Best Bets On Netflix: 'Raat Akeli Hai' Delves Into Powerful Mystery

Raat Akeli Hai The Night Is Lonely Radha Radhika Apte Netflix
Anu Pattnaik / Netflix

Netflix has a lot of movies, and only an elite few could be described as the best bet. “Raat Akeli Hai” is one of the rare entries into that category. From India, this Hindi-language film is a compelling drama wrapped in a murder mystery that gradually reveals a captivating who-dun-it. As is sometimes the case, the question of who is often determined through establishing why.

It is in answering the motive that “Raat Akeli Hai” delves into a complicated family dynamic. Following a disturbing opening, the movie turns to the present-day with policeman Jatil Yadav (Nawazuddin Siddiqui) as his mom tryies to find him a wife. Jatil is a bachelor holding out for a love match that is destined to last. He is moral, noble, and loyal, and all of those attributes come into play as the murder investigation gets underway.

Jatil finds himself plunged into the center of a family rife with turmoil. On his not-so-happy wedding night, the patriarch of the Singh family is found murdered in his bedroom. Like “Knives Out,” the suspect list is long and comprised of family members, including the elder Singh’s young new wife, Radha (Radhika Apte). Unlike the family, Jatil does not believe she is the culprit, and it costs him.

Almost everyone is trying to pin the murder on Radha, who, like Rani in “Haseen Dillruba,” protests her innocence. Unlike that movie, the detective in “Raat Akeli Hai” believes Radha. Thus, starting Jatil out on a quest to find out who the real guilty party is. After all, there is a connection that contextualizes a lot of Jatil’s belief in Radha. He had encountered her years ago on a train.

The circumstances were tragic and seared into Jatil’s mind. Has Radha changed since then? Is Jatil right to believe in her innocence as strongly as he does? Or is he blind to the truth because of what he knows? “Raat Akeli Hai” takes viewers down that winding road of is she/isn’t she alongside Jatil, and it is tough to decide. This is a really tough murder mystery for the audience to solve, and it only bolsters the quality of the film.

The cast of “Raat Akeli Hai” is exemplary, with every actor conveying the story with such raw and unfettered intensity that it feels almost voyeuristic at times to watch. Nawazuddin Siddiqui and Radhika Apte primarily shoulder the movie, and they do so brilliantly. Every bit of the lives led by their characters before the movie starts shines in their eyes without words needing to get spoken.

Why It Is A Best Bet On Netflix 

At just about two-and-a-half hours, it is a testament to director Honey Trehan and writer Smita Singh and the quality of “Raat Akeli Hai” that it so readily holds viewers’ attention. It is an absorbing film with a lot of unexpected twists and reveals that fit the narrative established early in the movie. “Raat Akeli Hai” is a serious movie that, much like Jatil’s initial encounter with Radha, is unforgettable.

How do you watch it? You can stream “Raat Akeli Hai” on Netflix alongside a lot of other fantastic Hindi films currently on the streaming giant.