer reminding Jatil that they don’t know how to use the forensic kit. Through such dialogues, they are building the ambiance. But while I was watching the movie I wasn’t really curious to know who killed the Raghubeer. The treatment of the script by Smita Singh is such that we are more interested in what Jatil will do next to find a link. But there is a lack of smoothness in the discoveries of Jatil. We see a clueless and confused Jatil on screen for some time and suddenly in the next morning, he will be super confident and will present his theory. Somewhere I feel that wow factor is missing here. Pankaj Kumar’s cinematography adds depth to the mystery and Sreekar Prasad keeps the tempo of the movie on the gentle side.
Nawazuddin Siddiqui as Jatil Yadav is a mixture of Mr. Khan from Kahaani and also the classic Faisal Khan. You can sense the fearlessness and determination in Jatil and because of his relatable face the personal track of Jatil that features Ila Arun as his mother also looks natural. Radhika Apte plays the role of Radha, the mistress of the murdered and as usual, she played the character brilliantly. The movie is so focused on Jatil Yadav that you won’t really remember much about the family members. Talented names like Shweta Tripathi, Aditya Srivastava, Padmavati Rao, etc. are there in the movie but the space for them to perform was limited.
If you look at it on an emotional level, Raat Akeli Hai does address the excessively pride conscious mindset of the upper-class families. But Raat Akeli Hai is a whodunit thriller at the end and in such thrillers, along with the political statements or social commentary a solid and foolproof investigation narrative has to be there.
What I found interesting about the movie was that instead of creating a person who was never on the list of suspects, it focuses more on why that murder was committed.
Green: Recommended Film
Orange: Okay, Watchable, Experimental Films
Red: Not Recommended