Dark comedy Monica, O My Darling is a delectable offering; less ghastly and more delicious, but no less insightful : The Tribune India

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Dark comedy Monica, O My Darling is a delectable offering; less ghastly and more delicious, but no less insightful

(3/5)
Dark comedy Monica, O My Darling is a delectable offering; less ghastly and more delicious, but no less insightful



Film: Monica, O My Darling

Director: Vasan Bala

Cast: Rajkummar Rao, Huma Qureshi, Radhika Apte, Sikandar Kher, Akansha Ranjan Kapoor, Bagavathi Perumal, Sukant Goel as Gaurav More, Zayn Marie Khan and Shiva Rindani

Nonika Singh

Remember the yesteryear song Monica, Oh My Darling from the movie Caravan, which caught our imagination like few songs have? Well, the same seductive song not only becomes the title of Vasan Bala’s quirky film, but expectedly one of the central characters here is the voluptuous Monica (Huma Qureshi sizzles as femme fatale). Rare is a film that opens with a murder and follows up with a few more yet more than having you on tenterhooks, it makes you chuckle.

Behold the world of neo-noir crime. Based on Japanese novel Burutasu No Shinzou by Keigo Higashino, this slice of dark comedy is a delectable offering — less ghastly and more delicious, but no less insightful.

Sure, death is serious business. But this tale of robotics engineer Jayant Arkhedkar (Rajkummar Rao) caught up in boardroom politics and bedroom manoeuvring tickles your funny bone. He is no saint of course but a social climber and can certainly walk over a dead body, even knock someone dead to achieve his goals. Rao does full justice to this grey character driven by ambition and greed. Of course, he is not alone in the world of acquisitiveness and self preservation. He has company in this company called Unicorn. Thus, he along with two others Nishikant Adhikari (Sikandar Kher is wickedly funny as the son of the owner of Unicorn) and Arvind Manivannan (Bagavathi Perumal) plan and plot a murder of sexy secretary, who else but Monica!

Reason: she is blackmailing all three of them. Clearly a woman with such gall is not going to die any time soon. Who dies and who has committed the murder is not exactly the stuff Sherlock Holmes murder mystery is made of. Your guess is as good as mine and you can easily unlock the guessing game.

Still the twists and turns make for some engaging and zany fare. Aided by some peppy songs with music by Achint Thakkar and lyrics by Varun Gover, the tone remains flippant and entertaining of course. Nothing is what it appears to be. Neither the head of Unicorn group nor the cop played with playful glee by Radhika Apte. As ACP Vijayashanti Naidu, she keeps telling Jayant, ‘kahani ko itna tight kyon pakad ke rakha hai thoda dheela chodo.’

Director Bala of course does the impossible; the storyline is tight and gripping enough to have all your attention yet he gives both his story and characters long enough rope to swing from one end to another in a joyful ride. And we love the end which is at once open-ended and metamorphical. Even otherwise this is no linear tale but one that comes in waves of intrigue and entertainment. Lust, greed, corporate manipulations even class differences, all lurk in the corners but do not override the fun element.

Packed with many a tongue-in-cheek innuendo, intelligent references to other films, sharp writing and proficient performances, the film is worth your time.

(Streaming on Netflix)