Park Your Deamons in the Dark
In the misty town of Manali, ACP* Ashwini Dixit (Kay Kay Menon) attempts to solve a series of mysterious murders happening in a single night, which might be connected to the nightclub, Vodka Diaries.
*ACP: Assistant Commissioner of Police
Genre: Suspense, Thriller
Director: Kushal Srivastava
Writer: Vaibhav Bajpai, Manisha Korde, Sachin Vinod Modi, Kushal Srivastava
Cast: Kay Kay Menon, Mandira Bedi, Raima Sen, Sharib Hashmi
Vodka Diaries – Review
Lately, I have been in the mood to watch some thrillers so this Sunday I had some time to kill and decided to go out for a movie. I had two choices, ‘My Birthday Song’ starring Sanjay Suri and ‘Vodka Diaries’. I enjoyed the trailer of ‘My Birthday Song’ more in comparison of ‘Vodka Diaries’ but eventually charisma of Kay Kay Menon won me over and that is how I am writing a review for this movie rather than ‘My Birthday Song’ (My apologies Sanjay Suri).
To be more specific I was more in the mood to watch a psychological thriller than a crime thriller/murder mystery. Despite the synopsis of this movie suggesting it to be along the lines of the latter but actually turned out to be the former.
The movie begins rather slowly with quite a lot cheesy exchanges between ACP and his wife. However, once the important events begin, it picks up the pace.
I liked the length of the movie, not too long compared to its counterparts. It runs for just under 2 hours. Apart from the beginning which was a bit tedious, I felt the rest of the movie was quite well-paced. In fact, I lost track of time while watching it which clearly is an important benchmark for any good movie. Additional perk (at least for me) was that the movie was sans all the usual Bollywood tropes.
Despite liking the movie in its entirety, I can’t help but nit-pick on the several negatives that I found in the movie. A huge negative was right at the beginning of the film. A scene happened to give away the entire climax of the movie. I could immediately predict what would be the result. However, the movie managed to redeem itself and recover quite well. But, once the bodies started falling the mood quickly changed. At this moment I was under the impression that maybe I was wrong and what I thought was gonna happen, won’t happen. As the ACP dug deeper into these murders my interest piqued proportionally! The movie was absolutely gripping around the intermission. I was definitely overjoyed that the suspense was not broken by the movie’s initial predictability.
However, as the final quarter approached the movie began to falter and began losing its grip. Everything became obvious again. The earlier feeling of knowing the climax came back to haunt me and finally by the end of it I could clearly say “I knew it! I told ya!” Obviously, this meant that the ending was not very suspense filled and it also felt rushed. Compared to the build-up, the ending was, quite frankly, lame. I was left with a great dissatisfaction. Even though the ending was lame, if it was tweaked a little more than the movie could have been much better!
Then there were some cringe-worthy dialogues but I will let those pass because let’s not forget, that this is still a Bollywood movie and every type of cinema has its own characteristics which won’t change overnight. But their efforts to incorporate some humour in some serious scenes were pitiable. If the timing would have been better, then the moviemakers would have nailed the dry humour arena.
Background score is pretty good in a sequence, other than that it being quite generic for a thriller movie. Though the song ‘Sakhi Ri’ (Ustad Rashid Khan & Rekha Bhardwaj) at the end is quite good!
Visually, it is very good. There are a couple of brilliant shots and overall quite a lot of eye-pleasing sceneries and cinematography.
I feel that Kay Kay Menon has not given his best but he is still great as ACP Ashwini Dixit. In my opinion, he is one of the severely underrated actors in Bollywood. His powerful on-screen presence, charisma and versatility make him one of the finest actors in Bollywood. He defines the term ‘actor’ and differentiates it from the term ‘star’. Even though he is in the same basket as actors like Irrfan Khan, Manoj Bajpayee, Randeep Hooda, I feel that he never got the attention he deserves.
Rest of the cast has delivered nothing praiseworthy. Mandira Bedi is good in her brief role. Raima Sen looks static whenever she appeared on-screen.
Despite the very disappointing end but I still like ‘Vodka Diaries’ as a film. I enjoyed it for the most part. Due to my busy schedule, I am not too familiar with recent stuff as I don’t get time to watch the latest movies as much as I did before, I enjoyed Vodka Diaries and felt it was worth my time. Having said that I liked how it felt quite different from the usual Bollywood movies. It was very disappointing to see that no one is paying attention to this movie because of lack of the star-power or masala content. A newly released movie, on a Sunday and there were literally 9 other people in the cinema-hall…including two staff members. I felt disappointed at the lack of focus that this movie is receiving.
Have you seen ‘Vodka Diaries’? If yes, what do you think about this movie? If not, does it sound interesting to you? Comment below!