We with mannerism of Sherlock and a plot straight out of Agatha Christie we have our own Samrat & Co. But Khandelwal is neither Sherlock Homes nor Hercule Poirot, he is not even a shade of their personalities. The first boxing scene which introduces the Hero of the movie is a carbon copy of Robert Downey Jr.’s Sherlock Homes and this scene sets the tone of the entire movie. Khandelwal’s dialogues are poorly written and uninspiring at times. There are too many characters who have been unnecessary inducted in the plot and they make no contribution to the story. Bollywood still needs to do casting properly as an actor as talented like Girish Karnad is completely wasted.
The plot becomes extremely predictable as the screenplay is very similar to Agatha Christie novels, in fact it is so predictable that people who are aware of how Christie treated her novels will start looking for charterers with least interest in the murder. The music is non existent and rest is history with Khandelwal been the only bright spot trying to resurrect.
Nevertheless it is heartening to see that in Bollywood we make movies apart from Love stories and comedies. The shelf live of a murder mysteries is usually very short, in fact after the first day half the population know the end which spoils the motive to watch the film. Hence it is important that mystery movie has a strong editing team coupled with smart camera work and use of lights in the cinematography department. Also goes without saying that a strong story and director is a must to attract the audience. Samrat & Co. has some good points like Khandelwal and a reasonably ok storyline but nothing more. You can see it if you have nothing else to do but if you can wait I am sure you will see it on TV in a couple of months.
(* Poor, ** Below Average, *** Average, **** Good, ***** Excellent)