Director Avinash Das attempts a thriller but seems to have forgotten to incorporate elements that make a venture thrilling
A murder mystery. A story that takes place in one night. Whodunnit drama. Raat Baaki Hai checks these all but ignore a very important item in the list. The thrill. Or suspense. It is a lethargic affair, with characters so casual and laidback (especially the leading lady) that you feel bored in a film that’s only 90mins long.
Watch the trailer here:
Vaani Chopra (Dipannita Sharma), a famous Bollywood actress is killed on the night of her engagement to Kartik Sharma (Annup Sonii), a film writer. Who the killer is? What’s the motive? The questions form the base of the film.
The story is penned by Siddharth Mishra and dialogues by Akhilesh Jaiswal. The sad part about the plot is that there are hardly any layers. A Crime Patrol episode seems more interesting because at least there things move rapidly. Here, everything is presented to you in such a casual manner that you feel there’s no rush to solve the case.
How the key lady Vasuki (Paoli Dam) is made to speak her lines speaks volumes on the makers’ wrong idea of what makes a character arc suspenseful. After a point, it gets redundant and you are fed up of the blandly flat monotone.
If you are into thrillers, you’ll easily guess the end just 15mins into the film- who the killer is. The only thing that’ll keep you engrossed to some extent is the motive of the killer. In presenting that, the makers resort to all sorts of dramatic elements and pretentious back stories that seem futile eventually. Even the mention of psychology and probability as course subjects is made to seem logical.
There is some seriousness in the role of the investigating officer (played by Rahul Dev) and you like watching that bit. But even there you realize that he hasn’t been given enough substance to work on. There’s not enough to investigate upon. Call records, phone location, calling all the guests of the hotel and recording their statements, calling the forensic team- are the only acts that he has been assigned.
What goes wrong for the film is that there’s not enough written material. A person is killed, there’s one suspect. Somebody else enters the plot. That’s about it. You don’t feel the magnitude of a murder. But even the characters don’t feel that. So let’s take it easy.
Annup Sonii is just okay. There is not much acting involved. Paoli Dam looks extremely beautiful but acts too artificially. She speaks her line in one single tone, as if to evoke seriousness or grave depth within her. Doesn’t help.
Rahul Dev catches the Rajasthani accent well. He is reasonably good. Dipannita Sharma is below average. Not good at all.
Sameer Malhotra also falters big time. He comes across as a caricature forced to act. Saurabh Sachdeva is good and brings in some sense in the plot.
Music by Jam 8 is hardly present. One song only, that too doesn’t contribute to any good. Background score seems to have been added because it’s one of the key aspects of film making. There’s hasn’t gone any thought behind it. Hence it seems misplaced.
Cinematography by Manoj Soni is decent. Nothing too bad to condemn. Production design by Parul Bose works fine as per the scale and nature of the film. The palatial hotels and the mansions add to the grandeur of the setting.
Editing by Prakash Yadav is just okay. Considering the wafer thin plot to work upon, you really can’t blame the editing. The length of the film is apt. The dull chunks could have been made sharper.