Sarvodaya Visuals' 88 ANTOP HILL, directed by Kushan Nandy, is a murder-mystery.
Three murders, six suspects, one address.
Pratyush Shellar [Atul Kulkarni] is working in a bank. He has a beautiful wife [Suchitra Pillai] and a daughter. And a secret.
It had all started on that stormy, Wednesday night, when Pratyush had been woken up by a phone call. That phone call changed his life.
He landed up at an address. Uninvited, unaware and unprepared for the danger that awaited him. The board outside read 88 Antop Hill.
But Pratyush was not the only one who had been there that night. There was someone or something waiting for him.
For any whodunit to leave an impression, the screenplay ought to be captivating and the pace of the film should be maintained right till the end. In this case, although the film starts off well, the pace drops as the story moves ahead, picks up again in the second half, but falls flat in the climax.
Director Kushan Nandy has worked doubly hard on giving the film the right texture in terms of technique and sound quality, but the screenplay tends to confuse the viewer as it unfolds.
The climax is the weakest link of the film. After building the drama to a level, the end should've been equally enthralling. But the moment the face of the killer and the motive behind the murders are unveiled, the film loses fizz.
Besides Kushan Nandy's execution of the plot, another aspect that deserves a mention is the sound quality, which enhances the impact considerably. The background score is another area where the film scores. Ditto for the cinematography.
Atul Kulkarni is alright; he could've been better. Rahul Dev is natural, playing an easy-going cop to perfection. Shweta Menon impresses in a significant role. Sanjay Singh is competent. Jasmine looks photogenic and makes a fair debut. Suchitra Pillai gets no scope.
On the whole, 88 ANTOP HILL is high on technique, but low on substance. At best, it has some chances at select theatres [multiplexes mainly] of metros.