A Simple Murder review: Guns and roses

Written by Shubhra Gupta

November 20, 2020 6:41:50 am

A Simple Murder will stream on SonyLIV.

Can the snuffing out of a life ever be simple? Right from the title to the treatment, this crime-caper-cash-chase nails the serio-comic tone it wants to achieve, with smarts.

The characters fit right in, in this seven-part web series, directed by Sachin Pathak. Manish (Mohd Zeeshan Ayyub) is the kind of guy who thinks his start-up success is always around the corner; his impatient wife (Priya Anand) wants a quick buck, or million, and doesn’t care what she has to do to that end. A young couple (Ankur Pandey and Tejasvi Singh Ahlawat) is on the run, fearing for their life: she, the daughter of a furious Jat neta, him a Muslim. Whoa. A pundit (Yashpal Sharma) with a nifty ‘supari’ side-business has a string of contract killers on call: a madly-in-love-with-his-‘mashooka’ Amit Sial, and a bearded, leather-jacketed Sushant Singh, stir things up, and it’s all very enjoyable.

Quite often, storylines which keep their characters on the move, with one trying to out-smart the other, sink because of a pacing problem. Except for a prolonged sequence when a bumptious cop (Gopal Dutt) and his mouthy sidekick (Vikram Kochhar) waste time at a murder scene, and a bit character who uses the same dialogue runs out of steam, the rest of it whooshes by nicely.

So we get a rising body-count, shiny-grimy West Delhi Dwarka-Janakpuri-Mayapuri locations– a grungy watering-hole where would-be assassins meet, perchance, a hotel where you can hire ladies of the night for a bit of S&M, a junkyard where the carcasses of cars and humans get the same treatment, and a bag stuffed with pink notes which keeps changing hands. The writers display flair and imagination, and that’s more than half the battle won.

The other half is taken up by the actors, and what a blast they are, especially Sushant Singh, who is a life-taker but also a closet poet, whose sense of rhythm is displayed with a nudge and wink. A few moments shared by Sial and Singh, where they are both riffing off each other, are delicious. Who says killers cannot be ‘shaayars’? As the man who believes love can overcome anything, even a money-hungry partner, Ayyub is as reliable as ever, and gets top billing in this ensemble.

The opening credits are perky, and the music is well done, matching the pace and situations. These are things which add to our viewing pleasure: murders may never be simple, but crime sometimes does pay.

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