What is the story about?
Vani Chopra, a well-known actress, is engaged to Kartik in a ceremony at a hotel in Sawai Madhopur in Rajasthan. However, on the night of her engagement, Vani is murdered in her sleep. Panicking on seeing her body, Kartik flees the hotel, and on the suggestion of a stranger, runs to the palace of Raja Sujaan Singh for help. He encounters Vasuki, his ex-lover, who is now married to Sujaan. As Inspector Ahlawat tries to piece together who could’ve killed Vani and suspects Kartik of murder, Kartik tries to figure out who killed Vani.
Have you ever imagined a movie or show where everything was so sloppily written that watching every narrative device felt like ticking off a checklist? Raat Baaki Hai feels like that for the most part. Adapted from Atul Satya Koushik’s play Ballygunge 1990, Siddharth Mishra’s screenplay feels like a collection of cliches—a lustful king, an actress who has no qualms about sleeping with anyone, a long-suffering wife who bears indignity in silence, long shots of Sawai Madhopur’s palaces and palatial hotels, and hotheaded displays of fragile masculinity. By now, this entire cocktail of stereotypes surrounding Rajasthani noir has been done to death, and neither the screenplay nor Avinash Das’ direction pulls any fresh rabbit out of the hat. The pacing, which is supposed to resemble that of a slow-burn thriller, is so slow that you nearly fall off to sleep watching the film. The dialogues, written by Akhilesh Jaiswal, are so painfully corny that you want to bury your face in the pillow, with a dialogue about “sundar kaand” that makes your ears burn. It’s a pity that a film with decent performances is buried deep in the sand by inept writing and direction, but it is what it is.
Annup Sonii is believable as the clueless Kartik, who suddenly finds himself suspected of murder, and cannot figure out what to do. Rahul Dev is perfectly cast as the hangdog police officer Ahlawat, who comes with his own agenda while investigating Vani’s murder. Paoli Dam is suitably suave and mysterious as Kartik’s ex-lover Vasuki, who has a few secrets of her own. Dipannita Sharma Atwal has a bit role as Vani. Saurabh Sachdeva is suitable as the oily producer Rehan Mustafa.
Music & Other Departments
The cinematography and background score are okay.
The cliché-ridden screenplay, and corny dialogues, are the biggest drawbacks.
Did I enjoy it?
Do I recommend it?
Please watch it only if you need to be put to sleep.