Nawazuddin Siddiqui: I spent a lot of time trying to make my skin fairer

Ahead of the release of Raat Akeli Hai, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Radhika Apte, and debutant director Honey Trehan talk about smaller films and OTT releases, fixation with fairness, mental health and more

Our cinema theatres are notorious for their lack of quiet, and while this makes them tremendous spaces of revelry during screenings of mass cinema, genre-loyal films like the upcoming Raat Akeli Hai, a whodunit that focusses a lot on mood and atmosphere, often suffer. For this reason, I was glad to have caught an advance screening of this film on television. Radhika Apte, who plays a murder suspect and a victim of patriarchy in the film, agrees. “This audience noise is a definite problem in our theatres for sure,” she says. “I always watch films in theatres in a country like England. At interval, our theatres also play that music, you know, and I never understand why.”

Radhika, whose identity has now become inextricably linked with Netflix, rolls her eyes when I point out the good-natured memes about her association with the OTT platform. “Personally, I want to admit that yes, I share a great relationship with Netflix. Thank god for OTT, right?” she asks. “They have levelled the field for films. Big films often hog the theatres leaving small films scrambling for a few screens. But here, in OTT platforms, your visibility is dependent on the quality of your work.”

And it is the relentless quality that Honey Trehan pursues with Raat Akeli Hai, inspired by the very many whodunits he grew up savouring. “I love Vijay Anand films and Agatha Christie novels. Hitchcock is a favourite too. In recent times, I loved David Fincher’s Gone Girl. I guess I have always been fond of the thriller genre, and with Raat Akeli Hai, we have made a noir film. That’s why you see a lot of darkness. The colour black allows for fascinating visual experiments—like you can mix it up with elements like rain and fire to some great visual results,” he says.

(Continued in below link)

For the remainder of this column (and there’s a lot more left, I assure you), visit

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s