Film Review: ‘Midnight Delhi’ is a bewildering tale of violence

Saffiya Ansar
Sat, 2018-10-13 15:02

SINGAPORE: With his 2006 film “Babel,” Mexican director
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu kickstarted a trend of depicting
multiple storylines that are finally tied together at the end of
the film. Since then, many directors have attempted this
fascinating model of storytelling, and the latest to jump into the
fray is India’s Rakesh Rawat. His “Midnight Delhi,” which
premiered at the Singapore South Asian International Film Festival
last week, zooms in on a dark, mysterious day in India’s capital
city, which has in recent years grabbed global attention for its
crime rate.

Rawat’s debut fiction feature begins its narrative on a foggy
night with a burglar (played by Anshuman Jha, whose screen name is
not revealed until halfway through the 115-minute movie), who uses
a blade to slit the jugular vein of his victim, jumping into an
autorickshaw (driven by Mukesh Bhatt, earlier seen in works such as
“Jab We Met” and “M.S. Dhoni”). The burglar engages in
light banter with the driver, gaining his confidence until he
attempts to commit the crime.

Later, in a series of seemingly unrelated events involving a
jilted woman and a husband who returns home to find his wife with
her lover, Rawat weaves a narrative that is extremely violent,
sometimes unnecessarily so, and also confusing at times. Packed
into three acts, though, the drama has interesting characters, each
with their own tragic tale.

In a style reminiscent of American auteur Quentin Tarantino
(whose canvas is invariably a bloody mess), “Midnight Delhi”
throws together puzzling situations that do not quite add up. While
Inarritu ably tied up the different stories in “Babel” to
present a coherent picture in the climax, Rawat does not quite get
to that, and some of his characters appear overly dramatic,
sometimes even caricaturist, leaving us with a sense of

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Source: FS – All – Interesting – News
Film Review: ‘Midnight Delhi’ is a bewildering tale of violence