I love trailers like these - they show you bits and pieces of the film to entice you, and give nothing away about the plot. Add Naseeruddin Shah to the mix and a quick text saying "by the producers of A Wednesday" and I'm sold.
The trailer also made me want to guess the theme. Is it a thriller or a drama that involves emotions of a person who has suffered a great loss? Is it a revenge story? What hell is going to break loose?
Interestingly, there don't seem to be too many songs. That is always a plus, especially if it is a movie with a serious tone. Yes, John Day does seem like a grim one, doesn't it?
- meeta, a part of the audience
Parental pressure, business-politics-underworld nexus, child sex abuse and of course, love and revenge are the many themes John Day wants to talk about. It turns out that none of them is expressed with any conviction. Not that I am asking for long lectures or powerful drama, just an engaging tale would do.
John Day, like the trailers promise, starts off with very fine suspense. Three-four threads run parallel and keep you guessing. The connection is elusive, yet not so out of reach that you lose interest. It all blends in together well too. But, along the way, the various themes John Day tries to reach out to become one too many for its own good.
Also, it takes itself way too seriously. Sure, any humor would feel completely out-of-place, the grim texture of the film makes it out to be much more important than it really is. The story doesn't really warrant a film over two hours.
Not like it's a surprise, it is Naseeruddin Shah's performance that keeps the audience going. Yet, with a character that has barely any shades there is only so much he can do. Fortunately, he does get able support from Randeep Hooda who broods all too well. The downer, of course, is we've seen Naseeruddin Shah do so much better and Randeep Hooda do the nasty bit already. I actually liked Vipin sharma's performance too. Elena Kazan though stuck out like a sore thumb.
In fact, the entire romantic track between her character and Randeep's lengthened the film way more than their chemistry warranted. On the other hand, the give and take between Naseeruddin Shah and Randeep Hooda too is hazy. The dots don't connect. If you are interested enough to, that is.
There are a few pretty gory scenes which seem like they are exist more to shock than to add inherent value. Similarly, the themes of child sex abuse and parental pressure seem to be forced in rather than blending in.
It is a boon then, that there are no song and dance routines added to the mix. But, the background score did seem a little confused between horror and thriller. Besides the decent performances the cinematography and a few cynically witty lines are your meager takeaways from John Day.
The need to be thrilled shall have to wait for the next one that claims to be a thriller.
- meeta, a part of the audience
Thumbs up, by Taran Adarsh, Bollywood Hungama : ...On the whole, JOHN DAY is a razor-sharp thriller with an engaging screenplay, high-voltage drama and sterling performances as its aces. A film like JOHN DAY is a leap in the right direction. It reinforces your faith and trust in qualitative films and deserves to be supported. Strongly recommended... full review
So-So, by Rachit Gupta, Filmfare : ...John Day is a half-baked effort with sporadic moments of brilliance and leaves you with an aftertaste of what could have been. See it strictly for its performances.... full review
So-So, by Stutee Ghosh, Planet Bollywood : ...While John Day makes a brave attempt at trying to break free from hackneyed Bollywood concepts and treatments that stubbornly refuse to grow up into something more dynamic it still is a half hearted effort. Go for it if you must but with very low expectations... full review
So-So, by Moumita Bhattacharjee, Star Blockbuster : ... If you are a Naseeruddin Shah fan, watch the movie even though it is nowhere close to A Wednesday (2008), made by one of the same producers. But don’t blame him for that. A film is a team effort; you can’t expect even a legend like Naseer to shoulder the film alone.... full review
Thumbs down, by Deepa Gahlot, cinemaah : ...Naseeruddin Shah lends his usual acting muscle to a part that doesn’t deserve it, but Randeep Hooda with his grimaces, twitches and slow drawl is a major irritant. John Day tries to be gritty and noir-ish, but just ends up tedious. The only plus point being, no songs and no item number.... full review
Thumbs down, by Mihir Fadnavis, FirstPost : ...Imagine I Saw the Devil with the fun stripped out, or The Horseman without actual choice, characters, or consequences. That is what John Day is.... full review
Thumbs down, by Mohar Basu, koimoi : ...The thrilling story goes haywire as the screenplay fails to cement its fiber. A few dialogues are aplomb but the frustrating show is so exhausting that you might spare yourself this horror film.... full review
Thumbs down, by Shubha Shetty-Saha, MiD DAY : ...The film, deliberately or otherwise, has been given a morose, humourless feel to it. The motive must be to make it dark and edgy but it soon turns out to be nothing but a dull and tedious affair... full review
Thumbs down, by Karan Anshuman, Mumbai Mirror : ...John Day claims to be an "edge of the seat thriller" on its poster. Considering the makers didn't set out to make one in the first place, one wonders how convinced they were about their own effort... full review
Thumbs down, by Mansha Rastogi, Now Running.com : ...Despite potentially appearing to be a great, racy thriller, John Day ends up being a yawn-fest you just want to get over with. Wouldn't miss a thing if you skip this one. ... full review
Thumbs down, by Sonia Chopra, Sify Movies : ...Despite that, the film remains an average thriller. The fundamental plot doesn’t have meat, but the performances and a few gripping moments get you by. ... full review
Thumbs down, by Karan Anshuman, Times of India : ...John Day claims to be an "edge of the seat thriller" on its poster. Considering the makers didn't set out to make one in the first place, one wonders how convinced they were about their own effort... full review
Yugalkishore: Nice movie.. #john Day
YASHRAJ38: the most fantastic with ironic and thrill..the movie "john day" @RandeepHooda
Vijaynarain: Watched John Day. Pretty decent movie.
