Review: Even Vidya Balan cannot help 'Neeyat' rise above its predictability & scattered treatment

You can have all the right 'neeyat' and an intriguing whodunit plot with the most alluring and talented ensemble possible - but that doesn't necessarily translate into being what it is intended to be.

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Kunal Kothari

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You can have all the right 'neeyat' and an intriguing whodunit plot with the most alluring and talented ensemble possible - but that doesn't necessarily translate into being what it is intended to be. Vidya Balan - the name is synonymous with scintillating acting performances one after the other even if the film is usually faltering in a few aspects. Is Neeyat in that category? Having had the chance to the film beforehand, here's what I thought about it-

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Murder Mystery Hampered by Predictability

Whodunits rely on shock value so much that even if the screenplay and journey towards the big reveal is a long one, the final output, if good, makes up for it. Unfortunately, the murder mystery that Neeyat revolves around jumps hoops in an attempt to make you feel the shock but is hampered immensely by the predictable nature of it. 

There are only a select few possibilities that it can have and any of them, when turns out to be true based on your own prediction makes the viewing experience underwhelming. To the makers' credit, a bigger reveal than the murder mystery itself in the final minutes of the film makes a better impact than the former itself and does become a saving grace overall.

The Finest Talent Hamming Away

Oh my! It takes a special effort to cast an actor like Shahana Goswami and have her ham away throughout! Such is the case with several actors in the frame as you literally have a dream ensemble assembled but barely any of them are able to do anything to add to the film to no fault of their own. 

A stereotypical and weirdly quirky Rahul Bose as Jimmy, a drug addict Shashank Arora as Ryan giving weird reactions (not because of the drugs) and dialogues, an over-the-top Neeraj Kabi as Sanju and criminally underutilised Amrita Puri as Kaveri - it is a pity to have them either just be unnatural or just have barely anything to work with. The standouts in this ensemble are the likes of Prajakta Koli as Gigi, who gets a good character arc and Niki Walia as Zara, who also gets some fine scenes with which she does well.

Even Vidya Balan Can Only Do This Much & The Big Surprise

It is usually a given to have a leading lady like Vidya Balan to do the heavy lifting in any film and even here, that was a given. Unfortunately, even someone like Balan can only do so much with what she's given to work with. Her character has been given some quirks which remain unexplained inspite of the big reveal in the end and throughout the film, she tries her mightiest but cannot quite elevate a mediocre script. 

Once again, not only is she the best part about the film, the makers do spring in a fun surprise in the end that atleast makes you leave on a positive note with a teasing cliff-hanger as well.

Questionable Setting & Limitations

There is a certain reason behind the writers Anu Menon, Girvani Dhyani, Advaita Kala, Priya Venkataraman and director Menon herself sitting on the table and weaving their storyline around Scotland and the treatment being according to the same. And while, that is justified what is perplexing is the need to do it in such a setting in the first place. 

Granted it is about Ram Kapoor's character fleeing away but it takes away from the flavor of the film entirely. There is a huge amount of limitation that this setting leads to and is never able to engage you especially with the dialogues. There are pretentious rich folks here at play but the conversations and dialogues between them appears fabricated to a large extent thus having you disconnect even further.

The Verdict

Neeyat has its 'intentions' in the right place going forward with a valiant attempt to churn out an engaging whodunit but it is never able to achieve its full potential. Predictable outcome, hammy acting performances by some seasoned actors and the limitations of a setting lead Neeyat to be a half-baked presentation at best.

Rating - **1/2 (2.5/5)

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Comments (1)

They think they’re gonna copy the same thing repeatedly and people will still like it. Couldn’t be more wrong.

7 months ago

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