STORY: Dr. Shiv Shankar Sharma (Sachin Khedekar) is suspicious about his daughter’s untimely demise, which is declared as suicide by cops. Will he be able to unveil the truth behind her death?
REVIEW: Set in Ghaziabad, ‘Halahal’ is about Archana (Enab Kizra), a medical student, who gets hit by a truck. Later, her charred body is found on the side of Ghaziabad highway. The UP police calls it an open-and-shut suicide case. But her father, Dr. Shiv Shankar Sharma believes that Archana would not give up on her life like that. His suspicion forces him to investigate his daughter's demise by taking help from a cop, Yusuf Quresh (Barun Sobti), who is corrupt and earns his living mostly through bribes. Together, will the duo be able to solve this mystery?
Given the gravity of the situation, getting closure seems like an impossible mission for Dr. Sharma, especially when the post-mortem report is doctored and everyone associated with Archana acts suspiciously. To top it all, the police in charge of this case is asking the bereaved father to move on. However, the future course of events will determine whether it was a cold-blooded murder or a suicide.
Director Randeep Jha’s debut feature film sees a grieving father searching for the truth pertaining to his young daughter's sudden death, which, in turn, blows open another conspiracy of political nature. This crime-thriller is suspenseful and Sandeep Gade’s concept is intriguing, too. It takes off at a good pace that provides an interesting build-up for the events to follow involving the father-cop duo going through multiple hit-and-trial methods to solve the mystery. What works in favour of this film is the good casting and convincing performances.
Written by Gibran Noorani and ‘Gangs of Wasseypur’ fame Zeishan Quadri, the movie imitates the rapid turn of events that had happened in the Vyapam admissions racket in Madhya Pradesh—the allegations of high-level involvement and the suspicious deaths of suspects— and just like in real life, the narrative is equally layered. But due to its shoddy execution, ‘Halahal’ becomes very monotonous. The story is griping in the beginning but tends to get a bit draggy towards the end. However, the final nail in the coffin is its unrealistic climax.
Sachin Khedekar renders a layered performance as a dejected man experiencing a plethora of emotions after his daughter’s death. He makes you empathise with the character, especially during his emotional breakdowns. Barun Sobti’s body language and Haryanvi accent are impressive and he gets into the skin of the character of Yusuf. Both of them delivers solid performances that make this otherwise charmless mystery-thriller watchable.
In conclusion, if you are a fan of intense acting, then ‘Halahal’ is a good pick for you.