‘Murder Mubarak’: This Quirky Whodunnit Will Keep You Guessing

By Ronak Kotecha

Story: A murder at a posh club in Delhi pins the needle of suspicion on its affluent guests. As the police start probing deeper, they realise it’s a maze full of greed, vanity and complex human relationships.

Review: Welcome to The Royal Delhi Club known for its high profile guests, lavish parties and unmatched hospitality. It’s a club founded by the Angrez but now frequented by those who continue to perpetuate the classist, discriminatory, and racially-charged behaviors reminiscent of pre-independence society. A cold-blooded murder takes place within the club and all hell breaks loose when ACP Bhavani Singh (Pankaj Tripathi) takes charge with his casual approach to unravel each and every facet of this murder most foul. He goes about grilling each and every guest for whom the club is a lavish escapade from their mundane life outside.

What really works in favour of ‘Murder Mubarak’ is its unpredictability. Director Homi Adajania and his team of writers (Anuja Chauhan, Gazal Dhaliwal, Suprotim Sengupta) throw every possible twist to confuse the audience and they succeed for most part. From the motives of these flawed individuals to dropping subtle hints, Adajania ensures the suspense remains tightly guarded for long. While it also reeks of desperation with just so many characters, Adajania and his writers somehow manage to do justice to each one, by giving them enough screen time and quirks. The character introduction at the start and the way the screenplay moves forward is entertaining. It keeps you invested.

Modeled after Agatha Christie’s Hercules Poirot, Pankaj Tripathi’s character leads this slightly uneven whodunnit in his trademark style. The actor tries hard to differentiate his character from what he has done before but it is still slightly repetitive. At times, it’s frustrating to see him be so calm and casual with a bunch of obnoxious and snooty uptowners with too much love for a club. Sara Ali Khan looks gorgeous and fits well into her character of a goofy yet beautiful young woman Bambi Todi. Her chemistry with Vijay Varma seems somewhat forced. Varma himself doesn’t have much to work with for his own character Aakash Dogra, who can’t be figured out. Karisma Kapoor makes a decent comeback as a has-been B-grade actress Shehnaz Noorani and stands out amongst a cacophony of loud and goofy characters. Tisca Chopra overdoes it as the offensive upper class Delhite Roshni Batra. Dimple Kapadia as a colourful rich woman Cookie Katoch is good but Sanjay Kapoor as the cheapskate royal Hukum Rannvijay Singh is a hoot. He is hands down the most entertaining amongst all. While the abundance of characters threatens to overwhelm the main plotline, Adajania adeptly balances each one, ensuring they receive adequate screentime and development. Despite just a handful of songs, the film is longer than desired.

Overall, ‘Murder Mubarak’ is an engaging whodunit with broad appeal. The film effectively sustains its suspenseful atmosphere, keeping us hooked as they unravel the mystery behind a cold-blooded murder. While the investigation may not be flawlessly executed, the film delivers on its promise to keep audiences guessing until the very end. — Times of India