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FILM REVIEW: Monica O My Darling

Unmissable twisted thriller Cast: Rajkummar Rao, Huma S Qureshi, Sikander Kher, Akansha Ranjan Kapoor, Shiva Rindani, Vijay Kenkre and Rad...

Unmissable twisted thriller

Cast: Rajkummar Rao, Huma S Qureshi, Sikander Kher, Akansha Ranjan Kapoor, Shiva Rindani, Vijay Kenkre and Radhika Apte

Rating: 3.5*

Streaming on: Netflix

The moment you get into the first scene of the film you can feel it’s a typical Sriram Raghavan film. He has been credited in ‘Special Thanks’ possibly because of his involvement with this project during its conceptualization. There are so many references (read Johnny Gaddaar, Psycho, Jewel Thief and the retro songs) that you can't help but think that it is a Sriram Raghavan film. But don’t take anything away from director Vasan Bala (an exquisite Mard Ko Dard Nahi Hota). Kudos to his sheer brilliance for revamping the Japanese mystery novel, ‘Burutasu No Shinzou’ by Keigo Higashini into a thriller that will keep viewers hooked till the very end.

Helping him is the music by Achint Thakkar’s retro take (especially the title song and the cult Pancham classic Monica O My Darling from Caravan) which takes the film a notch or two higher. You can easily feel the sense of déjà vu that will hit you in the end.

The film starts with a murder in the Unicorn factory which builds robots. Cut to Jayant Arkhedar (a brilliant Rajkummar Rao) getting to be a 4% partner in the company for his building of a state-of-the-art robot to the utter dismay of some of the others. The head of Unicorn group Satyanarayan Adhikari (an underplaying Vijay Kenkre) is so pleased with Jayant that he also acknowledges his daughter Nikki’s (a fine Akansha Rajan Kapoor) love for Jayant. But Adhikari’s son Nishikant (a dynamic Sikander Kher in a cameo) thinks that Jayant will usurp the company. Although Jayant is dating Nikki he has a fling with a fellow employee Monica Machado (awesome Huma S Qureshi). One day Monica says that she is pregnant with Jayant’s child. Jayant is scared and agrees to pay for the maintenance for both her and the child. The next day he receives a letter from an unknown person asking him to come to Hotel Amar in Khandala. On reaching there he finds that even Arvind (an impressive Bagavathi Perumal) from the accounts department is there and that Nishikant had written the letter. In fact, Monica is blackmailing all three of them. They plan to murder Monica.

Radhika Apte as ACP Naidu, despite having limited screen time, eases into her comic avatar effortlessly. It was good to see Shiva Rindani after a long time. There are a few cameo appearances - Radhika Madan and Abhimanyu Dassani as well. Don’t miss Gulshan Devaiah as the voiceover of the expert in snakes. The snakes too play a very important part in the film. The end leaves you stunned and wanting for more.

This twisted thriller should NOT be missed.


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