‘Monica, O My Darling’ Movie Review: Entertaining with superb performances, unexpected twists

‘Monica, O My Darling’ Movie Review

‘Monica, O My Darling,’ Netflix’s latest Hindi language neo-noir crime comedy thriller, is a very twisted yet refreshing narrative of average folks being lured to commit crimes in order to make it big in their career. Nonetheless, in the lead-up to the perfect murder, the drama keeps us guessing with unexpected twists and outstanding performances.

Directed by Vasan Bala, the film is adapted from Keigo Higashino’s 1989 Japanese novel Burutasu No Shinzou, and stars some of the finest actors of Bollywood (Hindi film industry), including Rajkummar Rao, Huma Qureshi, Sikandar Kher, and Sukant Goel.

Story

‘Monica, O My Darling’ covers several characters but is centered on a robotics engineer named Jayant Arkhedkar (Rajkummar Rao) who is now the most trusted and so promoted to the Unicorn empire’s board of directors by company founder Satyanarayan Adhikari (Vijay Kenkre). This, however, irritates some, especially Satyanarayan’s only son, Nishikant. Satyanarayan’s daughter Nikki, on the other hand, is madly in love with Jayant, even though he merely wants to exploit her to take over the Unicorn business.

In all these relationship equations, comes the key member Monica Machado (Huma S Qureshi) works at Unicorn and is in a secret relationship with Jayant. Soon after he gets into the company’s board, Monica informs him that she is pregnant with his child and hence must pay for both her and the child’s maintenance. Jayant has no other option but to agree. Next in the story, we see him receiving an anonymous message that he must go to a location if he doesn’t wish his affair with Monica to be revealed.

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There is more to the story that makes ‘Monica, O My Darling’ an engaging experience.

Review

‘Monica, O My Darling’ is an intriguing suspense thriller that builds up nicely in the first half. It features a well-written storyline, and the usage of retro music complements the plot and adds excitement. The title of the film is borrowed from the popular song from Nasir Hussain’s Caravan (1971), which gives the film an entirely new flavor.

The film kicks up in the second half with too many events packed with twists and turns that keep the audience involved throughout, despite being too pacy at points. There are multiple murders, but the screenplay and directing negotiate the situation quite wisely and with just the appropriate amount of humor. While there are too many characters in the play, and everyone has a backstory, Vasan Bala’s direction gives everyone ample room while avoiding overdramatic moments.

Performance-wise, ‘Monica, O My Darling’ is great with some of the finest actors. Rajkummar Rao is in fine form and plays a major role in style. Huma S Qureshi leaves a lasting impression with one of her most impressive performances. Radhika Apte as the cop gets minimal screen time and a challenging role. But she does it with ease, and her comic timing is impeccable.

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Definitely, there are a few loose ends that we wish could have been better, including the character played by Sukant Goel whose motive to murder seems illogical. Moreover, how is murdering people so easy? While we get intrigued about the mysterious killer in the first half, we feel less for the whole revelation in a typical whodunit thriller in the second half. Overall, ‘Monica, O My Darling’ shines because of the superb performances, crisp storyline, and unexpected twists.

Title: Monica, O My Darling
Director: Vasan Bala
Cast: Huma Qureshi, Rajkummar Rao, Sikandar Kher, Radhika Apte, Akansha Ranjan Kapoor, Bagavathi Perumal, Sukant Goel
Screenplay by Yogesh Chandekar
Based on Burutasu No Shinzou by Keigo Higashino
Cinematography: Swapnil S. Sonawane, Sukesh Viswanath
Music by Achint Thakkar
Release date: November 11, 2022 (Netflix)
Country/Language: India/Hindi

Related Post: Monica O My Darling | A Neo-noir Murder Mystery Streams on Netflix

Where to watch Monica, O My Darling (2022)
A full-time movie geek and part time e-learning professional. He loves to read, write and discuss in length about cinema and the art of filmmaking.

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