A Facebook friend request from a missing girl is linked to sudden deaths in this college campus. The police are befuddled by it and the missing girl’s best friend tries to get to the bottom of this with help from her geeky pal.
Set in contemporary ‘cyber world’, Mona_Darling is among the new breed of movies that tries to bank on the popularity of social media and the huge part it plays in our lives. However, it fails to be anything more than a stereotype of similar movies that have been around the subject, both in Bollywood and Hollywood.
Set in a hostel campus, Mona_Darling starts the exercise in stereotyping from the word go, as a bunch of drunk college students ham up about a friend request they get on social media from the college hottie, Mona (Suzanna Mukherjee). The guys, who look like they need a good bath, are chewed up and the police are called to investigate the mysterious deaths. A parallel investigation is undertaken by Mona’s best friend Sarah (Divya Menon) who ropes in the socially awkward, stereotypical, fruit-munching geek named Wiki (Anshuman Jha). College Dean Chaturvedi (Sanjay Suri) too helps in the search as more as more deaths occur. However, when Mona herself is found dead and the friend request still don’t cease, the story goes into horror territory as it tries to keep you guessing whether it’s a ghost or human who has done the deed. More stereotypes occur in the form of MMS scandals, creepy librarians and so on.
As far as thrillers are concerned, some essential elements are a tight story, an unexpected twist and a couple of nice frights. In this one, all three are missing. There are only about four or five good, hearty frights and the first half is painfully slow in establishing the mystery. The only reason to watch the second half is to know who is killing everyone; a ghost, the internet or are you merely being taken on a ride. A saving grace is the twist, which is so weak that one can spot it fairly early in the second half and just wait to be proven right. Its conclusion is decent, but until then almost two, unentertaining hours have elapsed. Shot stylishly, this movie is high on style and low on substance.
The only effort that Anshuman Jha, who was acclaimed for his role in Love Sex Aur Dhokha does, is to look young and recite gibberish medical terms. Suzanna Mukherjee shows promise and has a decent screen presence while Divya Menon too is convincing as the troubled friend.
Go for it if you're a fan of horror films. Else, it's totally missable.