Qatl: A Movie about Murder That Should Have Been a Murder Mystery


CastSanjeev Kumar, Shatrughan Sinha, Marc Zuber, Ashok Kumar, Ranjeeta, Sarika
DirectorR K Nayyar
WriterJ P Choksey
ScreenplayVinod Rattan
ProducerR K Nayyar

Qatl is a Bollywood thriller movie that hit theaters in 1986 and it stars some pretty big names like Sanjeev Kumar, Sarika, Shatrughan Sinha, Marc Zuber and Ashok Kumar. Some  people call it one of Sanjeev Kumar’s most underrated movies. Is it true? Read our review to find out.

Qatl Synopsis

Rakesh is a theater actor and Ranjeet is his good friend. Ranjeet meets a young woman, Rohini, a highly ambitious woman. Rakesh falls in love with Rohini as Rakesh begins to train her in theater. The two marry.  Unfortunately, Rakesh has an accident and loses his eyesight. Rohini begins an affair with Ranjeet and both are completely unapologetic about it. Rakesh is devastated when he finds out about the affair, but  decides to avenge the humiliation. What happens next forms the rest of the story.

Qatl Review

Qatl is a straight forward movie that goes more into the drama genre than the thriller or even the suspense genre. The movie is a simple transition from point A to point B. It could be a great thriller with twists and turns. Its been hours after I watched the movie and I cannot point out why the creators didn’t make this one of the finest thrillers in Bollywood. They had an A Grade cast, a storyline that was with the times – that of an affair and the husband looking for revenge. Instead, they went into delving into the mindset of the man wronged and such aspects.

Its pretty visible that the makers were awed of the script that they were making. The title card has something like ‘Dedicated to the Perpetuation of the Sanjeev Kumar legend’. The next says that this is an extraordinary motion picture.  Maybe that’s because the movie released after Sanjeev Kumar died and that makes this one of the last releases of Sanjeev Kumar, who was quite frankly an industry unto himself.

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Which brings us to Sanjeev Kumar’s performance in the movie. Sanjeev Kumar was from the old school of performances. He successfully brought the ethos and the pathos of a man who suffers a double hardship. Any actor of a lesser calibre would ham the performance and create a laughing stock of his character in the movie, but not Kumar.

The movie tries touching upon some aspects about how an actor is perenially looking to mentor someone and their incessant and permanent love for art. But all that is waylaid in some intial scenes. Sarika’s character, of an ambtious woman who doesn’t bother sailing in two boats is a commendable vamp. That character, however, is never allowed to come out of its shell. You don’t even know whether she really loved her husband, Rakesh, but drifted away because of his blindness.

There’s something else that should please the audiences. Qatl is one of those few movies that talks about where their characters are, geographically speaking. The movie is also shot in some of the popular places in Bombay (Mumbai now). So, audiences, especially those from Mumbai will get a surreal experience, seeing the locations they have grown up in or know very well, on the screens. I am sure it must have been quite an experience for anyone watching the movie in theaters.

Unfortunately, Qatl ends up being a movie about a murder and the tale of the murderer, but not a murder mystery.  In the eighties, you will see several movies about the husbands killing their wives because they had an affair. That could be because of the Nanavati murders  that took place in 1975. A Naval Officer was in the dock, accused of killing his wife’s paramour.

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About Roy D'Silva 483 Articles
Roy D'Silva loves nicely made horror films,books and series. He has spent a lifetime covering various entertainment beats and has finally found his calling covering the paranormal/supernatural/horror fiction beat.