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Monica Review

Review by IndiaGlitz [ Saturday, March 26, 2011 • Hindi ]
Monica Review
Divya Dutta,Ashutosh Rana,Dadhi Pandey,Tinu Anand,Rajit Kapoor,Kittu Gidwani,Yashpal Sharma,Kunika,Saurabh Dubey,Ashish Kapoor
Sushen Bhatnagar

Director Sushen Bhatnagar has earlier made a film called 'Soch' (Danny Denzongpa, Arbaaz Khan, Sanjay Kapoor, Raveena Tandon) [2002] which was again a dramatic thriller and had it's moments for most part of it. Now around a decade later with 'Monica', he has taken a big step ahead.

To begin with though, you don't have many expectations from 'Monica'. Reason being that there is absolutely nothing known about the film at all. Worse, since its promotion has been zilch, you do end up believing if the makers too thought that it wasn't worthy enough to spend any amount prior to release.

However, the perception about 'Monica' completely changes within 10 minutes of the film's beginning. Even better, the storyline is absolutely original which means you can't really guess what next would be on the anvil.

Based on a real life political turmoil that had shook the nation a few years back when a top politician was embroiled in a telecom scam and a young female journalist was murdered, 'Monica' doesn't take names but exposes the nexus between politicians (Ashutosh Rana), media (Divya Dutta, Tinnu Anand), power brokers (Dadhi Pandey) and industrialists (Kittu Gidwani). In fact so smart has been this depiction that despite a similar theme being exposed in dozens of other films, the going-ons in 'Monica' stay on to be top notch which keep you glued on to the screen. To add to this, there is a brilliant culmination around this nexus when it is depicted on a black board and a piece of chalk by a competent lawyer (Yashpal Sharma) who wants to expose the reason behind the murder at all cost.

To keep the narrative engrossing, most of the first half of the film is set as a court room drama. The film opens with the murder of Monica and then goes into a flashback mode around what could possibly have happened. This is where director Sushen Bhatnagar plays a smart game where he brings in elements of facts and fiction and intersperses layers of assumptions/perceptions into it to come up with a cohesive narrative.

There are places in the film though where things become a little confusing. Since there is constant movement between present times and flashback, at times one tends to loose track of beginning of one scene and ending of another. Also, there is constant to and from between locations and time due to which one has to be very attentive about the proceedings. Even the story comes with it's own complexity and since audience is used to seeing a linear narrative, at times one looses track of who is siding whom as well as the perception around right or wrong. Nothing wrong with Sushen's intent though; however if only the narrative was kept a little simpler at least, it would have made 'Monica' a far comfortable watch.

Nevertheless, leading these factors aside, the fact remains that 'Monica' is a film that entertains and keeps you staring at the screen with eyes wide open for most of it's duration. Credit for that should go to able direction, unpredictable storyline, smart dialogues (which have liberal use of expletives - all in English) and top notch acts by Divya Dutta and Ashutosh Rana. Really, these two actors are the pillars of the film and make you wonder why are they not seen on the big screen more often. They deserve that for sure.

Even supporting cast does full justice to their parts with Yashpal Sharma leading the pack with a serious positive role, Dadhi Pandey impressing with his cool menacing act, Kittu Gidwani at her seductress best with Tinnu Anand being reliable as always.

First thing that strikes you about 'Monica' is the fact that it isn't really a B grade affair that you were dreading all this while. In fact the initial reels remind you of films like 'Seher' and 'Satta', not from the genre or setting perspective but treatment. This is one of those medium budget films where focus is on drama more than any technical wizardry and this is where the win of 'Monica' lies.

Go watch it, you won't be disappointed.

Rating: ***

Rating: 0 / 5.0

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