Monica, O My Darling movie review: Wild and Wicked
What: Monica, O My Darling - Wild and Wicked Cocktail of twists and turns
OTT movie Monica, O My Darling synopsis
A bright robotic scientist, Jaykant( Ramkummar Rao) finds himself entangled in a cobweb when his passionate affair with his boss's secretary, Monica threatens to ruin his career when she gets pregnant.
Reluctantly joining hands with two his office allies, one of who is his soon-to-turn brother in law( Nishi, played by Sikandar Kher), in a devious and perfect plan to kill Monica, he sees his world getting crushed when their plan goes unexpectedly awry.
What follows is a series of baffling murders and Jay is thrown into the deadly snake and ladder game of survival, where he can be potentially the next target!
There is a lyrical quality to the world of noire that Vasan Bala creates in his films. Music amps up the intrigue and slow-mo shots are in abundantly. We saw that in his previous outing, Mard ko Dard Nahin Hota. Were the action was eulogized. It was in plenty, to the extent of exhausting you and the protagonists but it never looked gory.
In Monica O My Darling, he conjures a deliciously dark and notoriously twisted plot with writer Yogesh Chandekar, who adapted it from the novel, " Burutasu No Shinzou". The title bears a pop culture reference to the evergreen song from Caravan (1971), filmed on the ethereal queen of cabaret, Helen!
Bala peppers this struggle of survival with a uniquely created retro themed music( 'Yeh Ek Zindagi Kaafi nahin' brilliantly crooned with peppy beats by Anupama Chakraborty) and solid, crackling performances.
Ramkummar Rao again nails his part playing an unimaginably complex and unconventionally grey character. He is vulnerable, anxious and a common man in an extraordinary scenario. That's what make us thoroughly invested in him despite the greedy and diabolic nature of his instincts.
Huma Qureshi oozes sensuality and seduction from each pore of her being. She is fierce, feisty and a disarming firebrand. Monica had no qualms about leveraging her sexuality to climb up the corporate ladder or earn favours. There is zilch space for integrity or morality as far as her intentions are concerned.
My excitement had no control in one particular sequence where she engages with Rao in a whacky, life-threatening brawl. Only the two could pull off the quirky and wild scene with such elan.
I wish there was more to Radhika Apte's investigating cop beyond her wicked laugh. But with the limited screen presence, Apte makes the most of her acting prowess, exuding confidence.
Except some shaky portions which reek of Bala's self indulgence, Monica works as a notoriously intoxicating and wildly fascinating thriller, with its beats similar to one of the best in that genre, Andhandun. Bala embraces the spirit of the OG, Sriram Raghavan. I also noticed a vote of thanks to the infinitely talented director during the opening credits.
I go with 3.5 stars out of 5 for Monica O My Darling. The 2 hour 10 minute film is streaming on Netflix.