A Simple Murder Review: Dark Humour Rules in Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub-Priya Anand’s Web Series With Terrific Turns From Sushant Singh and Amit Sial! (LatestLY Exclusive)

Sreeju Sudhakaran
·5-min read

A Simple Murder Review: Despite the title, there is nothing simple about the 'murder' or the plot narrative of A Simple Murder, the new web-series on SonyLIV. Directed by Sachin Pathak of Rangbaaz fame, A Simple Murder is a black comedy featuring a down-on-luck protagonist, his opportunistic wife, two hitmen, and a inter-religious couple on the men. Not to mention, the titular 'murder' that brings all these assorted characters running either from each other, or after each other. A Simple Murder Trailer: Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub, Sushant Singh And Amit Sial Promise A Hilarious Ride In This Dark Thriller

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If a rat is the reason that half the universe owes in existence shown in Avengers: Endgame, then the same beast is also responsible for the turn in fortunes for Manish (Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub). A wannabe entrepreneur heavily in debt and not much luck, he is married to Richa (Priya Anand), who is now tired of this marriage and is having a covert affair with her married boss, an aptly named Rahul (Ayaz Khan), who oblivious to her, is cheating on her too.

Due to misleading circumstances caused by the aforementioned rat, Manish goes to what he think is an investor meeting but it turns out to be something else. He is mistaken to be a contract killer and is assigned by Pandit (Yashpal Sharma), a powerbroker, to kill a young girl. In greed for more money, Manish decides to go ahead with the task, only for Fate to play more twisted games in his life, and bringing two hitmen, Santosh (Amit Sial) and Himmat (Sushant Singh) chasing after him. And yes, there is also a bag of Rs 5 crores that everyone wants to put their hands on.

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Watch the Trailer here:

A Simple Murder is a very twisted Fargo-like affair, that brings one surprising development after another. Every main character, save for a young couple (Ankur Pandey and Tejasvi Singh), is duplicitous in nature, keeping things rolling with their unpredictable actions (though, after some time, the backstabbing, betrayals and even the killings do become a tad repetitive). Major characters get killed way before the final episode. It feels a little damper when the narrative becomes a little serious from the sixth episode onwards, though, but the unpredictability still fuels the going-ons.

The writing (Akhilesh Jaiswal, Prateek Payodhi) has some sparkling nuggets of black humour, especially when it brings together two or more unexpected characters in unexpected circumstances. Like when Pandit tries to get hold of his two targets in an ATM (one deliberate, one unexpected), resulting in a hilarious standoff. Or any scene involving the terrific Sushant Singh or the brilliant Amit Sial.

The performances also help in making A Simple Murder an engaging watch. Mohammed Zeeshan Ayyub, a fine actor, does complete justice to his first series as the main lead (he has a supporting role in Rangbaaz). While he handles the black humour portions well, Ayyub's performance in the teary monologue he shares with a rat needs to be singled out. Fantastic there!

Another standout performance in the show is Amit Sial, as the cold-blooded assassin with a penchant for mouthing shayaris. An absolutely underrated talent, Amit Sial steals every scene he is in with his cool demeanor and underplaying his act till it needs to be explosive. Speaking of underrated, it is not easy to ignore Sushant Singh, who is fabulous as the more humane hitman. OTT Releases Of The Week: Raat Baaki Hai On ZEE5, Manne Number 13 On Amazon Prime, Holiday Home Makeover With Mr Christmas On Netflix And More.

Yashpal Sharma has some witty lines and often ends up offering chuckles with his act, despite being one of the villains. Vikram Kochhar and Gopal Datt are good as the two cops on the track of the series of crimes. Special mention must also be given to Durgesh Kumar, who plays a migrant waiter Shanker. He is a riot in every scene he is in.

The only slight aberration in the cast is that of Priya Anand. While she has a very unpredictable and twisted character, her performance lacks the conviction to pull off the role, not helped by the fact that she is in a roster with some terrific actors.

PS (with little SPOILER): While Twitter is buzzing with Madhya Pradesh wanting to push law on Love Jihad, it feels a bizarre coincidence that one of the plotlines of A Simple Murder is a Hindu girl eloping with a Muslim guy. Perhaps the makers want to have fun at the expense of the RW trolls, what with the Pandit, who puts a hit on the girl, seen to be religious man, while the guy, while going on a disguise in burkha, suggesting the girl to convert to Islam for her safety, an idea she promptly brushes away. Yet, the show depicts them as the most innocuous of all the characters, because they are bound by Love.

Yay!

- The Cast
- The Unpredictable Screenplay with Enough Black Humour

Nay!

- Narrative Becomes Repetitive After a Point
- Priya Anand's Performance Feels Lacking

Final Thoughts

A Simple Murder comes across as a pleasant, easily engaging watch if you do love black comic thrillers, with fine turns from Ayyub, Sushant Singh and Amit Sial. A Simple Murder is streaming on SonyLIV.