“A chaotic night in Mumbai when the advertizing world meets the underworld” is the essence of the 1996 Bollywood movie titled Is Raat Ki Subah Nahin. Directed by Sudhir Mishra, this brilliantly made movie was supposedly based on a real life incident experienced firsthand by the director’s brother. Comprising of talented actors such as Saurabh Shukla and Ashish Vidyarthi, this movie over the years has attained a “cult” status among movie buffs throughout the country. So, here is presenting an analysis as to why this “Bollywood” movie based in Mumbai City is considered to be a “classic”.

a. The story/screenplay/editing of Is Raat Ki Subah Nahin:

“Humorous and real” would the best way to describe the story of this movie written by Sudhanshu Mishra (brother of Sudhir). It is basically set in the city of Mumbai, and revolves around chaotic events occurring during one night. And so, the story begins with an advertising executive Aditya (Nirmal Pandey) and his wife Pooja (Tara Deshpande) attending a party organized by his agency. It is during the course of this official function that Aditya’s affair with a woman named Malvika (Smriti Mishra) is revealed to his wife. This shocking revelation leads to Pooja slapping Aditya in public and rushing back home. It is thus in order to explain his infidelity to his wife that he calls her up from a bar where he is drinking. It is at this place out of sheer frustration that he slaps a dreaded underworld gangster named Raman Bhai (Ashish Vidyarthi). It is this incident that ensures Aditya is a “marked man” and hence is forced to flee. The rest of the plot deals with the wild goose chase that plays out between a set of colourful gangsters and the unfaithful advertising executive.

“Gripping and exciting” would be the best way to describe the screenplay written by Nikhil Advani, Shivkumar Subramanium, and Sudhir Mishra. Comprising of a generous dose of “humor” this well written screenplay thoroughly entertains the viewer. It also ensures that the story flows along beautifully, and completely avoids the use of unnecessary melodrama. Furthermore, excellent dialogues written by Imtiaz Hussain enhance the quality of the screenplay. In addition, good editing by Renu Saluja helps the story and screenplay flow at a good pace thus preventing it from dragging at any point. However, this movie could do without a couple songs, and which according to me should have been edited.

b. The “performances” of the star cast in Is Raat Ki Subah Nahin:

“Splendid” would be the appropriate adjective used to describe the top notch performances delivered by the entire star cast in this movie. The protagonists played by Nirmal Pandey and Tara Deshpande are excellent as the husband and wife struggling to preserve their marriage while on the run. Smriti Mishra as the “mistress” is also great and lends the required vulnerability  that the role required. However, it is Ashish Vidyarthi as Raman Bhai and Saurabh Shukla as Vilas Pandey that perform brilliantly in the role of gangsters at war with each other due to a misunderstanding.

c. The “cinematography” and “direction” of Is Raat Ki Subah Nahin:

Shot during the night the cinematography by Sukumar Jatania is top class. Using shades of dark blue the cinematographer beautifully captures the darkness that engulfs the city of Mumbai during the night. In addition, the photography also serves metaphorically in highlighting the underlying dark human emotions such as “revenge” and “lust” embedded in the plot beautifully. Enhancing the cinematography is a haunting background score, and a couple of great songs (composed by Salim-Sulaiman and MM Kreem respectively) in the form of the melodious “Chup Tum Raho” and philosophical “Jeevan Kya Hai” which beautifully sums up the true essence of this movie.

Above all, the credit for the brilliance of this movie must go to the director Sudhir Mishra. The manner in which he combines an innovative story while extracting magnificent performance from his cast, Mishra truly shines as the “Captain of this ship”. The fact that he also manages to add two beautiful songs and an outstanding background score only illustrates his mastery over the craft of filmmaking.

Having watched this movie a number of times now, I have come to the conclusion that, if any movie buff intends to watch a fast paced Bollywood crime thriller set in Mumbai filled with great humor and intense drama then “Is Raat Ki Subah Nahin” is a movie that must be watched sooner rather than later.


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