Relationships are just as fragile as silk threads, aren’t they? The moment you lose the thread, all of the relationships you hold dear, run the risk of getting hampered. Also, the fact that relationships can, at times, turn toxic cannot be taken out of the picture either. ‘Raat Akeli Hai’, which marks the directorial debut of Honey Trehan, seeks to familiarize you with the complexities associated with running a family.
A rich patriarch dies on the day of his wedding, and a small-town cop is assigned to the case. Nawazuddin Siddiqui plays a no-nonsense cop named Jatil Yadav and will surpass all barriers to deliver justice. Believe it when he says: ‘Yeh jo kaand hua hai na, hum karenge uski jaanch‘ (The mishap that has taken place, I am going to investigate it.) Interestingly, the patriarch was supposed to marry his mistress the night he died. Each of the family members seems to be hiding a secret.
To complicate the matter, the patriarch’s mistress shares a history with Jatil. The story line ‘Raat Akeli Hai’ is a crime drama based in Uttar Pradesh. Inspector Jatil Yadav is summoned to investigate a murder and goes about his business rather quickly. He prances across the house and realizes that there’s more to the case than what meets the eye. In all fairness, Honey Trehan’s directorial debut is a murder mystery straight out of the textbook: A pompous wedding, a rich (but old) bridegroom, a young mistress, and a murder.
As the story progresses, a few interesting, and somewhat shocking, revelations come to the fore. The story keeps swinging between the past and the present. Also, quite a few lighter moments have been added into the narrative (at various junctures). Take this for an example: Jatil’s mother, played by the ever-dependable Ila Arun, is on the lookout for a bride. She wants her son to marry, but the only ‘dosh’ (flaw) in him is that his ‘rang’ is not ‘saaf’ (fair).
Power games begin when Jatil confronts Munna Raja, a local politician. All in all, the movie’s storyline has enough thrills and spills to keep you hooked. Radhika Apte plays a mistress in the movie.
Nawazuddin Siddiqui is the rudder of a ship stuck in troubled waters and doesn’t take long to get into his stride. He has been donning the gangster’s garb for so long that it was indeed refreshing to see him on the other side. The vulnerabilities engulfing his character are brought to light at various junctures during the course of the film. The best part is: he throws caution to the winds and goes about his job with utmost sincerity.
Also, pairing him alongside Radhika Apte was quite a smart move as the pair looks formidable on screen. Moreover, Siddiqui knows what he’s doing and does so with prowess. Radhika Apte, just as Nawazuddin Siddiqui, looks convincing right from the word go. Her character (Radha) has been carved out with a lot of care and precision. Also, her eyes are mysterious, and you can sense that she’s troubled.
Apte makes her presence felt despite having limited dialogues at her disposal. The likes of Tigmanshu Dhulia, Ila Arun, Shweta Tripathi, and Aditya Shrivastav have all done their bit.
Honey Trehan does a reasonably good job behind the camera as he succeeds in putting together a gripping narrative. The fact that toxic masculinity can (more often than not) contribute to the putrefaction of the household has been brought to light with great skill and prowess. The first half of the movie deals with toxic masculinity and all of the characters showcased in the movie have been provided with enough depth.
The surroundings and the aesthetics add a significant amount of believability to the setup. All in all, the movie should definitely make it to your watchlist. Watch it for Nawazuddin Siddiqui’s stellar act.