Monica: A real life thriller

Writer- Director: Sushen Bhatnagar.
Cast: Divya Dutta, Ashutosh Rana, Dadhi Pandey, Tinu Anand, Kittu Gidwani, Yashpal Sharma,, Kunika.
MUMBAI: The dearth of story ideas has one solution: go for real life thrillers, scandals, especially if they involve a woman, and politicians.

Monica offers all that: dirty politics, fixers, sex and scandals. The film is woven around the real life case of journalist Shivani Bhatnagar, an ambitious small town girl who aims to make it big in her profession, whatever the cost.

What she did not consider were the consequences thus of living behind a story where, in the typical North style, everybody from police to politicians seemed hand in glove to dump her case. Her quest for the top rung brings her close to the telecom minister Ashutosh Rana and industrialist Kitu Gidwani, in the process distancing her from her husband, Rajit Kapoor, and, eventually, getting her killed.

Newspaper headlines or scandals don’t usually cut ice with the moviegoers even if some of them manage to impress critics. Monica faces two drawbacks, its star cast as well as its title. The latter does not say anything about the film or its theme. If Monica is a little watchable, it is because of its court drama and some scathing lines. The court scenes get one into the background of the case and these flashbacks become a bit too much after a time.

This is a film that should count on its artistes for performances, and on that count it has some impressive ones from its lead cast as well as supporters. Divya Dutta and Ashutosh Rana lead the pack while Rajit Kapoor is duly restrained as the role demands while Kitu Gidwani, Yashpal Sharma and Sandeep Misra do well too.

Direction is generally good, backed by good photography.

While Monica may be expected to elicit some praise and good words from the media, this under-publicised film with a vague title will not make any impact on the box office.

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