The rise and popularity of OTT platforms have given filmmakers a chance to experiment with their stories and take an ‘unconventional’ approach to the narrative. However, too much ‘experiment’ can spoil a project if the writing falls flat and this is the biggest flaw of Vasan Bala’s latest directorial Monica, O My Darling, which is otherwise an honest effort.
The Rajkummar Rao, Huma Quereshi and Radhika Apte starrer is a neo-noir crime comedy where the comedy is a hit and miss and the crime-thriller part of it does not invoke any suspense because you can already guess most of the twists and turns.
The story follows an ambitious middle-class man Jayant Arkhedkar (Rao) who wants to rise up in status and would consider doing a lot of things for it, including signing a ‘murder agreement.’ He is chosen as one of the board of directors in the robotics company he is working in and is also engaged with the CEO’s daughter, Niki (Akansha Ranjan Kapoor). However, we soon find out that he is also having an affair with the secretary of the office, Monica (Qureshi). But he is not the only one Monica is involved with. There are two more men from the office who are tormented by her and one of them comes up with a plan to remove her from the way. Hence, stars a crime thriller.
Now, this is a film that will either grow on you as it proceeds, or you would start getting tired of it as the story moves forward. For me, it was a guessing game of what would happen next and most of the time, I could see the twist coming from miles away. And while watching a murder mystery, the last thing one wants is to figure out what is happening next. Also, including too many surprises in a story might not always make your jaw drop if those twists and turns are not placed properly.
However, if you are patient with the film, it will impress you in certain scenes and would definitely make you giggle. The ridiculous nature of some of the characters and their dialogues will manage to make you wait till the end.
The lead cast of the film- Rajkummar Rao, Huma Qureshi and Radhika Apte are actors who directors seem to trust with nuanced roles and whom audiences expect a lot from. The actors deliver and are at times, successful at diverting us from the loose threads in the plot. Rao brings his nervous, awkward-ish charm along with a determination to solve whatever problem comes his way. Qureshi carries an aura of mystery around her but also has a vulnerable side to her which she displays every now and then. And Radhika Apte is just, well Radhika Apte. Every time she is on screen, you are sure to crack up. However, the second leads of the film are just as interesting as the lead cast. Sukant Goel, who is known for films such as Kapoor and Sons and Dobaaraa is a revelation in the film.
The music deserves a special mention for complementing the narrative well. Composer Achint Thakkar blended his 70s-sounding track with the modern era story without the songs feeling out of place or yet another remake of the classics.
All in all, Monica, Oh My Darling is an honest try and the effort the director (Vasan Bala) and writer (Yogesh Chandekar) have put in is very much visible. It is a sincere attempt at creating a dark comedy thriller and the team pulls it off to a great extent. If only, the big revelations were not so predictable.
Read all the Latest Movies News here