Raat Baaki Hai(Zee 5)
Starring Rahul Dev, Anup Soni, Paoli Dam, Dipannati Sharma
Directed by Avinash Das
Three very fine actors try hard to infuse some credibility in this whodunit. Let me confess I like Paoli Dam. With a face that reflects the classicism of Suchitra Sen and the urbane seductiveness of Sushmita Sen , Paoli Dam is damned watchable. Here she is….how shall I say it without giving away the plot…as mysterious and filled with angst as Nanda in Yash Chopra’s one-night-one-home-one-body-in-the-bathtub whodunit Ittefaq.
To even mention this whodunit in the same breath as Ittefaq is sacrilegious. Not that Raat Baaki Hai doesn’t have its moments.But coming from the director of that delightfully liberating Anaarkali Of Arrah it’s a disappointment. I like the aura of seductive tragedy that Ms Dam brings to the play-on-screen(the film is based on a stage play).Paoli is a sighing mess as Rani Sahiba named Masuki trapped in a loveless marriage and a haveli with only her jewellery and daggers for company.
Paoli’s character has much more tragic resonance than the film itself which is all about a tacky filmstar(played by Dipannati Sharma) who is murdered during her engagement. Her fiancé a writer named Kartik(Anup Soni) is the prime suspect because …well…he flees the scene of the crime. Elementary, my dear Watson.
While Anup Soni is his habitual committed self, it’s Rahul Dev back after a long time, who is the life and breath of this murder mystery. Looking every inch a sinewy investigator he still holds the camera as though it belonged to him by birthright. It is a luminous legacy projected in a plot that is DOA.
I couldn’t bring myself to care about the death of a woman who is sleeping with tycoon behind her fiance’s back and who is not sure about whether she is Vani Kapoor or Vani Chopra. The murder victim is referred to as both . Perhaps Aditya Chopra can solve that mystery.
Mention must also be made of Saurav Sachdeva(playing a film producer), Saanand Verma(the guy who gives Anup Soni a lift) and Akash Dahiya (as a cop). These are actors who can breathe life into a corpse. Not this one, though.