‘It’s all about a mouse, after all’
It’s amazing to see how writers Prateek Payodhi and Akhilesh Jaiswal put together a zany plot where it’s a mouse that sets the wheels in motion for a major crime to unfold. There is a mouse in a kitchen that sets the whole house on fire. Then there is a mouse in a busy market place that results in a comedy of errors, what with mistaken identities all around. Moreover, there are at least a couple of other points in the narrative of A Simple Murder where a mouse has a major role to play. And to think of it, all of this is done with utmost belief and conviction.
This is what makes A Simple Murder truly exciting because even though the series of events that unfold are nothing but coming together of limitless coincidences, you don’t end up saying ‘Ab yeh kya tha yaar?’ Otherwise time and again it happens that a plot unravels in such a manner that you end up scratching your head around the non-believability of all, or as the adage goes ‘I should have rather left my brains at home’. Well, considering the fact that this is a 7 part web series that has arrived on Sony LIV, you actually stay with your brains at home.
No wonder, director Sachin Pathak (who has earlier made Rangbaaz Phir Se, another web series which is set in an altogether different world) is clearly having the time of his life putting together A Simple Murder which features a struggling ‘pati’ (Mohd Zeeshan Ayyub), a cheating ‘patni’ (Priya Anand) and a greedy ‘woh’ (Ayaz Khan). Add to the mix a super goon/guru (Yashpal Sharma) as well as two top assassins in the business (Sushant Singh, Amit Sial) and you have your hands full. Wait, there is also a loveable cop ‘jodi’ (Gopal Datt, Vikram Kocchar).
In this roller coaster ride where every set of characters works as a pair, the ones who are in the middle of it all are a teenage couple (Tejasvi Singh, Ankur Pandey) who are on a run. The aforementioned characters are either after their life, or trying to save it. Sometimes, the motives and intentions also change, what with killer turning into the hunted and the one running from being hunted emerging as a killer. All of that and more happens in this rip roaring ride that has a bag full of 5 crores in currency exchanging hands at a rapid pace.
With a plot like this, there is a lot of fun that ensues. In its core set up, A Simple Murder is a black comedy where humor takes center-stage even as corpses fly around at an alarming pace and characters go from being broke to ultra rich to broke again. By and large though, you smile at the absurdity of it all, even as the characters wonder where they would land up eventually.
Each and every actor does quite well actually in this unique world that is created for them somewhere in Delhi. Thankfully though, there are none of the stereotypes associated with the capital that one usually finds in such a set up. Here, the characters could well have been placed in Bhopal or Bangalore, and still one wouldn’t have missed the ‘Punjabiyat’ factor, something that is otherwise usually seen in series or films based out of Delhi.
Mohd Zeeshan Ayyub, recently seen in Chhalaang, gets to play the meatiest character of his career as he comes across as vulnerable as well as endearing, while keeping you interested in what he does next. Priya Anand, who has been around for a while in the industry, is truly bewitching. As per the need of the character, she is suitably sensual as well as cunning, and still manages to invoke audience sympathy. As for the younger couple [Tejasvi Singh, Ankur Pandey], they deliver what was expected out of them and that’s about it.
The real stars of the show though are Sushant Singh and Amit Sial, the two assassins. Especially Sushant is so good in the series that you heart goes out to him. He is simply superb as a killer with a heart who has one basic funda – ‘Never look in the eye of your victim’. Watch out for the manner in which he cracks up occasionally and you know that he deserves to be seen more often. As for Amit Sial, he stays on to be a dependable actor that he is. Ayaz Khan is fun to watch, even though he has a clear John Abraham hangover, including the dimples.
The cops have a part to play as well. Gopal Dutt usually goes overboard with his distinct comic style and though it seems like that initially in the series, he reins himself as A Simple Murder progresses, hence emerging as a good performer. On the other hand Vikram Kocchar gets to play a solid part here, after being seen in number of films and series before this. He does well.
Overall too, A Simple Murder does well for a viewer. With an overall running length of around 3 hours, this one makes for a fun ride that keeps you entertained and engaged right through.