raat baaki hai

The poster for “Raat Baaki Hai.” (Publicity Photo)

A top star (Dipannita Sharma) gets engaged at a destination gala to a top screenwriter (Anuup Sonii). Shortly afterwards, the star is murdered in her bed. And the writer disappears.

A cop (Rahul Dev) with a penchant for alcohol, who is in touch with someone on the phone as a confidante decides to specially interrogate an associate of the star and writer (Rehan Mustafa). Meanwhile, the writer is on the run and stops a man in a car (Saanand Verma) and persuades him to give him a lift. He finally leaves him near the palace of a local king (Sameer Malhotra) and suggests the writer take his help if he is in trouble.

And guess what? When the writer knocks on the palace door, he is told that the king is out, but his wife is there. And she turns out the writer's ex-girlfriend of 12 years ago (Paoli Dam). She is still fond of him and decides to help him and promises that her husband loves her a lot and will do so too. Meanwhile, at the resort, the cop finds interesting things on the close-circuit cameras.

After all this, the denouement is truly far-fetched and illogical, and this is what finally pulls down this otherwise well-mounted tale of betrayal and deceit. Logic is truly stretched and the only different and interesting angle is of the cop, who is on a different trip.

The film is laced with good performances that lift up the two-hour-minus film, with good technical values as well. Rahul Dev as the mercurial cop is extremely effective, especially when he shows his rough side, which is often! Anuup Sonii as the bewildered and helpless writer acts with competence, while Paoli Dam as his ex-girlfriend is a picture of classy dignity as the "queen.” The supporting cast does well, especially Aakash Dahiya as the other cop, Sameer Malhotra as the king and Saurabh Sachdeva as the harangued-by-the-cop associate of the writer and his fiancee. Dipannita Sharma has nothing much to do.

One wishes that logic was not given short shrift in this thriller, because it makes it go wrong at the crucial level. With better cerebration, this could have been a well-conceived whodunit. Right now, it is just a gripping drama in the beginning that becomes unwieldy and finishes with an absurd end only because the nitty-gritty aspects were not worked upon.

Rating: **

Produced by: Samar Khan, Anuup Sonii & others

Directed by: Avinash Das

Written by: Akhilesh Jaiswal & Siddharth Mishra

Music: JAM8

Starring: Anuup Sonii, Paoli Dam, Dipannita Sharma, Rahul Dev, Karan Ashar, Aakash Dahiya, Sameer Malhotra, Saurabh Sachdeva, Saanand Verma & others

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