Murder in the Hills is a mystery-thriller TV series directed by Anjan Dutt and stars Anindita Bose, Anjan Dutt, Arjun Chakrabarty, Sourav Chakraborty and Sandipta Sen, alongside other cast members.
The official Hoichoi synopsis reads:
The seemingly natural death of a legendary movie star in Darjeeling threatens to expose a dark past of the serene hill station.
– Murder in the Hills review contains no spoilers –
Murder in the Hills opens with an extended look at Darjeeling and a voiceover explaining its history. You get to see the sights and see the beautiful hill station with Anjan Dutt’s Tony. His careless charm and a view of the hills from Glenary’s makes for a good opening sequence. You will also get a rundown of the people who will come into play here.
As all of our murder suspects come together at Tony’s birthday party, Amitava, the journalist and narrator, is asked to play a game. Anyway, while thinking about who Tony might murder, Tony himself ends up dead. Now, the question is, who could’ve killed him?
Murder in the Hills creates a great premise for a murder mystery. While wondering who could’ve murdered Tony, we follow Amitava into the deep abyss that is Darjeeling’s shadowy lanes. Everyone seems sketchy as heck, but is there one murderer or is everyone somehow involved?
Murder in the Hills is entirely watchable and is very atmospheric. It starts off slowly and then eventually picks up pace. However, there are moments that feel very dragged out. Some scenes are too slow or unnecessary. You will tend to skip through these moments since they feel like they don’t add anything to the plot, but take up entirely too much time.
I wish Murder in the Hills could’ve trimmed these portions out in order to make the narrative tighter. The tense scenarios are watered down because of such scenes and takes away from the air of mystery that the series tries to create.
However, I enjoyed the scenes which take us to the past and provide a background to Tony’s life and his crimes. The series tends to jump back and forth between the two timelines and you won’t have difficulty in distinguishing them. Each episode of Murder in the Hills ends with a cliffhanger that will make you watch the next. However, when you do get to the next episode, the middle portion starts to lag.
As the story comes towards its conclusion, Murder in the Hills drags out more. Doesn’t mean that you won’t be intrigued to know who actually committed the crime, but still, it’s very stretched out. There is one whole episode that we probably could’ve done away with.
Murder in the Hills’s cinematography is excellent though. Darjeeling looks absolutely beautiful and you’ll fall in love with the hill station all over again. The quaint town with its misty roads is a beauty to behold. Everything (and everyone) looks stunning and the production quality is excellent. That, however, is kind of expected from SVF’s Hoichoi. The background music, too, is pretty great and goes well with the scenes of Darjeeling.
The acting throughout is pretty great. Arjun Chakrabarty, Sandipta Sen and Anindita Bose are especially great. But the others, too, are good with their characters. Their performances are believable and relatable to the situation at hand. The guy who plays the young Tony, however, is goofy at best and his heavy voice does not sit well with the actor who plays him.
There isn’t much blood or guts in Murder in the Hills. There’s one part where brain matter gets splattered, but that looks too goofy. Most deaths occur off-screen, so people who are especially squeamish can breathe a sigh of relief.
Summing up: Murder in the Hills
Murder in the Hills had it all – the story, the performances and the production value. However, it seriously lags due to its glacial pacing. There are bursts of energy and intrigue at the beginning and end of each episode, but when it comes to the middle it’s very slow. There are scenes that are entirely unrequired or unnecessarily long. The series could’ve seriously done wonders had it been 5 or 6 episodes long.
Oh, and at the end, it’s the usual suspects. When you find out who, you’d probably not be surprised. It really brings down the experience.
Murder in the Hills is streaming on Hoichoi.
Also Read: Zee5’s 14 Phere Review: A No-Brainer