The film is highly predictable and a tad laughable. Poor production quality and bad background music only adds to its woes
'Samrat & Co'
U/A: Adventure /Mystery/Suspense
Director: Kaushik Ghatak
Cast: Rajeev Khandelwal, Madalasa Sharma, Girish Karnad, Gopal Datt, Priyanshu Chatterjee, Indraneil Sengupta, Barkha Bisht, Rajniesh Duggall
I can almost visualise the scriptwriters of this film, Kaushik Ghatak and Manish Shrivastav (I am picturing them in their school uniforms sneakily doing this during a school break) checking all the boxes of things that are needed to make a detective film. These two, obviously having been fed generously on Agatha Christie’s works, a sprinkling of Hardy Boys and a dose of Sherlock Holmes, have come up with a concoction of sorts that is highly predictable and a tad laughable.
Suave and smart Samrat (Rajeev Khandelwal) is the detective and he, ahem, just knows everything. He can guess from the tip of your tongue what you have had for breakfast and from the sound of a car tyre, he can tell you where it has been. If his deductions don’t make him look smart enough, he has a bumbling idiot of an assistant, Chakradhari (Gopal Dutt), who adds to the film’s irritation quotient. Samrat is in no mood to take up…well, unsmart cases till he is visited by Dimpy (Madalsa Sharma), a girl with minimum expressions and eyelashes boasting maximum possible length. Dimpy is upset because her dad (Girish Karnad) is stressed out as his garden is drying up for no obvious reasons. Just as Samrat and company arrive at Dimpy’s family’s massive bungalow in Shimla, a tragic turn of events takes place (even more tragic because of its predictability), making room for Mr. Smart oops Samrat to take up the case. Everyone is a suspect and you guessed it right, the most predictable one turns out to be the culprit.
To be fair, the first half of the film kind-of holds your attention, even if for the child-like appeal to it. Rajeev Khandelwal as Samrat might be no Robert Downey Jr or Benedict Cumberbatch, but he has a strong screen presence. His otherwise decent performance is handicapped by ‘dumb in the garb of clever’ dialogues that he’s made to spout every other minute. There are so many characters in the film, that you can be forgiven if you have missed someone’s presence altogether. Poor production quality and bad background music only adds to its woes.
What is an acclaimed actor like Girish Karnad doing in a film of this kind is the only mystery worth breaking your head over. The rest you will guess even before it happens.