Murder Mubarak review: All style, no substance

Karishma Jangid
New Update
Murder Mubarak review

Homi Adjania's 'Murder Mubarak' disappoints with its predictable plot and underutilized cast, leaving audiences wanting more substance in this lacklustre whodunnit.

Whenever Hindi cinema presents a whodunnit, it gets us excited. But most of the time, it ends up disappointing. 'Murder Mubarak', unfortunately, adds to the list of such disappointments. The elites at the Royal Delhi Club are shocked when member Leo Mathews (Aashim Gulati) is found dead. Middle-class ACP Bhavani Singh (Pankaj Tripathi) takes charge of the case and suspects everyone. From a diva to a raja, a drug addict to a widow, everyone is a suspect, and they all have secrets.

The movie is just as predictable and unoriginal as it seems. It sets up each character as if they're gearing up for something extravagant, chaotic, and mysterious. However, these are empty promises. From the beginning to the end, the police find everything rather conveniently. The secrets aren't as scandalous and they are revealed plainly. The script is loose with very few twists and turns that are predictable, uninteresting, and unentertaining. At every turn, you will find a readily recognisable plot hole. The lack of effort on the part of the writer and director is apparent. The state of affairs is worsened by Sara Ali Khan's performance. Sara plays Bambi Todi, a young widow, who is a pivotal character in the film. However, her acting isn't convincing at all. She tries hard to act intensely, but it just doesn't work, making it quite awkward to watch. 

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But we have an ensemble cast, right? That should have saved the sinking boat. However, the cast failed due to poorly written characters. Talents like Vijay Varma, Karisma Kapoor, and Dimple Kapadia were criminally underutilized. A key aspect of whodunnits that I enjoy is the timely exploration of various characters. Typically, these characters have mysterious pasts and exciting story arcs. However, in "Murder Mubarak," it feels like the writers didn't bother much. Most characters have little significance. Many were anticipating Karisma's role, but her character, Shehnaz, feels irrelevant. Dimple's portrayal of the alcoholic Cookie also lacks substance and comes off as slightly obnoxious. Even though Guppie's (Brijendra Kala) character is presented as a major mystery, it adds little value to the film. Sanjay Kapoor as Raja Rannvijay Singh and Tisca Chopra as Roshni Batra had more credible parts, but they still failed to make a significant impact. This lack of depth is why Murder Mubarak disappoints the most—style can't compensate for substance. Apart from Pankaj Tripathi's typecast but convincing performance, the film has very little going for it. 

I appreciate that this film tries to shed light on the filthy rich's ignorance and hypocrisies. However, dumb caricatures and trivial characters are the laziest ways of portraying them. Moreover, it feels like little effort was put into crafting an engaging story. The focus seems to be on wrapping things up quickly. There exists an audience for mystery thrillers and whodunnits. More often than not, audiences are taken for granted when the filmmakers whip up a half-baked story. They underestimate the audience's capability of appreciating a smartly written story and give us a watered-down narrative that is mildly entertaining and severely unoriginal. Filmmakers seem to believe that it suffices. It does not; Murder Mubarak is proof.

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