Raat Akeli Hai: Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Radhika Apte’s crime thriller must be on your weekend watch list

Bollywood has been testing waters with better-scripted whodunnits lately. Raat Akeli Hai perhaps is one of the better ones among the Netflix originals in this genre.
Raat Akeli Hai: Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Radhika Apte’s crime thriller must be on your weekend watch list
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Movie: Raat Akeli Hai

Raat Akeli Hai Director: Honey Trehan

Raat Akeli Hai Cast: Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Radhika Apte, Shweta Tripathi, Tigmanshu Dhulia

Raat Akeli Hai Movie Stars: 3/5

When a sadomasochist, arrogant and wealthy man gets murdered on his wedding night, an honest but narrow-minded Police Inspector Jatil Yadav (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) gets the task to book the culprit. As the investigation progresses, skeletons start emerging out of the family’s closet. Is it a crime of passion, family politics or vengeance? Can honour co-exist in a family reeking of patriarchy, sexual abuse, woman trafficking and cold-blooded murder conspiracies? These are some of the questions faced by Inspector Jatil Yadav.

The biggest plus of Raat Akeli Hai is the cast. It’s a plus when the casting director turns out to be an equally adept Director and storyteller. Honey has been a casting director for over 40 good films churned by the industry. With Raat Akeli Hai he makes his debut as a director. We can now only wonder how Sapna Didi would have turned out if things worked out with Vishal Bharadwaj. 

Honey says Raat Akeli is about patriarchy which is a curse for the society, and he throws in ample evidence through the film to make this point. Yet, as we reach the climax, Honey highlights that propagation of this mindset is not just the fault of one gender.

Nawazuddin Siddiqui is a well-packaged entertainer in the role of an arrogant and blatant cop who is unable to find a suitable bride. With his mannerism, intensity, and acting, he slips into the character so comfortably that it almost brings it to life. It would have been easier for him to rehash his performance style from another successful suspense thriller – Kahani. However, by bringing in smaller nuances, Nawazuddin ensures that Jatil Yadav stands tall as a different character with inconspicuous impressions from his upbringing in the rural parts of the country.

Radhika Apte is so excellent and subtle that perhaps it’s time she asks Netflix to for a profit share! After all, the memers have already pronounced her as the reigning queen of Netflix films. Jokes aside, as an actor, Radhika leaves an indelible mark with her performance. She has earned playing unconventional characters as her forte. Albeit, the character Radha toys with a mishmash of personality traits – she is a trafficking victim, a mistress, a lover, and a fighter. Yet, these elements of her character often don’t appear overwhelming. The art is in subtlety.

Nishant Dahhiya makes his presence felt. Shivani Raghuvanshi is a fine actress who made her debut with neo-noir drama – Titli. She subsequently returned to grab the audience’s attention in Made in Heaven. With Raat Akeli Hai, however, Shivani gets lesser screen-time but utilises it to her advantage. Of course, artists and actors such as Shweta Tripathi, Tigmanshu Dhulia and Aditya Srivastava too have done a commendable job of keeping the film gripping till the credits show.

While the first half is entertaining and engaging, the second half is gripping. Dialogue is not over the top and does justice to the local and rural aspect of the script. The unexpected twist in the plot as the movie inches to the climax earns additional brownie points.

If situational whodunnit is your favourite genre, Raat Akeli Hai needs to be included in your list this weekend.  


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Anonymous 6 months ago

loved the show...