Raat Akeli Hai, a murder mystery which leads to some very dark secrets about a politician's family in Kanpur, released on Netflix on July 31.
This Honey Trehan directorial debut, starring Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Radhika Apte in key roles, is much more than a crime thriller, though. Here are some reasons you should watch it, if you haven't already.
1. The thrilling plot keeps you hooked till the end.
You become a part of the entire process of finding the killer. Your mind follows police inspector Jatil Yadav (played by Nawazuddin Siddiqui) everywhere he goes, and it starts paying attention to small details, like a certain gesture, a pause, a look.
A lot of things in the movie make complete sense only in retrospect, and it requires the viewers to keep a close eye on what's happening. The writing and direction help a lot with that.
Making a murder mystery can be a little tricky because it has been done countless number of times, but the plot of Raat Akeli Hai doesn't let you down and keeps you invested till the end, with an unexpected climax as the reward.
2. Casting of the movie is amazing and fits each character very well.
One of the biggest strength of the Raat Akeli Hai is its casting. The actors chosen for the roles seem like they fit in the environment and the world they are a part of.
Apart from Radhika (who plays the role of Radha, a strong woman let down by circumstances) and Nawazuddin - there is Tigmanshu Dhulia as the SSP, Aditya Srivastava as an influential politician, Shweta Tripathi as the Thakur's daughter, Nishant Dhahiya as his nephew and Shivani Raghuvanshi as his niece.
All these people do a great job in the movie and convince you that they belong to the narrative.
Others like Padmavati Rao, Riya Shukla also do full justice to their roles.
3. Nawazuddin Siddqui and Radhika Apte's amazing chemistry.
Without giving away too much about the plot, we'd just say that they play characters which are destined to face each other time and again.
Whenever they both come on the screen, it lights up. Which doesn't come as a surprise, given their tremendous acting abilities.
They also featured together in Neflix's Sacred Games but Raat Akeli Hai, truly allows them to join forces.
If nothing else, the movie is worth a watch just to witness these two enhancing each other's craft.
4. The movie is not a regular thriller, it is also a social commentary.
While the main plot of the movie is to find the murderer of a man killed on his wedding night, it is filled with moments which make you think the way our society functions.
In one particular scene, Nawazuddin puts a fairness cream on his face because he is conscious about his complexion. He then hides it behind the mirror because he doesn't want his mother to know this.
There are also multiple instances where people are shown character assassinating a woman and refusing to see her as a human with emotions.
Some of these sequences hit very close to home. We know people like them, we have met them, talked to them, they are sometimes our family memebers.
The movie leaves you with a lot to think about.
5. Beautiful cinematography of the movie and attention to details.
The cinematographer of Raat Akeli Hai, Pankaj Kumar, has done a fantastic job creating an imagery that stays with you.
The movie is dark and you notice that even in scenes shot in daylight. That's a testament to Pankaj's brilliance.
From a beautiful haveli to busy police thana, everything looks believable, but the most impactful are scenes where the script is nuanced and trying to give the viewers subtle hints about what's coming their way.
Overall, Raat Akeli Hai is a 2 hour 30 minute long thriller that won't disappoint you and definitely deserves to be watched at least once.
All pictures are taken from Netflix, unless specified otherwise.