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Home Movies Reviews ‘Monica, O My Darling’ Netflix Movie Review - A Darling Whodunit

‘Monica, O My Darling’ Netflix Movie Review - A Darling Whodunit

The movie follows a slick robotics expert, who joins a murderous plot after a passionate affair takes a sudden turn, but nothing, not even death is what it seems to be

Vikas Yadav - Fri, 11 Nov 2022 14:43:34 +0000 2700 Views
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Vasan Bala's Monica, O My Darling opens with a woman bathed in darkness. She lights a lamp, and we see her face. She is Shalu (Zayn Marie Khan), and she is going to be a very important character in the film. But Monica, O My Darling is a clever movie. It hides crucial clues in the background to distract us. The key to the mystery is handed to us in bits and pieces. This is why during the revelations, you initially react with surprise and then slowly smile because some earlier scene or dialogue would cross your mind.


The movie is a game of snakes and ladders, but it's not just the characters who are players. Even the audience is played like a fiddle. There are moments when we feel smart, and there are moments when the movie seems to be three steps ahead of us. As an audience, it's in our nature to try to be smarter than a whodunit. We desperately piece our own clues and nab the criminals before the detectives. A bad whodunit always remains behind us. The good ones shock us. The best ones, however, keep toying with our expectations and manage to deceive us. The main reason Monica, O My Darling works (and comes in the last category) is because it moves with a lively rhythm. Something always keeps happening to the characters, giving us little to no time to beat the film.


But a busy film does not necessarily mean a good film. Some movies move with a breathless pace only to leave the audience huffing and puffing but without feeling. Thankfully, Monica, O My Darling is not all bark and no bite. It's funny but not ridiculous, serious but not overly dramatic. The perfect example of this can be found in the scene where Jayant (Rajkummar Rao) fights with Monica (Huma Qureshi). The fight takes place in a baby's room, which makes sense as the two of them wrestle like kids. Before the beginning of the fight, Jayant is pushed into the cradle, and at the end of this scene, he cries and asks for forgiveness while Monica hugs and calms him down as if he were, well, a baby.


The movie has a delicious macabre sense of humor. A character's imagination of Monica committing murder is imbued with whimsy. The scene where Monica's murder is planned by three guys is so playfully dramatic (lights are cut off, and candles are lighted) that you laugh at it. The movie seems to be poking fun at itself, but these self-deprecating jokes never feel cheap. In fact, it feels like you are joking and having a good time with your friends over a drink. Again, this does not mean Monica, O My Darling is lazy or was made by a group of friends simply to have a good time on the sets. If you have watched Mard Ko Dard Nahin Hota, you will know that Bala has a great affection for movies, especially old Bollywood films. His love is evident in every frame, and Monica, O My Darling sparkles with his admiration for the cinematic medium.


There is one more way to praise Monica, O My Darling. I can just list out the jokes that were a highlight for me. That will be a long list and could require a description of certain scenes. And I believe you should watch this movie blind without reading anything about it. Let's just say that something as small as the name of a naag specialist (Nagesh) in the scene where a character scales down a building works effectively. I am not a fan of the villains-revealing-their-motives-through-exposition technique, but the movie compensates for this underwhelming scene by hitting us with more surprises. Monica, O My Darling is a darling film.


Final Score- [8/10]
Reviewed by - Vikas Yadav
Follow @vikasonorous on Twitter
Publisher at Midgard Times

 

 

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