Bollywood has been missing a good detective and now Rajeev Khandelwal as Samrat Tilakdhari (STD for short) and Gopal Dutt as his sidekick Chakradhar Pandey (CD) make a welcome appearance.
Though their first outing at cracking a case is a bit amateur (ok, more than a bit amateur), it is still a fun watch. Rajiv Khandelwal looks dashing and also dashes around when a brainwave grips him, (its another matter that the brainwave occurred to us at least 15 minutes before him). He has a slightly dimwitted sidekick who runs a TV show with ‘sansani’ stories and he is quite a good foil. What I liked is that there is no tomfoolery or slapstick humour. The detective takes himself seriously and so does the sidekick and that sort of gets you involved into the story.
A garden starts mysteriously dying after a mali who had been fired by the rich industrialist dies after cursing it. There is talk of a bhoot floating around and STD is called in by the pretty young daughter to solve the case. Off they go to a weird looking bungalow in Simla (which has lots of painted pine trees in the background) to solve the case. I’m not getting into the story here, not much point in a whodunit I think.
Some of the stuff is unintentionally funny such as when the police is unable to crack a code and they float a theory that is an ancient African language. Voila! STD sees Hardy Boys mystery novels in the library and cracks the code which as it turns out is what we used in school all along in our secret societies.
There are plenty of zany dialogues from STD such as “Seedhi challenges tooti pencil ki tarah hoti hai. They have no point.” Unfortunately, you can’t understand half of them since STD delivers them at breakneck speed, no doubt to keep up with the lightening speed at which his brain moves.
Should you see this movie? One time toh banta hai, for the sheer novelty of the whole thing. Kids above 8 may even enjoy solving the mystery. I think young Kavita Barjatya has a good thing on her hand. A smarter story next time will make STD and CD into a good entertaining pair on screen.
Final words overheard from couple behind me: Rajeej Khandelwal achha hai, lekin Robert Downey Jr as Sherlock was a bit better. There, hp gjhrsf. Simple code, don’t need STD to crack it.view less