Director: Bugs Bhargava Krishna
Cast: Amit Sadh, Aaryan Menghji, Manjari Fadnnis
Barot House, a Zee5 original film, is a worthy entry into the genre of mystery-thriller and/or whodunit crime stories, but the only thing dragging it down is its runtime. At 1.32 hours, it seems a bit stretched, since the thrill quotient is safeguarded for the final 12-15 minutes and the build-up to the events could have easily been trimmed.
Based on a true occurrence, the story follows members of Barot family, who are struggling to come together as an ideal unit. Amit (played by Amit Sadh) discriminates between his two daughters and his son Malhar (Aaryan Menghji), adorably referred to as Ustad, who is a genius tabla player. So when Amit's two daughters are killed, all that is left for him to do is grieve and beat himself up over the fact that he didn't care for them while they were alive.
Naturally, guilt leads to him losing his temper more often than not and Amit, in the eyes of the viewers, becomes the chief suspect of the crimes that concerns child murder. The subterfuge around the real perpetrator is ingeniously maintained partly due to Amit's abhorrent nature, and partly because no one could have believably killed the two girls without any reason, till the time the climax is arrived at.
Director Bugs Bhargava Krishna has decent character actors to work around and each convincingly pull off the script at hand, but dialogues pose a real problem as they are restricted to exposition and not utilised as a tool for thematic layering. Thus, conversations come across as forced at certain instances and you can't help but pray for the story to skip the facade and move forward.
Same is the case with the background score. It is highly unimaginative and certain montage sequences seem to begin and end abruptly. However, to his credit, the director does not lose sight of the intense climax he is building towards and does manage to deliver the excitement and catharsis, but only a little too late.
Manjari Fadnnis in the role of a grieving mother does not have much to offer. She is also suspected by Amit to be cheating on him but the tension and guilt, if there's any truth to Amit's perception about his wife's character, are not explored as genuine emotions that would have fleshed out her role more. This could also be because the writer, Sanjeev K Jha, chose to avoid infidelity as a major sub-plot for the film, and kept it as a minor one. All in all, it does affect Manjari's presence and screen time.
Without revealing many details, let the reader be informed that the most genuine playact has been put on by child actor Aaryan. He showcases ease in his expressions and misleads us whenever required. He is also the hook that keeps Amit's rather one-note performance together.
Barot House does not have much to offer apart from a few minutes of thrill that comes towards the end. If your poison this week is an indie crime story, Barot House is worth a watch. The film is available for streaming on Zee5, only for premium account holders.
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The Barots might never be the same again after this. Inspired by true events, #BarotHouse premieres 7th August on #ZEE5 @theamitsadh @manjarifadnis @bugskrishna @cinesanjeev @aaryan_menghji @faridavenkat @tyyproductions @dhirajj666 @hussainshaikh19 @zee5 #ThisAugustOnZEE5 . . . #Suspense #Drama #Family #FamilyDrama #Mystery #Thriller #Whodunnit #WatchOut
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