Mona Darling: Movie Review
Starring Anshuman Jha, Divya Menon, Suzanna Mukherjee, SanjaySuri
Directed by Shashi Sudigala
There is something sinister at work here. The plot takes us on a rollercoaster ride through the lives of two contrasting girls on a college campus, a flighty impish girl who sings Aaj kal paon zameen par nahin padte mere , played by an Urmila Matondkar lookalike named Suzanna Mukherjee, and the other a more serious shy girl played with serenity by Divya Menon, who just can’t go out and tell a guy she likes him.
Menon is joined by nerdy, apparently super-brainy comp-geek Wiki(as in Pedia) played by the talented Anushman Jha who anchors a lot of the films’s blood and other spills with his quietly informed presence.
How the lives of these two whimsical woman come together in the same environment and given a classic horror situation,is a part of the eerie design of this film which is interesting because it seems so original. Though one never knows it may be filched from a Korean or a Singhalese film.
Mona Darling starts with multiple murders on a rainy night , and then explodes into a number of storytelling strands that don’t always work or come together at the end. What worked for me is the spikiness of Mona ‘Darling” who tells a shiny spurned lover, “Your best was quick and small.”
Wish there were more such engaging moments of rude awakening . Regrettably the plot moves off into tangent. From being a plot about a woman who takes spooky revenge for being MMS shamed, the film turns into a saga of mass murders and life preservation played out at by an inexcusably dense editing pattern which makes the back-and-forth between past and present seem like a game of roulette.
We never know when we encounter blanks. But once in a while the narrative springs a shock that jolts us. Mona Darling is filled with flawed characters doing foolish things. But it does have its dose of chilling moments, enough of them to keep us watching till the end.