Art & Entertainment

‘Murder Mubarak’ On Netflix Movie Review: Pankaj Tripathi, Sara Ali Khan, Vijay Varma’s Film Is A Confusing Cocktail Devoid Of Any Mystery

Outlook Rating:
1 / 5

Netflix is here with a murder mystery after long. With a long list of stars in it, is ‘Murder Mubarak’ worth the watch? Or should you simply skip it and move on? Read the full movie review to find out.

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A Still From ‘Murder Mubarak’ Photo: Instagram
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It’s been quite a while that a good murder mystery has come along on Netflix India. The wait was finally to be fulfilled by a gamut of big stars in Netflix’s ‘Murder Mubarak’. The film has been in talks since long for its big star cast as it was a great mix of not only new age stars, but also stars from a few decades back as well. That was an interesting assortment of actors to have come together and the hope was always that they would be able to deliver a cocktail that would be soothing to all. Have the expectations been fulfilled? Here’s all you need to know about ‘Murder Mubarak’.

‘Murder Mubarak’: Story

The Royal Delhi Club is a place made for the elite class. Not anybody can enter inside. So, what happens when there is a death inside? Or is it more than just a regular death? Has a murder been committed? If yes, who’s the culprit among such high-profile group of people? ACP Bhavani Singh (Pankaj Tripathi) is assigned to solve the case, and he has to solve it in 10 days as he has to leave for his hometown after that for his own wedding. Now it’s upto this non-traditional cop to look into the world of the high-profile and turn the spotlights on them. Lots of revelations open up, lots of secrets are out, and lots of skeletons come out of the closet. If that’s not all, you also have a love story running throughout which is more than what just meets the eye.

‘Murder Mubarak’: Performances

Pankaj Tripathi tried his level best to give this character his quirky twist. By making the cop more comical rather than serious, he managed to give audiences an outsider’s perspective into the world of the high-profile. His antics and queries at time were so genuinely innocent that you would start relating to his character very much. However, where he faulter is not being able to bring out the seriousness or rather shrewdness of a detective trying to solve a murder. He wasn’t putting in too much of an effort to make sure that the cop character gets liked for his intelligence and way of solving a crime. To be honest, not one of Pankaj Tripathi’s best performances.

What is wrong with Sara Ali Khan? She gives you one good performance and the very next she just puts water on top of all the good work. She gets brickbats for a ‘Love Aaj Kal’ and ‘Coolie No.1’ but makes it up with a worthy act in ‘Atrangi Re’. She gets criticised for ‘Gaslight’ but she more than makes it up with a great performance in ‘Zara Hatke Zara Bachke’. Now, she has again come up with an absolute worst. The character was to be the lead character around which the entire film would have revolved, but rather it was so flakily played by Sara Ali Khan that you would have feel that is this the same girl who does the ‘Namaste Darshako’ videos on Instagram. In those 1-minute-long videos she acts a zillion times better than what she was able to pull off in an almost 2-and-a-half-hour-long movie. Sara Ali Khan isn’t able to bring any depth to the character. This character is as confusing as her character in ‘Love Aaj Kal’ with no head and tail and there’s nothing that would make you want to remember this character of hers.

Just like Pankaj Tripathi, even this isn’t Vijay Varma’s best. Just so that he could have been the protagonist in a multi-starrer, he seems to have picked ‘Murder Mubarak’, because there is no justification for him to be playing a character with so much meat in it in such a subdued manner. When he starts off the film trying to lawyer up his way in front of whole bunch of people just in order to save an old client, he was damn good. But don’t know what happens to his character and overall performance once Sara Ali Khan’s character enters the film. ‘Darlings’ was soooooooo much better. Forget about how good he was in an even small screentime in films like ‘Lust Stories’ or ‘Gully Boy’. In no way is this his best.

None of the other actors has a substantial role to play. Why were Karisma Kapoor and Dimple Kapadia even there? They barely had scenes. Tisca Chopra and Sanjay Kapoor at least had some substantial dialogues, but honestly why were they even there? Suhail Nayyar, Tara Alisha Berry, Aashim Gulati seem to have just been drawn by the fact that they were going to be part of an A-List film.

