Home Cinema Neeyat: Star-studded murder thriller’s energy excites in parts

Neeyat: Star-studded murder thriller’s energy excites in parts


Neeyat, a murder mystery plot with a sterling star cast, is shot in a lavish manor, facing the rough sea on a raging stormy evening which is required to create equally rough and mysterious weather inside and in the aura of characters, assembled to celebrate the birthday of Ashish Kapoor, a business tycoon, who unfortunately is found dead the same day. Whodunnit!

Neeyat kickstarts munificently, treating the eyes with a luxurious mansion in Scotland on the edge of a cliff, a flag fluttering at the zenith with AK monogram on it, glorifying the owner’s status; a helicopter lands on the shaved lawns, a man steps out with an eye-catching handsome briefcase and couple of luggage bags. A battery of servants welcome him. Very soon his close friends and family start arriving by road. They are aptly introduced with their intriguing backgrounds and present status. The promising assemblage of fine actors in their specific roles in the suspense-filled whodunnit film is expected to provide an edge-of-the-seat experience. But Anu Menon’s Neeyat’s predictive plot feeds us with clues that are obviously scattered to be located easily. It fails to fill the room with a mysterious mist for the viewers to fathom and unravel the suspect. All is not mediocre in the film. Despite weak narration, there are many titillating moments withwispy shots. Nevertheless, it sporadically loses its grip.

Soon, another mysterious guest makes an entry, a CBI officer Mira Rao from India. The CBI officer now has one dead body to begin with. But others start dying too. Mira must do something, but she has her own laid back yet nervous pace. The physically sluggish officer with a sharp brain begins the probe unveiling many ugly truths spitted by the guests.

The stereotypical story of Neeyat with greed and revenge being the motive behind the murder of a colourful eccentric billionaire AK has been penned by Girvani Dhyani, Advaita Kala (award winning novelist and writer of Kahaani) and Anu Menon. The film lacks originality as many shots look like seen-before-ones. The story’s climax is interesting with a hint of a sequel in pipeline.

Neeyat has Vidya Balan as Mira Rao wearing an unassuming demeanor but otherwise a walking talking encyclopedia. With emotionless eyes and an expressionless face, she explores each guest. She has a handful of guests as suspects with all of them providing satisfying motives to murder AK. There is hardly any digging required as the characters shed their outer peel without much effort by Mira. One dead body after the other starts piling up but the atmosphere remains surprisingly close to normal. Vidya has huge potential to do tough roles. This role is a walk in the park for a seasoned actor like her. Its only in the end that we realise why she portrayed a bland character.

Ram Kapoor as Ashish Kapoor fits in the role of an exiled business tycoon. Some shades derived from Vijay Mallya’s life, lifestyle, makeover, and extradition efforts by Indian Government to return him from UK and face financial chargesare visible. Shahana Goswami, Lisa as AK’s young girlfriend delivers a promising performance. Nikki Walia As Zara, a tarot card reader and healer, has amazing mind reading skills to display. Her dialogues reveal this trait. Jimmy Mistri (Rahul Bose) gives a wonderful performance as the begrudging brother-in law of Ashish. He shines in his role as a flickering, disgruntled soul who maintains his so-called high-classmannerism, peculiar communication skills and way of dressing. Shashank Arora as Ryan, AK’s druggy son, effortlessly entertains with his drowsed eyes. His girlfriend Gigi (Prajakta Koli), mansion’s manager Tanveer (Danesh Razvi), AK’s secretary Kay (Amrita Puri), Sanjay (Neeraj Kabi) and his wife, and AK’s ex flame Noor (Dipannita Sharma) all support brilliantly. After all, they are fine actors in the industry.

Matshona Dhilwayio has said, “When people smile at a rich man; they are smiling at his wallet”. AK has leeches as friends and family. The mutually malicious motives are made clear from the very beginning, and the characters have lived up to the expectations. The film has a dazzling star cast but ceases to stick with logic at many places making us suspect a hurriedly written screenplay. Neeyat is bland but when you dig your teeth into it, it emits a unique flavour. It will surely keep you hooked in parts.