60%Overall Score

Streaming on Zee5

Shivaji Surathkal directed by Akash Srivatsa takes us back to the age of the classical whodunit-an eerie resort, suspicious guests, a mysterious death and a maverick cop. Veteran actor Ramesh Aravind plays Shivaji Surathkal, a police officer with an eccentric but hugely effective work ethic who is called into a puzzling crime scene in a secluded resort where the victim, the son of the state Home Minister is found dead. As Shivaji takes over the investigation, he is haunted at every step by incidents from his own traumatic past.

A pacy narrative drives the film

Right from the outset, the film dives straight into the fulcrum of the plot and creates a sense of unease and tension. There are many moments that make you jump out of your skin and credit for that should go to the authentic picturization and the background score that complement the pulse of the film. There is a big ensemble supportive cast of interesting characters who are all pivotal to the narrative. The twists and reveals are also well written and provide some surprises. The film follows a logical path to a believable conclusion.

The story lacks subtlety

It is evident that Ramesh Aravind has based his character on the famous detecting skills of Sherlock Holmes or Hercule Poirot. But the actor misses a beat as he overplays his oddity physically and verbally a bit too much. Stories of this nature work well when less is said and more is seen. Instead, the director elaborates and explains every nuance which leaves little to the audience’s interpretation. The film would have worked much better with more finesse in storytelling


Shivaji Surathkal is an interesting thriller that keeps one engaged and invested from start to finish. A good watch, especially if you are a fan of whodunits.

Director: Akash Srivatsa
Cast: Ramesh Aravind, Radhika Narayan, Arohi Narayan, Raghu Ramanakoppa
Language: Kannada
Streaming on: Zee 5