A couple of unsung heroes were Deven Bhojani and Brijendra Kala. Even playing smaller characters, they managed to hook you on. Both their facial expressions, body languages and reactions to the happenings made you feel like they were pretty much the only ones who were in their characters throughout rather than being the same person you’re in real life on screen. Shows the power of great acting which can even do wonders in a two-scene character.

‘Murder Mubarak’: Script, Direction & Technical Aspects

Gazal Dhaliwal and Suprotim Sengupta’s writing based on Anuja Chauhan’s novel is really confusing at start. It’s not like the Agatha Christie novels where there is a deliberate misdirection used so as to make the audiences think in a different way, and then bam – you’re in the middle of a whole lot of suspects. On the contrary, here they go on and on about the flashy lifestyles and other unimportant details which actually don’t create the misdirection needed for a murder mystery to be a satisfying watch. Besides a couple of character there was no suspicion angle on any other character, which was a terribly move in part of the writers. Also, there was absolutely no need for putting in a love story in between. While the first half is convoluted, the second half suddenly becomes so predictable that you can see the killer from miles away.

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Homi Adajania tries to work his magic by creating a quirky scenario filled with some of the most bizarre settings, but he isn’t able to pull off what he did with something like a ‘Being Cyrus’. He tries his level best to better the story that was given to him at hand, but where he faulters is not being able to turn it around and make it into something that not only gives you a murder mystery chill, but also takes the route less taken. By the end of it, you’re wanting to see some spark of Homi Adajania which you keep expecting to come in the form of a post-credit scene or anything, but sadly, nothing clicks. What was sad to see that he didn’t even get the continuation right at some spots. In one shot Karisma Kapoor is not wearing sunglasses and talking to Pankaj Tripathi during the memorial, and in the very next shot when someone gets a call, and she turns back, she is back with the sunglasses. What the heck!

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Linesh Desai’s cinematography is something that could have been better. Most of scenes are shot inside a resort sort of a place and therefore there is not too much of a scenic beauty to explore. So, what does a cinematographer do in such a scenario? Well, s/he breaks the regular shackles of conventional filming and tries to use some innovative techniques. Sadly, Linesh Desai didn’t try any of them. Even the continuity of some of the scenes weren’t kept proper, which didn’t feel deliberate. It felt more like an oversight.

Akshara Prabhakar is probably the only person who did a good job in the technical department. She cut the film really well so as to keep some semblance of a big-budget production. Also, she managed to keep the film with so many stars to just about 2 hour 20 minutes, which is commendable. Stars like Karisma Kapoor, Tisca Chopra and Dimple Kapadia also weren’t allowed to stretch out their characters so as to make them feel more important in the film. That precision and pruning of the film was applause worthy.

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There are no standout songs from Sachin–Jigar that could have made the film more memorable. Also, a bit was missed by the background score in order to create the necessary eerie feel that’s needed for a murder mystery. There is barely any suspense created, which is needed, even if it’s a different sort of a murder mystery. Nowhere did it feel like starting to have a chilling effect. It was really sad!

‘Murder Mubarak’: Cast & Crew

Director: Homi Adajania

Cast: Pankaj Tripathi, Sara Ali Khan, Vijay Varma, Karisma Kapoor, Dimple Kapadia, Tisca Chopra, Sanjay Kapoor, Suhail Nayyar, Tara Alisha Berry, Aashim Gulati, Deven Bhojani, Rohit Rajvansh, Ashok Chhabra, Alok Panwar, Brijendra Kala, Rajat Malhotra, Suhaas Ahuja, Purnendu Bhattacharya, Grusha Kapoor, Trilochan Kalra, Beila Gupta, Varun Mitra, Priyank Tiwary, Kiara Sadh, Hardeep Gupta, Hitesh Sejpal, Hardika Sharma, Abeer Jain, Bobby Singh, Balakrishnan Natarajan

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Available On: Netflix

Duration: 2 Hours 20 Minutes

‘Murder Mubarak’: Can Kids Watch It?

Yes

Outlook’s Verdict

‘Murder Mubarak’ could have been an interesting murder mystery with an interesting mix of actors bringing in a cocktail of their performances. Sadly, it wasn’t the case. The performances were lacklustre and the narrative kept getting more and more predictable as you started getting into the second half. If you’re a fan of murder mysteries ‘Murder Mubarak’ is going to just enrage you thinking how good a premise was squandered. In general, it’s totally Avoidable. I am going with 1 star.

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