Rautu Ka Raaz Movie Review: A Wholesome Thriller

After a school warden is killed, the tranquil valley of Rautu in Mussoorie is awakened. An atmosphere of confusion, doubts, and scandal draws Inspector Negi and his colleagues into the case.

General Rating

In a nut-shell:

A Wholesome Thriller

Rautu Ka Raaz Cast/Actors: Nawazuddin Siddiqui as Inspector Deepak Singh Negi, Narayani Shastri as Warden Sangeeta, Rajesh Kumar as Naresh Dimri, Atul Tiwari as Manoj Kesari and others

Rautu Ka Raaz Movie Director: Anand Surapur

Rautu Ka Raaz Movie Release Date: 28th June, 2024

Rautu Ka Raaz Movie Available On: OTT Release – ZEE5 digital platform

Rautu Ka Raaz Released/Available In Languages: Hindi

Rautu Ka Raaz Movie Runtime: 1h 54m

Rautu Ka Raaz Movie Critic Review:

It’s a rare adjective to use for a thriller. But when writer-director Anand Surapur obtrusively lets SHO Deepak Negi (Nawazuddin Siddique) stroll past a school for visually challenged students, the sharp investigating skills of a policeman blend with a sensitivity that does not announce itself. The death of Sangeeta (Narayani Shastri), the strict and wayward warden of Sevadham, turns into an interesting murder mystery that quietly makes several halts. At the warden castigating a girl-boy friendship as western culture, at the callousness of builders, politicians and school authorities, at the violation of a girl student, at a politician checking out where Negi hails from and building a bond with him as “apna hi aadmihai”, at goodness that comes with warts.

While Surapur and co-writer Shariq Patel elevate the thriller to wholesomeness, they do it with such a light touch that it’s as if they seriously don’t take themselves seriously, if you know what I mean. One-liners are smoothly slipped in. Like the time Negi and assistant Naresh Dimri (Rajesh Kumar) with a tilak on his forehead, share a drink. Will you have another, asks Negi. “No,” replies Dimri. Adding contradictorily, “Let’s have one more?” No, mine’s still going strong, shrugs Negi. And the evening continues. It’s not ho-ho humour but a peppering of wit in casual conversation that’s a constant. Two friends in school are referred to as Shah Rukh and Kajol with Negi at one point forgetting the actress’ name and asking, “What’s Ajay Devgn’s wife’s name?”

During an interrogation, every time Negi asks Dimri to pause the recording, it’s a signal to land a hard slap on the accused in the room. It’s not Zanjeer-brand intense, it’s Surapur’s light touch again. A lady cop wanting leave also provides a moment or two of amusement. So does a bullet train.

Neither pressure from higher-ups nor the bullying by confrontational trustee Manoj Kesari (Atul Tiwari) works on Negi. Without obvious swagger, the cop inserts into his conversation with Kesari something like, “Coming from Lucknow doesn’t make you Nawab Wajid Ali Shah, you know.”

There is another element that’s refreshing. Of casually throwing in a shot or a sequence that may or may not have relevance at some later point. A black dog jumps onto the parapet while Negi’s driving down the hills of Uttarakhand. A blind student asks him if he’s looking at a painting and makes a remark that amuses the cop. An off-the-cuff comment is made on a dog that bites when it’s in the mood.  

Intermittently, two senior citizens nod to themselves, “Negi sees it all. He’s tez (sharp) but he’s strange.” 

Principals, trustees, builders, netas and assistants are all red herrings at one point or the other, exposing a chink in each one’s armour.

Negi himself requires closure from his past and he’s told, “Don’t take it out on your parents.”

Neat editing (by Surapur along with Manish Jaitly) also makes its contribution. In a multi-pronged investigation where the team fans out, one talks to the watchman, another visits the dodgy principal, a third chats up the dead warden’s assistant, and Negi drops in on the trustee. The editing smoothly segues from one to the other, covering all four simultaneously without the tacky use of split screen.

Watching the visually impaired go up and down the staircase with such ease that Negi is tempted to attempt it. Martial arts, cricket, braille. Surapur sneaks it all into Negi’s casual itinerary. There’s one fleeting shot of the cop reflexively trying to help a student only to mutter ‘sorry’ coz the visually challenged can do it on their own, thank you.

The ticking brain and the strokes of humour come off convincingly only because Nawazuddin is so brilliant at it. His last crack at Atul Tiwari brings on a big smile. Rajesh Kumar also throws in strong support as the typical assistant cop.

O re pitaji’ as a background number is pleasant and demons are laid to rest, the culprits nailed. But the best is the takeaway from a murder mystery that’s solved questionably – right and wrong depends only on the perspective. How right, Anand Surapur.

Rautu Ka Raaz – Watch Or Not?: For all that’s packed in without preaching, this thriller is worth a weekend watch.

Rautu Ka Raaz Movie Review Score Rating: 3.5 out of 5 (i.e. 3.5/5)

Rautu Ka Raaz Official Trailer:

Credits: ZEE5

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A Wholesome ThrillerRautu Ka Raaz Movie Review: A Wholesome Thriller