‘Monsoon Shootout’ review: it’s raining bullets in this familiar cops and criminals saga

An image from ‘Monsoon Shootout’.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Nawazuddin Siddiqui is a big star of the small films now and much of the hype around the eventual release of Monsoon Shootout comes riding on his slender shoulders. Ironically, he has stayed away from the film’s promotions. The core of this long-in-the-cans film (it premiered at Cannes in 2013), however, is the young actor Vijay Varma. He plays the protagonist Adi, an idealistic rookie cop, on the horns of dilemma that too on the very first day of his job. Is the man in front of him really a criminal, the axe-killer that the police has been looking for, or is he just an innocent bystander? Should he be shot or let go?

Monsoon Shootout
  • Director: Amit Kumar
  • Starring: Vijay Varma, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Tannishtha Chatterjee, Neeraj Kabi, Geetanjali Thapa
  • Run time: 92 minutes
  • Storyline: In Mumbai monsoons, a young and idealistic cop, on his first day on the job, has to decide whether to shoot an assumed criminal or not

There are three choices Adi is faced with—the right, the wrong and the one in the middle. And each of them offers the eventual danger of him being shunted to the desk job than be out there on the field. The film offers the viewers three different scenarios for how the same situation would have eventually panned out and what the outcomes would have been like. It’s this Sliding Doors kind of broader structuring, the moody, monsoon-night noirish setting and the brooding air that make the film marginally engaging. Otherwise it’s the same, much-too-familiar Mumbai of builder-slumlord-politician nexus, extortion rackets, informers, nightclubs, trigger happy cops, encounter killings and more. There’s even the cop’s mother who seems like a quintessential Bollywood Nirupa Roy archetype.

It starts off well, with the constant fear of something eerie afoot. The cast is efficient, specially Neeraj Kabi as the senior cop and Adi’s boss. But one would have ideally wanted more of him. The first chapter in the tripartite structure has Siddiqui with a fierce glint in the eye, almost as though he was testing the waters and preparing for the role of the psychotic serial killer in a forthcoming Anurag Kashyap film. Yes, one of the scenarios of Monsoon Shootout feels like a prequel or accompanying piece to Raman Raghav 2.0. Varma capably conjures up the innocence, naivete and vulnerability as well as the guilt, regrets and doubts that his character demands. He has also waited patiently for the film to find a theatrical. Now for if the patience will pay.

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Printable version | Feb 22, 2021 4:50:22 AM |

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