Movies ...

Chuck the murder, Homi Adajania’s pretentious characters leave you in splits – Beyond Bollywood

No disrespect to the leading cast, but Tisca Chopra, Deven Bhojani, Dimple Kapadia are simply hilarious. More than a murder mystery, the Netflix film is a quirky allegory on the haves and the have-nots.

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (4 / 5)

By Mayur Lookhar

Morality isn’t much rated in Kaliyuga. The world is largely divided between the haves and the have-nots. There is no comparison but the two bump into each other on a daily basis. After all, it’s the wealthy, powerful people who employ the have-nots. A toxic work environment is like hell, yet employees have no option but to obey the members’s command.

Director Homi Adajania places his class divide tale in the fictitious The Royal Delhi Club. It is arguably, the most toxic work place. Employees are strictly barred from using any member services. Their kins aren’t even allowed inside the club. Most members barely acknowledge their presence. This disrespectful culture stems from the club president Devendra Bhatti [Deven Bhojani]. The club was formed in honour of King George V, who never visited it. The British have long gone, but they’ve left behind Devendra Bhatti.

Deven Bhojani

He has a constant running nose but it can never dent his 24×7 pride. There is a colonial hangover but Bhatti can’t do anything about the heavy Delhi accent. He is least concerned with the death of an influential employee. He thinks it was an accident, and not worthy of his attention. There’s an election to be won again. For him, your status, bank balance is all that matters. Bhatti wouldn’t even care to look at any of his employees or any middle or lower class person. He only takes Bhavani Singh seriously after learning that he is an ACP [Assistant Commissioner of Police]. Here is an extremely insensitive, pompous character yet funny. Bhojani’s brilliant act draws you to a Bhatti.

Tisca Chopra

He isn’t alone here as the Royal Delhi Club has its fair share of such pretentious beings. The most fake, but also the funniest of the lot is Roshni ‘bakchod’ Batra [ Tisca Chopra]. The inimitable tone, fake laughter is enough to have you in splits.  There is a murder case to be solved, but Roshni and her gossip club mate Cookie Katoch [Dimple Kapadia] are more intrigued by trivial things. The sight of a body would usually scare most beings, but Katoch takes the moment to ogle at the dead man’s thigh. ACP Bhavani Singh is talking serious stuff and Roshni sighs, “Why always so serious? Come on even the rich can crack a joke.” Yes madam, you certainly do. 

A Homi Adajania film is unimaginable without Dimple Kapadia. As always, he brings out the quirky side to her, which was seldom explored early in her career. Bhojani, Kapadia and Chopra are simply hilarious.

Rannvijay Singh aka Raja Sahab [Sanjay Kapoor] is another one of those quirky pretentious character. He is the undisputed vanity king at the Delhi Royal Club. Each time he enters the club, he would take out a 500 rupee note, but would only give Rs 20 as tip.  It’s not the low tip but the bull shitting that irks the employees.

Karisma Kapoor in Murder Mubarak [2024]

Karisma Kapoor’s Shahnaz Noorani is a B grade actress.  Twice divorced, she gets healthy alimony which goes a long way in enjoying the riches at The Royal Delhi Club. It’s very sporting of Kapoor to play such a character, and return to Delhi, which was her home for many years before she divorced her husband. Adajania couldn’t look beyond Karisma to play Noorani, and the seasoned actor does a respectable job.

Suhail Nayyar’s Yash is Roshni Batra’s hippie son. The pompous Roshni takes pride in the fact that how his son quickly transformed himself in a UK rehab. Truth is that he was in a lowkey Uttar Pradesh rehab where he didn’t change one bit, but turned the staff into hippies. A Yash runs the risk of trivializing drug menace, but it’s all dark humour, and we hope the viewers take it accordingly.

Whilst the members are pompous, some of the employees, too, merit your attention. Gappie Ram [Brijendra Kala] has partial dementia, and often just wanders around the club. Kala surely wouldn’t have imagined in his wildest dreams that he would get to dance with Sara Ali Khan.

Then there is one Minu ‘bewafa’ Dimri [Amaara Sangam]. Why Dimri? The young actor though makes the most of her screentime. These poor employees are often disrespected. They can’t retaliate but they sure can talk behind the members back. Whilst praising his girlfriend Minu, one guy mocks the club women as Botox Barbies.

