wogma rating: Watch when on TV/online (?)
A two-hour long exposition, the climax of which you know in the first frame - given that, it wasn't all bad. You can see the sincere effort in trying to keep us interested in the events. Unfortunately, the effort is not successful because of this irrepressible urge to be stylish and muck around with the timeline in the narrative.Read more
Playing around with the timeline is cool and must be fun too when you are making a film. It stands out as different and keeps the audience alert. But NOT when the price you pay is holes in the main plot. When that happens non-linear narration take away a lot from the film, instead of adding value. And that is exactly what happens in Monica. In his effort to keep us thinking, director, Sushen Bhatnagar forgets to give us some key events in the story. The ones that could have gotten us more interested in the characters and feel for them.
The only emotion I feel for Monica Jaitley, is "maybe, she deserved it." Which would be fine if I thought Sushen Bhatnagar wanted us to feel that way. But, the way her case is put forth by her parents' lawyer, it looks like Sushen wanted sympathy from us. I felt a little sorry for the small-town girl, Monica who is under her husband's shadow; maybe she has talent, but she doesn't quite believe she is good for anything. I would have been proud of the confident, enigmatic person she changes into, if I knew what brought about the change. If I am not a part of that transformation, it just comes across as a mere convenient jump for the storywriter.
The film also refuses to answer other important questions. What is the big deal about becoming a "special correspondent"? Can one "special correspondent" really cause any sort-of damage to a powerful politician - a politician who doesn't need to say who he wants out of his way, people around him just know? Why and how did the mass population get interested in justice for Monica?
And these are only unanswered questions. There is a whole different list of logical loopholes. A sample - Why is the judge humoring a lawyer who is going on and on with irrelevant conjectures? I got tired of him, didn't the judge? Sure he keeps saying it is relevant, but not once, are you told how.
Fortunately, though it is not all bad. I liked the bits where Monica is confronting her fears. Divya Dutta gives an extremely strong performance. I'm sure the actor had to completely drain herself out for some of the scenes. If for nothing else, I'd watch this film because it gives an actor who has always played side roles, a chance at carrying the film. And she does, to whatever extent the writing allows her. Beyond that it is the writer's failure.
The writer also should've given the other characters a chance too. They are all pretty one-dimensional and don't get you involved one bit. Two characters who really deserved more and had actors to carry them off too - Monica's loser husband, Raj (Rajit Kapoor) and the menace-cum-gentleman politician (Ashutosh Rana). Raj gets marred by some theatrical acting (not that the actor can't do anything else) and the politician is left half-baked.
It's sad that a project that has interesting characters, a compelling story couldn't become a watch-worthy film. The culprits being - the details in the writing and a failed attempt at stylized execution.
- meeta, a part of the audience
So-So, by Shubhra Gupta, indian express : ...‘Monica’ has the intention, and a couple of effective performances, ( it’s good to see Ashutosh Rana after such a gap), but doesn’t keep up with its execution. ... full review
Thumbs down, by Rony D'costa, Desi Martini : ...Even if politics interests you and you are starving to go to theatres please stay at home because this Monica darling is a good subject gone wrong.... full review
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