I liked this movie more than I thought I would! I was all set for dark-dark-dark, and then surprise! Character development! For once, our hero isn’t just perfect from the start. Also, really surprising developments all through, which means this review will be kind of short because I have to save the good stuff for the SPOILER review.
In Indian film, there are usually only two kinds of police officers. One is the perfect-perfect-perfect hero, brave and confident and able to win every fight. The other is the evil-evil-evil corrupt villain, no care for anyone, ready to kill and torture and threaten and whatever. Okay, occasionally you get someone a bit in between, like Ranveer in Simmba, willing to take a bribe and go along with crooks, but still confident and brave and good in a fight and ultimately with a firm moral compass. But this movie is not like that, our hero Nawazuddin is insecure and not always brave and not always sure of himself. Until he gets into this strange case that turns everything upside down and makes him forget himself in a desire to help other people. So interesting!
Of course with a hero like that, as you would expect our heroine is also all weird and grey area. This is a film noir, right? The biggest home of the virgin/vamp divide, our hero is tempted by the nightclub singer but remains faithful to the good society heiress/secretary/whoever. But in this case, Radhike plays a woman who keeps zipping between those two extremes, Nawazuddin can’t pin her down between the two and neither can the audience. It’s great.
There’s a nice mystery at the center of the film, laid out in a nice way where all the pieces slowly start fitting together. But alongside it is the little journey of our central character towards self-actualization. Thank goodness, because this mystery is really really hard to follow and I kind of gave up on it. If that was all this movie had going for it, I would ahve been bored. Luckily, if the mystery doesn’t float your boat, the characters are there for you instead.
Really, this is a film noir I think a lot of you might like. A non-toxic masculinity hero, an interesting heroine, minimal violence onscreen, a mystery you can just ignore and look for the characters instead, lots of good stuff.
It is still film noir style though, so no songs, no big fun costumes, none of that spectacle and fantasy stuff. Sorry! You have to go somewhere else for that. But if you want good story, good characters, and good performance, this is your best bet.