'Rahasya' - Movie review

U/A; Crime thriller
Cast: Kay Kay Menon, Ashish Vidyarthi, Tisca Chopra, Mita Vashisht, Ashwini Kalsekar
Director: Manish Gupta

'Rahasya' movie review
Ashish Vidyarthi and Tisca Chopra in a still from Rahasya

'Rahasya' was touted as a film based on the infamous Noida double murder of 14-year-old Aarushi Talwar and Hemraj, the Talwars' domestic help. As we know Aarushi's parents, Rajesh and Nupur, who are both doctors, have been convicted in the case. The Talwars had raised objections to 'Rahasya' being thrown open for public viewing.

Rahasya's crime seems eerily similar to the Talwar case, replete with the settings, the bungalow type house where the crime takes place, and the fact that the victim was found with her throat slit in her bedroom. But after that the film takes on its own character, which is fortunately slick and wickedly delightful, fitting into the old fashioned whodunnit format.

Sachin (Ashish Vidyarthi) and Aarti Mahajan (Tisca Chopra) are a doctor couple, outwardly seeming to lead a peaceful life in their plush two-storey house in Mumbai. The dark secrets of their lives start tumbling out soon after their teenaged daughter Ayesha's dead body is found by their maid, Rimi (Ashwini Kalsekar). The other servant, Chetan, is missing and goes on to be considered a prime suspect.

Soon after, honest-to-a-fault CBI officer Sunil Paraskar (Kay Kay Menon) takes over the case and then the thrilling journey of finding the motive and the killer is embarked upon. Director Manish Gupta, who's earlier helmed one story of 'Darna Zaroori Hai' (2006), 'The Stoneman Murders' (2009) and 'Hostel (2011), keeps the narrative taut, suspense nail biting and the overall experience thrilling. Gupta, aided by clever cinematography by Faroukh Mistry, brilliant editing by Suresh Pai and subtle and effective background music by Ranjit Barot, manages to keep the audience hooked and, for the better part of the film, does not make the suspense too obvious.

However, some characters seemed clichéd and caricaturish (especially the inspector who does the preliminary investigations) and there are some glaring loopholes too. Casting is good and the overall performances by each of the actors is just tempered right, except Kalsekar who could have done with a little less hamming. The always dependable Kay Kay is near perfect.

Clever filmmakers heavily bank on the curiosity factor that a given incident (in this case, the double murder) generates, but fortunately this film keeps you interested and thrilled through its just about two-hour running time.

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