What is it all about?
Setting a new standard of wretched excess Rajshri Productions 'Samrat and Co' is a joyless charmless detective disaster helmed by Kaushik Ghatak (remember the tear jerker Ek Vivah Aisa Bhi) 'Samrat and Co' fails to revive the Barjatya's from their culture of family dramas the way it did in 1977 by Deepak Bahry's 'Agent Vinod' starring Mahendra Sandhu as the secret agent.
During the opening credits the makers remember Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's 'Sherlock Holmes' for inspiration but alas the audience go through a misadventure that is almost devoid of thrill, style and character development for such genre.
Agreed B-town has not shown much quality during the last few decades in churning their detective sagas Raj Khosla's 1956 classic 'CID' starring the ever green Dev Anand and Waheeda Rehman (her bollywood debut) still remaining the only memorable amongst all.
If you are still reading this.. wish you hadn't asked for the plot that can be explained as something like a kids version of B-town routine mystery meeting a secret agent meeting an action hero that can be penned by anyone here the director Kaushik Ghatak himself and his co - writer Manish Shrivastav take the credit.
So we have a haunted Haveli where a respected actor like Girish Karnad playing the role of Mahendra Pratap Singh is reduced to some scares and a couple of quotes from Shakespeare his daughter Dimpy Singh (Madalsa Sharma), approaches Samrat Tilakdhari (Rajeev Khandelwal), a private investigator to find the reasons behind such supernatural activities in her house where the garden gets ruined, her father's favorite horse dies, Samrat along with his assistant friend, Chakradhar Pandey (Gopal Datt), visits the huge estate of Mahendra Pratap Singh. As he starts investigating, he discovers lots of mysterious facts. The story progresses when a murder takes place in the house, which leads to a series of events, complicating things for Samrat and for the audience also.
What to look out for
Certainly you need magnified glasses to figure out the redeeming factors over here... that spurt of a moment when Samrat meets Mahendra Pratap Singh does ring those bells of nostalgia witnessed during watching a vintage Hithcock classic or Sherlock Holmes novel but sadly that's the only snap of life this flick offers to its genre.. rest well it's not even Elementary Mr. Watson.. Gopal Datt as Samrat's buddy and assistant does a decent job. Madalsa Sharma is okay in her debut.
Without any doubt you don,t need a magnifies glass to point out the flaws which are visible everywhere right from the introduction of the B-town super detective Samrat inside a boxing ring to the conclusion of the suspense that doesn,t inspire or behold the audience.
The script and the narration lack the required edge of a suspense thriller.. moreover the makers do a serious blunder in the characterization of detective Samrat.. Rajeev Khandelwal has impressed with his stint in the TV series 'Time Machine' so the choice was perfect but the way the writer and the helmer frame the character of Samrat is unconvincing and annoying at the times when he unnecessarily delivers his lines at jet speed for no reason appearing to be more talkative and less observative.. big flaw..
So depressing to see an engaging actor like Rajeev Khandelwal as clueless as the makers on what are they trying to give the audience - a James Bond, secret agent in a Sherlock Holmes attire in this lifeless, uninspired, tiresomely boring, detective motion picture.
Conclusion: Samrat and Co is tiresome humdrum skip it to protect your love for Sherlock Holmes, Byomkesh Bakshi, etc.
Rating *and 1/2