Wednesday, June 19, 2024
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Merry Christmas Movie Review: MERRY CHRISTMAS is well made and laced with a fine performance.

MERRY CHRISTMAS is the story of two strangers and their unforgettable adventure. In the late 80s, Albert (Vijay Sethupathi) returns to his home in Bombay after several years on Christmas Eve. His mother passed away a year ago and he’s devastated over the loss. He goes out to have a drink. At a restobar, he meets Maria (Katrina Kaif) and her mute daughter, Annie (Pari Maheshwari Sharma). Albert and Maria start talking and soon, Maria invites him home. She reveals that her husband Jerome (Luke Kenny) is cheating on her. Albert, meanwhile, opens up about his dead girlfriend Rosie (Radhika Apte). Maria puts Annie to sleep and goes out with Albert. When they return, they get the shock of their lives. And this is just the beginning of many twists and turns that await them.

MERRY CHRISTMAS is based on the book ‘Le Monte-Charge’ by Frédéric Dard. Sriram Raghavan, Arijit Biswas, Pooja Ladha Surti and Anukriti Pandey’s story is unconventional and gripping. Sriram Raghavan, Arijit Biswas, Pooja Ladha Surti and Anukriti Pandey’s screenplay is captivating and after a point, doesn’t let your attention wander even for a second. But the writing stretches at some parts. Sriram Raghavan, Arijit Biswas, Pooja Ladha Surti and Anukriti Pandey’s dialogues are sharp and witty, especially the ones mouthed by Vijay Sethupathi.

Sriram Raghavan’s direction is bravura. The filmmaker’s distinct execution style and trademark stamp are visible from start to finish, be it in the film’s vintage aspects, music and of course, in the twists and turns. Also, this time he gives an out-of-the-box experience as he uses the slow burn technique. As a result, nothing shocking happens until a few minutes before the intermission. Post-interval, the film goes on a high as too many amusing and thrilling developments occur. From here on, the audience will be completely on the edge of their seats. The climax is unexpected.

On the flipside, the film might test the patience of the audience in the first half, especially in the first 15 minutes. Ideally, the run time should have been two hours. The ending is a bit abrupt and it might not be acceptable to some of the moviegoers. Lastly, the film has a niche appeal and is not meant for the mass audience.

Speaking of performances, it’s a Vijay Sethupathi show without a shred of doubt. The actor, with his deadpan expressions and dry sense of humour, takes the cake. Only he could have pulled this role off so smoothly. Katrina Kaif also puts her best foot forward and delivers a stupendous performance. Certain scenes were challenging but she manages to deliver a convincing act. Sanjay Kapoor (Ronnie Fernandes) is entertaining. Vinay Pathak (Paresh Kamdar) is rocking, though he has limited screen time. Tinnu Anand (Albert’s uncle) and Pratima Kannan (Lakshmi; cop) leave a huge mark. Ashwini Kalsekar (Scarlett) is there for just a scene and is memorable. Pari Maheshwari Sharma is cute. Luke Kenny and Radhika Apte are fair in cameo appearances.

Merry Christmas – Hindi Trailer | Vijay Sethupathi | Katrina Kaif | Sriram Raghavan | Ramesh Taurani

Pritam’s music is well-woven into the narrative. The title track and ‘Raat Akeli Thi’ are the best of the lot. ‘Nazar Teri’ and ‘Dil Ki Mez Pe’ are just okay. Daniel B George’s background score enhances the impact, especially in the climax.

Madhu Neelakandan’s cinematography is topnotch. Mayur Sharma’s production design is realistic yet appealing. The same applies to Anaita Shroff Adajania and Sabina Halder’s costumes. Hira Yadav and Sunil Rodrigues’ action is devoid of gore and is minimal. Pooja Ladha Surti’s editing could have been sharper.

On the whole, MERRY CHRISTMAS is a well-made thriller and is laced with a fine performance by Vijay Sethupathi. At the box office, it’ll need a strong word of mouth to succeed as it appeals only to the multiplex audience in the urban areas.

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