Johnny is promoted to the board of directors on the occasion of the company’s 50th anniversary. But the event turns out to be a curse as a series of murders of the company’s employees begins to shake the company and Johnny’s position is jeopardized.
The first hour is too itchy to the comical aesthetics as the development of the story doesn’t really settle that much. I felt the film tried to be way too funny. The direction wasn’t compelling to tone the real feel of the sudden crime scenes that should have depressed the whole foundation of the company. Maybe dark humor would have suited the script.
I really took a shine to observe some classic references. When Monica waits on the street, the motel behind her is named ‘Bates Motel‘. Hitchcock fans know where this comes from. When Johnny’s sister calls to him, the board behind her mentions the names of many famous filmmakers. Johnny’s fiancee Nikki talks about her cousin and clearly says the words ‘My Cousin Vinny‘ which is a famous film starring Marisa Tomei and Joe Pesci.
Director Vasan Bala thanked Sriram Raghavan at the beginning of the film. And if you notice, there are moments of Raghavan references too. Rajkummar’s character is Johnny and Johnny Gaddaar is one of his most memorable films. When Johnny faces the cobra, Johnny Gaddar is played on television. The name of the bank from where ACP Naidu comes out is called ‘Bank of Badlapur‘. A Bollywood film giving interesting easter eggs deserves compliments.
Although the musical score went stereotypical in giving tribute to the 1970s and have listened to that score countless times. But I must praise the song compositions that were tuned to that era and didn’t look fake. And the selection of singers who mimicked the old timers so accurately. For a moment, I actually thought if Asha Bhosle was singing Bye Bye Adios. My favorite track was ‘Farsh Pe Khade’ because that track reminded me of Hemant Kumar‘s voice and Shankar Jaikishan‘s music. And Hemant Kumar is my favorite Bollywood singer so that touched me.
Although, the musical score and songs were all tribute to that era and excellently done by Achint Thakkar. But I gave a thought if composing generational songs is so likely to happen with quite an authenticity, why cannot the musicians tune in and make such music more often?
I felt a murder mystery with dark humor could have been more compelling than what I watched in Monica, O My Darling. Someone like Sriram Raghavan, Abhinay Deo, or Abhishek Chaubey would have executed this story superbly.
A talented casting of Rajkummar Rao, Huma Qureshi, and Radhika Apte was all fair in their roles. Monica, O My Darling is a fiction that serves its purpose of presenting a comedy thriller in a different way.
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