It is after a long time that jazz wizardry is unleashed as a binding element and the mode of continuity and soul of R D Burman would be mightily pleased that one of his iconic songs is now the title of a film.
MONICA O MY DARLING is a film that unleashes the prowess of Huma Qureshi as an actor par excellence who can carry a film on her shoulders with panache. As a follow up of MAHARANI-2, Huma Qureshi has underlined the seamless manner in which she can slip into roles of characters and make a success out of it.
Mounted on the platform of a noir film, MONICA O MY DARLING is a fast-paced thriller which has the potential to captivate the audience and keep them riveted till the end of the movie. While Raj Kumar Rao is the main hero, the film rides more on the acting prowess and chutzpah of Huma Qureshi and Radhika Apte. As a matter of fact, Radhika Apte seems to be slipping into the role of a police wala with relative ease, after enactment of the role in FORENSIC.
Here Radhika Apte has taken the role of the Police Inspector to a new high with a rustic humour in a desi Marathi style which adds to her character.
Directed by Vasan Bala, MOMD is an adaptation from the 1989 Japanese novel ‘Burutasu No Shinzou by Keigo Higashino’. Manga Comics and Manga genre seems to have become flavour of the season and its adoption as a subject matter by the new wave of directors like Vasan Bala is providing a much needed novelty into the content that would warm the cockles of the heart of the fans who have somehow developed a sense of ennui about the content being delivered mainstream by Hindi cinema off-late.
After a really long time, Huma Qureshi seems to be fitting into the slot that a Parveen Babi or a Zeenat Aman had carved for themselves, and which could not be filled up for a long time. Huma Qureshi seems to be filling it up and directors should provide her more meatier roles.
An important aspect that MOMD has highlighted is, that as the world is moving and becoming more and more dependent on technology, the role of coding would be the discerning factor against tampering of resources, and it would be easier to pick up any deviations or manipulations of the system for ulterior motives. THE TAKEOVER a Dutch film released on Netflix in October 2022 has dwelt on this genre in detail, while MOMD has made a passing reference to it, but subtly has underlined that through the codes of a programme it is always now an easy task to pick up a hacker who has resorted to unethical means with the code. After all, the saying in the world of codes is that- CODE NEVER LIES and MOMD has used this template to capture the villain who otherwise was looming in the horizon but could not be identified.
A surprise package of MOMD is the role of Sikandar Kher and underlining the role he has been given special credit in the film which has happened for a negative character in cinema after a long time. It is more like how it used to happen with Pran where in the credit he always was acknowledged as – AND PRAN, Though the role for Sikandar Kher is small, he has left an impact.
All in all, MOMD is a paisa vasool in all senses of words.
Movie: Monica, O My Darling
Director: Vasan Bala
Cast: Rajkummar Rao, Huma Qureshi, Radhika Apte, Sikandar Kher, Akansha Ranjan Kapoor, Bagavathi Perumal, Vijay Kenkare, Sukant Goel, Zayn Marie Khan, Shiva Rindani, Shiv Chauhan, Faisal Rashid, Radhika Madan, Abhimanyu Dassani.
Duration: 129 Mins