‘Samrat & Co.’ Review Roundup: Desi Version of ‘Sherlock Holmes’ Series

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By Ankita Mehta | April 25, 2014 7:21 PM EST

"Samrat & Co." starring Rajeev Khandelwal in the lead role has received negative reviews from critics upon its release.

Twitter/Rajeev Khandelwal
Rajeev Khandelwal playing the lead role in 'Samrat & Co.'

The storyline of the film is based on television series "Sherlock Holmes". Khandelwal portrays the character of Sherlock Holmes (played by Benedict Cumberbatch).

While, the dialogue writer has done a decent job, the screenplay writer has disappointed critics. Overall, Kaushik Ghatak's directorial film has failed to garner even mediocre review.

Check out the reviews here:

Renuka Vyavahare of The Times of India said: "The film is predominantly a formulaic 'whodunit' thriller, which aspires to be Sherlock Holmes but ends up looking like its parody. This too opens with a bare-knuckle, slow-mo boxing scene like Guy Ritchie's film (starring Robert Downey Jr.), but thereafter, fails to instill a sense of fear or anxiety, thanks to the excessive dialogue.

"The script lacks punch as the 'Samratisms' (one-liners) are anything but clever. To top it all, an animated Shimla evokes maximum laughter.

"While it's brave of the conservative Rajshri productions to take the leap - from family dramas to thrillers, the effort should have been more compelling. While Sherlock Holmes was dismissive of mediocrity, Samrat succumbs to it."

Bollywood Hungama in its review said: "While the screenplay writers of this film (Kaushik Ghatak, Manish Srivastav) seems to have done a sloppy job, which otherwise could have turned the film into a watchable affair. The dialogue writer (Sanjay Masoom) does a 'creatively decent' job with his words. While the editor Nipun Gupta seemed to know what was expected of him, delivers his goods intact. But, the same cannot be said about the action (Kaushal and Moses), which is a letdown.

"What one fails to understand why would the hero and the villain get into a 'question and answer session' while fighting with each other! As far as the music is concerned (Ankit Tiwari) despite the inclusion of an item number, the film offers no memorable song which you can hum on your way back home. The only saving grace/ salvation/ redemption of the film seems to be Sandeep Shirodkar's background music that keeps the film at its pace.

"All in all, SAMRAT AND CO is a major letdown, certain elements notwithstanding."

Nandini Ramnath of Live Mint said: "Samrat & Co. opens with a dedication to Arthur Conan Doyle and his best-known creation, the polymath genius sleuth Sherlock Holmes, and any fine print that also hat-tips the makers of the recent Hollywood movie franchise and the British television series is invisible.

"The ending promises a sequel, which might be better suited to television, given the basic production values, sheer scantiness of the plot, and the staccato screenplay."

Vishal Verma of IndiaGlitz said: "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.

"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."

Paloma Sharma of Rediff.com said: "Every 1990's schoolgirl's once heartthrob, Rajeev Khandelwal plays detective/Robert Downey Jr/Benedict Cumberbatch in Kaushik Ghatak's Samrat & Co. and though he has graduated to the big screen, Khandelwal stays true to his alma mater by launching into a soliloquy every five minutes.

"All that's missing is 'Tan, tana na na, Kamolikaaaa' playing in the background.

"A blatant, unashamed and at times, scene-by-scene copy of films like Sherlock Holmes, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows and Bhool Bhulaiya, Samrat & Co might have a good enough screenplay buried somewhere beneath all the trash but none of it shows in the execution.

"Samrat & Co might be about an extraordinarily observational man's fight against crime but as far as cinema goes, this film is a crime against the genre."

[ED:VS] 

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(Photo: Twitter/Rajeev Khandelwal / )
Rajeev Khandelwal playing the lead role in 'Samrat & Co.'
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