Verdict: Bypass Road takes you on a bumpy but thrilling ride full of twists and turns.

When it comes to directorial debuts, Naman Nitin Mukesh takes the easy road with a story written by his brother Neil Nitin Mukesh. A popular actor in Bollywood whose performances far exceed his choice of films, Neil himself makes his screenwriting debut with Bypass Road – a thrilling murder mystery. He has written the story and screenplay as well as stars in the film, alongside Shama Sikander and Adah Sharma.

What’s Bypass Road About:

Vikram Kapoor (Neil Nitin Mukesh) is the owner of a fashion label, where Sarah Braganza (Shama Sikander) works as a top model. On the night Sara allegedly commits suicide, Vikram meets with a near-fatal accident, which leaves him paralyzed below his waist. As Sarah’s real cause of death goes under investigation, the police – led by Inspector Roy (Manish Chaudhary) – believes that it could be a planned murder and connected to Vikram’s accident. It is also revealed that the two had an affair, which was discovered by Sarah’s hot-headed fiancé Jimmy (Taher Shabbir). Jimmy has been on the run ever since Sarah’s death and once Vikram is back from the hospital, he is being stalked by a masked man. Vikram believes he could be in danger but there are too many players in this game who all have one motive – to kill Vikram.

What Works:

With Bypass Road, you’re in for a thrilling ride. Neil Nitin Mukesh’s makes a decent debut as a writer with a script that has enough suspense to keep you hooked throughout. The first half of the film focuses on the aftermath of Sarah’s death with flashbacks that raise many suspicions about the reasons behind her apparent suicide. The second half is a cat-and-mouse chase between Neil’s Vikram and the masked man, where the two are trapped in a house and Vikram has only his wits to help him escape. This portion definitely keeps you at the edge of your seat as you eagerly await the identity of the killer. Like most action thrillers, the climax completely throws you off and only if you’re a fan of the genre will you see the twist in the end coming.

While this could just be the beginning of his writing career, Neil has always been an exemplary performer. In Bypass Road, he looks comfortable in his role and gets enough opportunity to showcase his skills in the second half of the film. Adah Sharma, who plays his love interest Radhika, hardly features in the film, as does Shama Sikander, whose appearances are limited to a few flashback scenes. Rajit Kapur and Gul Panag, however, are fairly convincing in their roles as Vikram’s doting father and distant step-mother. Taher Shabbir and Sudhanshu Pandey make formidable rivals to Vikram while Manish Chaudhary’s performance is only second best to Neil in the film.

What Could’ve Been Better:

The biggest issue with action thrillers in Bollywood is that they’re well written but poorly executed. Bypass Road also falls prey to this trope, only that its script is also clunky, to begin with. There are many plot holes and some unnecessary additions that make the film far from flawless. Vikram’s animosity towards his step-mother, his negligence of Sarah and sudden attraction towards Radhika seem to happen out of the blue. Another random inclusion is the songs that could have been placed better or completely done away with. The film should have also refrained from the ‘Me Too’ dialogue that was casually thrown in, since it’s a touchy topic in Bollywood and can hurt sentiments. Lastly, the “gay fashion designer” caricature needs to be done away with, stat.

Why You Should Watch:

Bypass Road may be a bumpy ride but it’s got enough suspense to keep you hooked. Watch it for the thrills and to find out if you can guess the identity of the masked man before the climax.

Watch what audiences had to say about Bypass Road below.