Great Story, Gone Haywire

‘Mona Darling’ movie review  by G9 Divya Solgama

Expectations:

Our Hindi films have been highly obsessed with additional tag names in their film titles. Well, earlier it used to be a simple definition of the title, for e.g – ‘Tezaab’ is acid. But, later the names and its tag names started sounding funny in films like -–’Daag – The Fire’, ‘Aan – Men At Work’, ‘Jaani Dushman – Ek Anokhi Kahani’, ‘Rush – If You Stop.. You Die’, ‘Tashan – The Ishtyle? The Goodluck? The Pharmoola’, ‘The Train: Some Lines Should Never Be Crossed’ and many more. The filmmakers kept addition additional tag lines to make their films, sound more interesting and the recent example is of ‘Mona Darling’ – India’s first social media thriller. The additional tag line has managed to create a decent amount of curiosity related to the film. So, let’s find out whether ‘Mona Darling’ will manage to match up to the tall claims or will end up being one of those films where the tag lines have nothing to do with the film and its title.

Mona-Darling-Movie-PosterStory:

Mona Darling’ starts with unnatural deaths of few youngsters in a college campus. At the same time Mona Raheja (Suzanna Mukherjee) is missing from the college campus and her best friend Sarah (Divya Menon) gets desperate to find her. Sarah seeks help from a fellow student Wiki (Anshuman Jha), who is known for his fine computer skills. Together, Sarah and Wiki find a pattern between the campus murders and missing of Mona. They also find a fake Facebook profile of Mona, which keeps sending friend request to everyone on the campus. What’s the secret behind this fake Facebook profile and everything which has been going around in the college campus is what the entire film is all about.

Screenplay & Technical Details:

The story on paper is highly interesting and something different than what we have seen in this genre. The movie also starts on the right note, which helps to set the right base. After which the dragging screenplay ruins the fun. The entire first half goes on a snail pace, trying to establish the main plot. It hardly picks up its pace in the second half and lead towards a trashy type of ending, which could have been presented in much dignified manner. The makers try hard to create the curiosity factor, but fails miserably. Everything seems forced and abruptly placed in the film. There are few unwanted tracks which could have been omitted from the film. The suspense part is predictable, but at the same time has an interesting plot attached to it. A better screenplay would have definitely done proper justice to the interesting story idea of the film. One can also find a mild connection to the international film ‘Friend Request’. There is not even a single scary scene or even a mild shocker in the movie. Everything is slow and dragging. The thriller part is highly missing and is more of a wait and watch type of drama, where one does expect to see some drastic change happening in the screenplay. The cinematography is fine and the makers have chosen to play with the low lighting matching up with the mood of the film. 

Music:

The solo dance song is unwanted and is added only to add glamour quotient in the movie. The background music is jarring at times. 

Direction:

Director Shashi Sudigala comes up with an interesting concept, but fails to execute it in the right manner. The treatment is outdated and boring. The whole purpose of the film is diluted due to forced inquisitiveness in the film. An experienced film maker would have done wonders with this story idea.

Performances:

Anshuman Jha is average and acts only with one type of expression in the film. Divya Menon is decent, but lacks the screen presence. Suzanna Mukherjee is good in her part. Sanjay Suri is wasted.

Final Verdict:

On an overall basis, ‘Mona Darling’ is like a nemesising thriller which has a great story idea that gets ruined badly due to weak screenplay and lethargic direction.

Rating – 1.5/5 (Source – Bollywood Times)