Neeyat Movie Review: Vidya Balan's charisma also fails to save this choppy wannabe Agatha Christie inspired flick
A gruesome murder at a billionaire's birthday party throws everyone as a suspect each with their own secret. One woman takes up the responsibility to unravel it all
- Anu Menon
- Vidya Balan,
- Ram Kapoor,
- Dipannita Sharma,
- Neeraj Kabi,
- Shashank Arora,
- Prajakta Koli,
- Amrita Puri,
- Rahul Bose,
- Niki Walia,
- Danesh Rizvi,
- Shahana Goswami
- Murder mystery
The Anu Menon directorial Neeyat starring Vidya Balan in the lead introduces us to a birthday party of a billionaire in a lavish castle in Scotland amidst stormy weather. The extravagant night ends with a murder putting each and every guest under the radar each with its sinister motive. We also have a CBI officer who takes charge of the investigation and we soon enter a world heavily inspired by an Agatha Christie universe. Alas, if only the screenplay, writing and plot were vigilant enough to get us hooked into this whodunnit flick but the movie heavily falls off the track in that department.
The plot revolves around Ashish Kapoor (Ram Kapoor) a billionaire who has eloped from the country after committing a huge financial fraud of around Rs 20,000 crore. His unscrupulous and over-ambitious behaviour has caused many innocent employees from his former organisation to commit suicide. He celebrates his birthday in a beautiful mansion by the seaside in Scotland and invites his close family members and friends. Each guest comes with his or her inner demons which soon get unravelled. Cut to CBI officer Meera Rao (Vidya Balan) who's also present at the occasion with a special motive. After a gruesome murder takes place as the night descends, everyone becomes a suspect with more and more skeletons in the closet.
Neeyat attempts to transport us into the Agatha Christie and Sherlock Holmes era with Vidya Balan's character being a callback to Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot. The dark and mysterious mansion has many secrets amidst its lavishness, a ferocious storm indicating the arrival of something sinister and each suspect whose motives are unearthed as the film progresses. However, the writing and screenplay are extremely shoddy with the plotline getting predictable by the climax which is the biggest red flag for a murder mystery.
The motives and character development of each character are almost laughable and not defined. We fail to strike a chord with the female protagonist despite her precarious mission because her actions and emotions lack realism. Some performances are unnecessarily over-the-top. Only some dialogues involving a cinema student calling Christopher Nolan his first guru and one of the suspects claiming that they all must have been under a drug influence during the entire investigation process generate some laughter.
Talking about the performances, this certainly isn't Vidya Balan's best work. Despite her undeniable screen presence and charm, her performance has a tint of uninterest and unenthusiasm around it which fails to strike a chord with us. Ram Kapoor is hilariously over the top. The only standouts in terms of performances are Rahul Bose, Shashank Arora and Nikki Walia. Especially Bose as he provides comic relief with his eccentric character. Neeraj Kabi, Dipannita Sharma, Prajakta Koli, Danesh Rizvi, Amrita Puri and Shahana Goswami try to do full justice to their roles but are not utilized to their full potential. The art direction by Lydia Moss and cinematography by Andreas Neo are praiseworthy to curate that eerie and macabre atmosphere to act as a catalyst in the plot. The twist in the conclusion is a surprise but could've created a greater impact with a more articulate execution. Even with a stellar cast, this one misses the mark big time.