For a murder mystery, we are yet to mention about the leading cast. It’s not that Pankaj Tripathi, Sara Ali Khan, and Vijay Varma are poor, but the nature of this script puts the focus more on the Roshni Batras, Deven Bhattis, and the Cookie Katochs. Jeez, it’s only now that we’ve mentioned the title – Murder Mubarak [2024]. For the record, Murder Mubarak [2024] is the film adaptation of Anuja Chauhan’s book Club You To Death [2021]. We haven’t read it.  Chauhan’s earlier work The Zoya Factor was adapted into a film of the same title. The Sonam Kapoor, Dulquer Salmaan-starrer was a total disaster. Murder Mubarak though is a fun film.

The pseudo nature of the club members had us initially worried whether Murder Mubarak would go the Neeyat [2023] way. The latter began well, but the makers completely lost the plot post interval. The Scotland setting worked against Neeyat with Anu Menon’s actors, barring Vidya Balan, lacking conviction and devoid of any humour. Murder Mubarak gets that part bang on.

Another fear was whether the pretentious characters would alienate the desi audience? Was one Pankaj Tripathi going to be enough to keep the film rooted? That we are enamored by the pretentious characters more is a triumph for Homi Adajania and his writers Gazal Dhaliwal, Suprotim Sengupta. With Gazal and Sengupta at the helm, they cleverly weave in subtle feminism, Left-Liberalism.

Pankaj Tripathi in Murder Mubarak [2024]

Here’s a murder mystery where you have the gentlest cop probing the murder. Oh, by the way, the one murdered is Leo [Aashim Ahluwalia], the most disliked gym instructor at The Royal Delhi Club. Bhavani Singh still struggles at car parking. He is unassuming, soft spoken, often waxing lyrical about his colleague SI Padam [Priyank Tiwari], who looks bewildered everytime. That explains why a Bhatti gave respect to Padam initially. Bhavani’s has domestic issues too, as he fears his wife would divorce him and marry some Lucknow poet. Jeez, Bambi ‘widow’ Todi [Sara Ali Khan] even questions his competency. Rather than probing the club members, it appears as if it’s the other way around. The club president tells the investigating officer that he should wrap up the probe in a day or two. The poor cop literally has to plead for ten days. Thereafter, Bhavani Singh will not be allowed in the club. This is arguably the most unassuming leading cop character in a Hindi film.

For over an hour, Murder Mubarak strikes you as a comedy. Singh, and the film get serious at the business end. As it turns out, he was simply taking stock of things, the people to arrive at definite conclusion(s).  Humility comes naturally to Tripathi, so, he easily slips into the skin of a Bhavani Singh.

Sara Ali Khan and Vijay Varma

We’re now down to the other leads Sara Ali Khan and Vijay Varma. Bambi Todi is a wealthy widow but no pompous lass.  She cares for Gappie and other employees. Unconvinced by Bhavani’s competence, Todi takes it upon herself to partly get to the bottom of the truth.  Khan does well to curtail her frailties, chipping in with a fairly convincing show.

Vijay Varma’s Kashi Akash Dogra is labelled as this pitiable guy. He’s a lawyer or is he really? His mother [played by Grusha Kapoor] is noisy, but Dogra seems sorted. He found love in a Bengali girl in Kolkata [never seen]. His mother us convinced that he has turned into a Leftist. Akash once loved Bambi dearly, but destiny had other ideas for both. Varma’s increasingly becoming Netflix’s favourite and he doesn’t let them down.

Murder Mubarak stands out for its humour, terrific writing, and the quality of its ensemble cast. Yaad Aave, the lone track that plays in the background, originates from the folk Hai o Mereya Dadiya Rabba and is refreshing. 90s audience were enthralled by Karunesh’s version titled Punjab. The Gen Z are likely to be hooked to Yaad Aave.

Decades of Crime Patrol, CID, Savdhaan India has perhaps overexposed Indian audiences to whodunnit. One, though, isn’t overtly concentrating on the suspense. It’s Adajania’s characters that keep you engaged. Some may feel that the suspense is kept back a tad too long, but everything things makes sense in the end. Murder Mubarak is a fine quirky allegory on the haves and the have-nots.

Watch the video review below.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by filmibee.
Publisher: Source link
You may also like