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Monsoon Shootout Movie Review: A Shout-Out For This Shootout



Starring: Vijay VermaNawazuddin SiddiquiTannishtha ChatterjeeGitanjali Thapa,Farhan Mohammed Hanif Sheikh

Directed by: Amit Kumar

Rating: *** ½(3 and a  half stars)

Rain-splashed bloodied  puddles  of questioning  probing searching emotional and physical violence…Monsoon Shootout is a  curious case of a potentially routine cops-and-killer sanguinary saga given a certain fresh twist of ambivalence by writing skills that know their Dirty Harry as closely as they  know ArdhSatya.

There  is  tadka of circumstantial ambiguity,a twist of fate, if you will,  whereby a rookie cop’s rookie-rookie si zindagi gets more unscheduled excitement  on  his  first assignment than he had bargained  for.
A serial killer  is  on the prowl.And really, in how many  ways can Nawaz  be cast as the psychotic outcast? It was a hammer in hand in Raman Raghav, It’s an axe  here. The slayings are staged stylishly in the slippery monsoon of Mumbai when it’s easy for the elusive to give the pursuant the slip.

This is exactly what the narrative does on us. Like Nawaz’s  Shiva it repeatedly gives us the slip, leaving us with unanswered questions just when the  cop Adi(Vijay Verma, impressively callow and intense) corners  the killer at gunpoint. Repeatedly, and with incessant pounding at the plot’s epicenter,  the narrative takes on a what-if tangent creating a cat-and-mouse game of its own between the camera and the audience.

  It is  an  impressive performance, staged to seduce and  please  us, not always hitting bull’s eye but never losing sight of its target . There are energetic sexual encounters  involving a migrant sex worker(Sreejita De) that  convey the desperation of a city on the edge,and a populace on the prowl.

Monsoon Shootout succeeds in gripping us by our collective jowls in spite of  a certain staleness in the plot, and a stiffness in the joints of the narrative . The  camera manned by Rajiv Ravi prowls  through Mumbai’s  crowded monsoonal mayhem with emphatic energy.

The first killing is staged with ‘festive’ favour during the Ganpati visarjan.And by ‘festive’ I don’t mean just the religious observance but also international film festivals where such films make  a mark before winding down their journey to the banks of River Ganga.

 Monsoon Shootout deserves a shout-out for its authentic  view of the moral ambivalence that  a law enforcer must face during an ‘encounter’. The plot weaves into tactile, tense  but organically self-destructive situations  of doom and decay  where the voice of the conscience is drowned   in the din of  decay of  deprivation.

Some of the moral dilemma specially those involving the criminal’s  young teenaged son(interesting juvenile newcomer  Farhan Mohammad Hanif Shaikh) are disturbing to the extreme.Director Amit Kumar doesn’t hesitate from making hard choices on  behalf of his characters. Consequently  this dark blood-dimmed film leaves us with a hollow feeling in our stomachs.

Life sucks. And Monsoon Shootout doesn’t do anything to ease the pain.

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