CAST: Sara Ali Khan, Karisma Kapoor, Vijay Varma, Dimple Kapadia, Sanjay Kapoor, Tisca Chopra, Pankaj Tripathi

DIRECTOR: Homi Adajania

Streams on Netflix

Just days before the election, the serene atmosphere of a posh Delhi club is shattered by the sudden death of a muscular Zumba instructor, initially dismissed as an unfortunate gym mishap. However, a seasoned detective, known for his unorthodox investigative approach, senses mischief and embarks on a quest to uncover the hidden layers of the case.

This sets the stage for “Murder Mubarak,” a film that combines elements of a classic whodunnit with the lively essence of a caper. With its sharp editing and performances that resonate well with the genre’s demands, the film ensures an engaging viewing experience from start to finish.

Under the guidance of Homi Adajania, the narrative follows Assistant Commissioner of Police Bhavani Singh (portrayed by Pankaj Tripathi) as he navigates through a maze of unexpected twists and revelations. This keeps the audience hooked, maintaining a constant simmer of suspense throughout this Netflix offering.

Murder Mubarak Movie Review: A Delicious Mix Of An Engaging Whodunnit &  Social Satire

During his investigation, Bhavani, the seasoned investigator, posits that the murderer is likely someone ordinary, perhaps a member of the club, currently basking in the false security of having eluded justice.

Adapted from Anuja Chauhan’s “Club You to Death” by Gazal Dhaliwal and Suprotim Sengupta, the film assembles a diverse cast of characters—braggarts, heartthrobs, onlookers, social climbers, predators, and romantics—all suspects in Bhavani’s eyes.

The victim, Leo Matthews (Aashim Gulati), had seemingly given ample motive to many, complicating Bhavani’s task. Yet, with his astute deputy, Sub-Inspector Padam Kumar (Priyank Tiwari), Bhavani methodically sets his snares, calmly awaiting the culprit’s revelation.

Distinct from typical detectives in Hindi cinema, Bhavani shuns the uniform and foregoes a firearm. Approaching retirement, he navigates provocations and obstacles with a serene, knowing smile, ready to leave Delhi’s corruption for Luckier prospects, much to his wife’s relief.

Murder Mubarak Review: Sara Ali Khan & Vijay Varma Starrer Should Be  Watched At 2X Speed!

The narrative weaves through the echelons of society with a subtle critique of entitlement, vanity, and the superficiality embodied by the Royal Delhi Club, employing detective genre staples to explore the dynamics of a status-obsessed elite.

Bhavani’s investigation benefits from the unexpected assistance of Bambi Todi (Sara Ali Khan), a young widow, and Akash “Kashi” Dogra (Vijay Varma), an activist-lawyer and her former love, now back in Delhi after a stint in Kolkata that seemingly influenced his political views.

The plot thickens as suspicion shifts from one character to another, ensnaring even the unlikely, such as Cookie Katoch (Dimple Kapadia), famed for her unique cocktails; Roshni Batra (Tisca Chopra) and her recently rehabilitated son, Yash (Suhail Nayyar); and Shehnaz Noorani (Karisma Kapoor), an aging actress vying for club presidency, in Bhavani’s investigative web.

As the film draws to a close, the detective characterizes the unfolding events as an “unusual” love story, a narrative that indeed stands out. “Murder Mubarak” delves into the complex entanglements of romance, not just between two individuals but also involving a community’s collective enchantment with an elite club, a place they frequent in hopes of escaping, or at least temporarily alleviating, their woes and indiscretions.

Murder Mubarak OTT review': Mystery set in a posh Delhi club is shallow fun

Shehnaz faces competition from Rannvijay Singh (played by Sanjay Kapoor), a scion of a royal family who constantly reminds everyone of his heritage. The Royal Delhi Club, a place where even heads of state have swung golf clubs, as outgoing president Devendra Bhatti (Deven Bhojani) informs Bhavani, upholds a strict policy that restricts staff and service workers from crossing certain boundaries and using member-exclusive facilities. Despite these rules, the club’s seasoned employees find their own ways to subtly retaliate against discourteous members. Among them is Guppie Ram (Brijendra Kala), an elder staff member whose wits may have dulled with age, yet his insights prove invaluable.

Ganga (Tara Alisha Berry), an employee at the club’s beauty salon, emerges as a key figure in the investigation, her personal history gradually intertwining with the unraveling mystery. The investigation is further complicated by the fact that while the murderer could potentially be anyone connected to the deceased, none of the suspects exhibit overt malevolence or the propensity to kill.

“Murder Mubarak” does not limit its narrative to a single death but weaves in additional fatalities—a murder from the past, a contemporary suspected suicide, and a pet’s accidental death—into its complex story.

Set against a backdrop of moral ambiguity, cinematographer Linesh Desai opts for naturalistic rather than dramatic lighting, eschewing dense atmospherics even as the story unfolds predominantly in the open, yet seemingly enclosed spaces of privilege. This choice accentuates the contrast between the club’s superficial sheen and the intricate, shadowy dilemmas Bhavani navigates.

Pankaj Tripathi’s nuanced portrayal anchors the film in a smooth cadence. Sara Ali Khan delivers a performance that vacillates between allure and mystery, embodying a character with hidden depths. Vijay Varma, portraying a man distinctly out of place amid the club’s extravagance, maintains a restrained and authentic presence.

Within the ensemble cast, Dimple Kapadia, Karisma Kapoor, Tisca Chopra, and Sanjay Kapoor strike a perfect balance between whimsy and depth, contributing significantly to the puzzle’s complexity.

“Murder Mubarak” eschews action sequences for impact, focusing instead on engaging dialogue and a tightly woven script. The editing adeptly matches the quick progression of the investigation, while the director’s skillful touches keep the film consistently captivating.

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