By Martin D’Souza | Opening Doorz Editorial | January 19, 2018
Rating: 3 / 5
The essence: Vodka Diaries has suspense, intrigue and deceit. It also has performances that are true to character. Moreover, it never overshoots it stay on screen and has a plot that is executed with grandeur.
A script like this can often be lost in translation but debutant director Kushal Shrivastav displays the gumption of a veteran to pull off an amazing plot, right out of the mind! Five murders, all cleverly planned. Within the day, the victims are back to living their lives! ACP Ashwini Deshmukh (Kay Kay Menon) is in a fix.
It is indeed a ‘beautiful mind’!
As Ashwini goes about investigating the murders, he realizes his own wife Shikha (Mandira Bedi) goes missing. Relying heavily on his assistant, Ankit (Sharib Hashmi), Ashwini doubles up as investigating officer as well as going after his wife’s kidnappers. What’s calming to know is that Shikha, who loves to write her own poetry, is safe. The kidnapper, who is also the killer, leads him on a trail that will ultimately unravel the truth and his ‘beautiful mind’!
There are three key players that make this plot successful: writer Vaibhav Bajpai, Shrivastav and Kay Kay. Bajpai has a winner on his hand with his deceptive plot. Layered writing of this sort is hard to bring alive in characters on screen, but director Shrivastav fleshes out the plot to a nicety. Kay Kay Menon goes into the mind of the writer and hands himself to the creativity of the director to go through a maze to crack the code.
As the movie, a little under 120 minutes, climaxes, you feel like you have had one Vodka too many!
The snow-capped pathways of Manali are captured beautifully. Ditto the jigsaw that takes Kay Kay on a spin. Mandira Bedi, seen in a feature film after long, underplays her character throughout, to only open up towards the end. Raima Sen does justice to her talent keeping a firm grip on her character that has lighter shades of grey. Sharib Hashmi though loud at times, does leave his mark.
Vodka Diaries has suspense, intrigue and deceit. It also has performances that are true to character. Moreover, it never overshoots its stay on screen and has a plot that is executed with grandeur.
It’s worth a one-time watch, if suspense is what you are looking for.
Producer: Vishal Karkera
Director: Kushal Shrivastav
Star Cast: Kay Kay Menon, Raima Sen, Mandira Bedi