usmanpal: Watched John Day today. A good movie. I like deep roles played by Naseerudin Shah. He's a fine actor. Do watch it.
Tutejajoginder: John Day has a very interesting story and deserves an audience for itself, even if niche
sapratibha: Watched John Day as the SINGLE viewer in an Inox auditorium. A never before experience. Great movie.
SaojiTadka: Y'day saw John Day. It was just 65 mins long. Most unique, for a Bollywood film. brilliantly acted on screen by Nasiruddin shah....
PrasadPankar: WEDNESDAY..... and now JOHN DAY... what a movie... jus my kind (y)
me_zahir: Duniya ka Sab se khatarnak jaanwar insab Hota hai!!!! John day Must watch this movie awesome performance by naseer sir and randeep
mani7akshay: JOHN DAY - ONE EPIC MOVIE
hyzaidi: Overall, however, John Day, from the producers of A Wednesday, is worth a watch if you're not the squeamish sort.
HighOnCinema: REVIEW: @JohnDayOfficial A definite 8/10 and we came out quite impressed. The review > http://highoncinema.com/2013/09/13/review-john-day/ @RandeepHooda
DTCinemasLtd: JOHN DAY , the movie is based on the themes related to crime and vengeance. A must watch for the thriller lovers. http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=724481377567330&l=8e67b9da2a
dedhpase: John Day... Not a bad watch at all...
cyrilgupta: Saw John Day last night. A classic example of the film-noir genre. The film was so removed from the typical... https://www.facebook.com/cyrilgupta/posts/10151584066931567
aadrika_agarwal: John Day turns out to be a good thriller! - http://www.bolegaindia.com/gossips/John_Day_turns_out_to_be_a_good_thriller-gid-34594-gc-6.html
tbkdotcom: John Day scores 3 out of 5 in The Bollywood Khans Critics Score Board #JohnDay #NaseeruddinShah #RandeepHooda
priyaguptatimes: TOI rates John Day 2.5 stars...#johnday
vinit_taneja: Saw John Day. Regretted selecting it over other options. Thought Nasiruddin Shah would only act in good movies.... https://www.facebook.com/vinit.taneja/posts/10151861315885944
skodithala: John Day. Half done. Meh.
siddtalks: John Day koi Manna Dey nahi hai ki aap enjoy kar sakein
sidchandekar: John Day baghitla...thike na mag...chukla maza...kay karu ata.
Shahinanjum: Watched John Day and the movie didn't had any specific ending! #Confused
sd_iflex: 'John Day' is blood,gore and slang infested. No wonder I could not wait for the movie to end. Badly disappointed!
sachinchatte: John Day was disappointing- It's graph was like a parabola, it went up, up till interval and then down, down down.
ronyd: John day ko jaan de.
rjanup: Mirchi Bioscope -JOHN DAY -1/5 Mirchis -Rj Anup 2 pm to 5 pm at Total Filmy on Radio Mirchi UAE... https://soundcloud.com/rj-anup/mirchi-bioscope-john-day-1-5
Pseudoped: John day could have been made into a better movie
NaviVupp: Last night I saw John Day. Just 2/5. Wasted talent by director.
NaveenAmola: If you have not watched John Day yet. Good. Don't even watch it
KumarLuv: John Day. Definitely different from you average Bollywood offering. But not better. Some good acting and lines. But boring affair,
im_rahultomar: grand masti is shit absolute rubbish n john day is really bad copy of a spanish movie.... randip huda pls learn how to act
Has2BFilmy: Another Disappointing DAY for Bollywood! #JohnDay fails - http://has2bfilmy.com/john-day-movie-review-a-bloody-bad-day/
bajajfilms: Saw JOHN DAY yesterday in Panjim. Disappointed.
Azuly_Nel: So. John Day. 'Yaar point kya tha?' kinda movie. Uff.
This page has additional observations, other than the ones noted in the main review.