• Friday, April 12, 2024

Reviews

‘Merry Christmas’ review: Film adaptation of French novel is filled with twists

MERRY CHRISTMAS

By: Anjali Mehta

SUPER-HIT black comedy crime thriller Andhadhun is a perfect illustration of why it’s a challenging task to review a film from Sriram Raghavan without giving away any spoilers. That is because the ace writer and director always incorporates surprises and twists into his storylines. With that in mind, it’s best to know as little as possible about the plot of his delightful new offering, Merry Christmas, before watching it. The movie was recently released in cinemas and will be available on streaming site Netflix in the weeks ahead.

In the late 1980s, a grieving Albert (Vijay Sethupathi) returns to Bombay, as it was known then, on Christmas eve and meets Maria (Katrina Kaif), who has a mute daughter. They soon bond and start to slowly get to know each other. Then, a surprise incident leads them both down an unexpected path.

Made simultaneously in Hindi and Tamil, the Indian film adaptation of the classic novel Le Monte-Charge by French writer Frederic Dard has plenty to offer. From a unique storyline to solid performances, surprises, atmospheric music and great camera work, Merry Christmas is a feast for all the senses. The forward-thinking director builds a gripping movie around a great script and adds plenty of subtle hints for audiences to follow before rolling towards a gripping climax.

Although they seemed to be mismatched on paper, the two lead stars from decidedly different cinematic backgrounds bounce off each other well and add an extra layer with their onscreen chemistry. There is also a nice nostalgic element in the melting point of surprises from a filmmaker who carries on doing things differently. Although it doesn’t match up to the brilliance of Andhadhun and is perhaps around 20 minutes too long, Merry Christmas will inevitably find itself on the list of the finest Indian films released this year.

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