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Maria (Katrina Kaif) is a bored housewife residing in Colaba, who’s pressured to make merry on Christmas within the firm of her younger daughter, who’s mute, as her husband is engaged elsewhere. She meets a stranger, Albert (Vijay Sethupathi) by probability. He is an architect who has returned from Dubai after a spell. They watch a film collectively, then he walks her dwelling. They’ve a drink or two, then she walks him dwelling, the place they dance. Earlier than issues can get extra intimate, she backs off. He nonetheless, walks her again dwelling, solely to seek out the lifeless physique of her husband. He virtually runs off then, leaving her to fend for herself. Issues take a flip when he sees her fainting in a church after some time. She’s helped by a great Samaritan (Sanjay Kapoor) and Albert additionally tags alongside. The identical issues occur, solely there is not any physique within the condo. An intrigued Albert sticks round, and what follows is a set of twists and turns that are weirder than he may have imagined.

The movie relies on the French novel Le Monte-charge, written by Frederick Dard. A movie, directed by Marcel Bluwal, based mostly on the guide, and carrying the identical title, was launched in 1962. It is mainly a two character psychological drama, a form of cat and mouse recreation between the 2 leads. The opposite characters do matter, however they solely enter the fray in the course of the second half. Who they’re and what they do can be a spoiler. The complicated screenplay flows at its personal tempo. One can say that the movie is a gradual burner. However do not let the shortage of tempo idiot you. Take your eyes off and also you would possibly miss a vital level. It’ll be a type of movies which you need to watch a second time simply to savour the main points extra.

The taut screenplay is complemented by some witty dialogue. When requested what he desires to drink, Albert says something fermented, besides dosa batter, can be fantastic. The modifying and camerawork, sound design and background rating too are on level. The movie pays homage to Shakti Samanta however the actual homage is to Alfred Hitchcock. Hear intently, and the background rating appears like a medley of what RD Burman used to ship in his prime. Composer Pritam and lyricist Varun Grover have mixed to provide songs that are christmassy and hummable on the similar time. Mumbai residents would have a great time recognizing acquainted Colaba landmarks.

Director Sriram Raghavan took a daring threat casting Katrina Kaif and Vijay Sethupathi collectively. Whereas Sethupathi is understood for his knockout performances, Katrina is understood extra for her merchandise numbers than her appearing chops. In Zero, Aanand L Rai took the identical gamble and it paid off. And right here, maybe in her first full-fledged dramatic position, Katrina has proven she will be able to stand and ship, given she will get a reliable director who respects her expertise and does not simply see her as a PYT. Vijay Sethupathi offers one other strong efficiency. He is understated throughput, graciously letting his feminine co-star hog the limelight. Your coronary heart goes out to him all the identical. And on the finish, the place he does not use dialogue however his eyes, his expressions say all of it, is a masterclass in appearing. All of the pathos of the second is felt and not using a phrase being spoken.

The opposite gamers, be they Radhika Apte, Vinay Pathak or Sanjay Kapoor, all have executed their jobs competently.

It is a noir movie however not like noir movies, apart from the darkness of the soul, it additionally showcases the triumph of human spirit and compassion – one thing that is intrinsic to Christmas. It is a darkish comedy that can make you smile and scratch your head on the similar time.

Trailer : Merry Christmas

TNN, January 12, 2024, 1:36 AM IST

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Merry Christmas Film Synopsis: The lives of a lady in an sad marriage and a person with a mysterious previous are turned the wrong way up on Christmas Eve.

Merry Christmas Film Assessment: Within the coming days, one phrase that’s certain to be related to Merry Christmas is ‘gradual burn’. Up to now few years, we, as an viewers, have grow to be so accustomed to a fast-paced narrative that something remotely unhurried feels prefer it’s demanding rather a lot from us. In Merry Christmas, Sriram Raghavan takes his personal candy time to inform the story of a lady in an sad marriage and a person with a mysterious previous whereas additionally ensuring that his characters have considerable time to breathe, speak, and even go for a stroll round city.
In fact, comparisons between Merry Christmas and Sriram’s final directorial, Andhadhun, are inevitable. But when Andhadhun’s first half was one hell of a trip with a monumental interval block, Merry Christmas chooses to lingeringly unleash its internal demon within the second half. Do the whys and wherefores of all of it seamlessly come collectively on the finish of the movie? Perhaps not. But it surely actually retains you hooked to the display all through, even at junctures the place you might have completely no clue what’s happening.

Vijay Sethupathi and Katrina Kaif’s pairing has already been mentioned to dying, however after watching the movie, it is sensible why everybody has been wanting ahead to watching this onscreen couple. There’s a way of subtleness and a spur-of-the-moment really feel about Vijay that immediately contrasts with a exact and complicated Katrina. However each actors radiate a mild aura that works nicely collectively.

Pretty much as good as Vijay and Katrina are of their respective roles, Ashwini Kalsekar and Shanmugarajan get the most effective strains that can go away you in splits. Each of their characters might be added to the listing of supporting characters that deserve their very own spinoff.

In a scene within the movie, one character tells one other that there’s no level in watching a film with out popcorn. Equally, there’s no level in watching a Sriram Raghavan film with out anticipating sporadic flashbacks, movie references, fully out-there characters, and an edge-of-the-seat expertise. All of that is additionally relevant for Merry Christmas, however in a quieter and lighter trend.

Written by: Roopa Radhakrishnan