Monica O My Darling Review: A quirky, rollercoaster ride
After the supremely entertaining ‘Mard Ko Dard Nahin Hota’, director Vasan Bala is back with another quirky genre film. ‘Monica O My Darling’, streaming on Netflix, is a neo-noir comic thriller that follows all the genre rules to the T. It is witty, well shot and neatly performed.
Adapted from the 1989 Japanese novel Burutasu No Shinzou by Keigo Higashino, ‘Monica O My Darling’ is set around a robot manufacturing company and a few of its employees. When the film begins, Jayant Arkhedkar, played by Rajkummar Rao, has been appointed to the Board of Directors, much to the anger of a few from the organisation. Jayant, who is engaged to his boss’ daughter, also has a secret affair with Monica (Huma Qureshi), the boss’ secretary. When she tells him about her pregnancy, Jayant loses it. He soon learns that he is not alone in this shitstorm. Along with some unlikely allies, they plan a perfect murder to erase Monica for once and all, but wait… It’s a dark comedy, things don’t always go as per plans.
Vasan Bala gets the neo-noir tropes right. Be it the antihero protagonist, or the ‘killer’ femme fatale, murders, conspiracies, twists, turns and even snakes. There are multiple characters, different storylines, but nothing confusing. The writing is coherent, comprehensive and compact. Rajkummar Rao and Huma Qureshi deliver solid performances, while Radhika Apte impresses in an extended cameo.
The obvious comparison for ‘Monica O My Darling’ will be ‘Andhadhun’. But even Vasan Bala might be aware that his film is not right up there with his mentor Sriram Raghavan’s classic. All said, ‘Monica…’ is still a worthy addition to the list of quality dark comedies in Indian cinema.
Direction - 8/10
Artist Performance - 9/10
Script - 7.5/10
Technical Side - 7.5/10