Raat Akeli Hai, the new Netflix Original released on July 31, is a must-watch if you are a fan of crime-thrillers that play games with your mind.
Casting director Honey Trehan masterminded his fool-proof debut as a moviemaker when he acquired the rights of Smita Singh's script that helped her become the top 10 finalists of Mumbai Mantra-CineRise Screenwriting Programme in 2015.
Smita shot patriarchy at its heart with Raat Akeli Hai. Smita and Trehan have slapped the moral, caste, religious and power equations in India multiple times in the movie.
The protagonist, a police officer from the lower caste, slapping a spoiled upper caste brat, openly displaying his disdain to a political bigwig, taking refuge in a mosque, falling for a woman whom he calls a prostitute - are weaved in perfectly to the 2 hours 29 minutes long murder mystery.
However, the moviemaker's failure to provide closure to certain clues at the course of the investigation cripples the plot.
Trehan used his skill as a casting director to assemble a solid squad to execute Raat Akeli Hai. Radhika Apte, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Ila Arun, cinematographer Pankaj Kumar and veteran editor Sreekar Prasad lead the list of Trehan's accomplices.
Pankaj's frames are impressive, and camera blocking is organic. The camera movements at times make you feel that you are in a David Fincher movie.
Wish we could say the same about the sound department, including the background score. They could have been a notch up.
How the scene where a desolate mother killing a political thug, the killer of her daughter, escaped an 8-time national award winning editor like Sreekar Prasad is a mystery - maybe for its poetic justice.
Apte and Siddiqui carried out their respective roles with ease and perfection. So did the rest of the cast members. Moments to cherish are the on-screen chemistry between Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Radhika Apte and him and Ila Arun, who plays his mother.
In short, solve this murder mystery on Netflix as soon as possible, if you have not already.