Neeyat: Vidya Balan's film adheres to the template, but lacks much-needed irony and ambition

Neeyat: Vidya Balan's film adheres to the template, but lacks much-needed irony and ambition

Neeyat: Vidya Balan’s murder mystery proves that creative bankruptcy isn’t limited to the likes of Adipurush

If you are a fan of murder mysteries, you might have been looking forward to watching Neeyat, the latest film starring Vidya Balan as a CBI officer who investigates the death of a billionaire at his birthday party in a Scottish castle. The film, directed by Anu Menon, was released on July 7, 2023 in theatres and on OTT platforms. However, if you have watched the film, you might have been disappointed by its lack of originality, creativity and suspense.

Neeyat is not just a blatant rip-off of the 2019 Hollywood hit Knives Out, but also borrows heavily from other sources such as Agatha Christie novels, Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca and even real-life events involving a certain fugitive tycoon. The film tries to mask its plagiarism by changing the names and settings of the characters and the plot, but fails to create any intrigue or excitement for the viewers.

The film revolves around Ashish Kapoor (Ram Kapoor), a wealthy businessman who has fled India after being accused of fraud and money laundering. He invites his family and friends to his lavish birthday bash at his castle in Scotland, where he plans to announce his will and reveal some shocking secrets. However, he is found dead in his room, and everyone becomes a suspect. Enter Mira Rao (Vidya Balan), a CBI officer who has come to extradite Ashish, but ends up solving his murder instead.

The film has a large ensemble cast, but none of them are given enough depth or development. They are reduced to stereotypes and clich├ęs, such as the greedy girlfriend (Shahana Goswami), the drug-addicted son (Shashank Arora), the spiritual healer (Niki Walia), the loyal secretary (Amrita Puri), the old friend (Neeraj Kabi) and so on. The only character who stands out is Ram Kapoor, who plays Ashish with charisma and flair. He is clearly inspired by Vijay Mallya, the real-life businessman who fled India after defaulting on loans worth thousands of crores. He even sports a similar beard and hairstyle as Mallya.

Vidya Balan, who is usually a powerhouse performer, is wasted in this film. She plays Mira as a nerdy and awkward detective who has a knack for spotting lies and clues. However, her character is poorly written and inconsistent. She is supposed to be smart and sharp, but she misses obvious hints and makes silly mistakes. She is supposed to be quirky and funny, but she comes across as annoying and irritating. She is supposed to be brave and bold, but she gets scared easily and needs help from others.

The film also suffers from a weak screenplay and direction. The plot is full of loopholes and illogical twists that make no sense. The clues are either too obvious or too obscure, leaving no room for mystery or suspense. The dialogues are bland and boring, with no wit or humour. The direction is dull and uninspired, with no flair or style. The film fails to capture the mood and atmosphere of a Gothic thriller, despite having a beautiful location and setting.

Neeyat is a film that tries to cash in on the popularity of murder mysteries, but ends up being a poor imitation of better films. It proves that creative bankruptcy isn’t limited to the likes of Adipurush, another upcoming film that has been accused of copying from Hollywood films such as Lord of the Rings and Avatar. It is sad to see talented actors like Vidya Balan being part of such mediocre projects that offer nothing new or original to the audience. Neeyat is a film that deserves to be forgotten as soon as possible.

Source

(1) Neeyat: Vidya Balan’s murder mystery proves that creative bankruptcy isn’t limited to the likes of Adipurush. https://indianexpress.com/article/entertainment/bollywood/neeyat-vidya-balan-creatively-bankrupt-murder-mystery-8925573/.
(2) Vidya Balan's 'Neeyat' Fails To Get The Nod Of OTT Audience, They Call Film A ‘Waste Of Time’. https://www.msn.com/en-in/entertainment/bollywood/vidya-balans-neeyat-fails-to-get-the-nod-of-ott-audience-they-call-film-a-waste-of-time/ar-AA1gaUye.
(4) Neeyat Movie Review: This whodonnit will keep you hooked in parts. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/entertainment/hindi/movie-reviews/neeyat/movie-review/101561849.cms.
(6) Neeyat Movie Review: This whodonnit will keep you hooked in parts. https://m.timesofindia.com/entertainment/hindi/movie-reviews/neeyat/movie-review/101561849.cms.
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