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Times of India
TO SHOOT OR NOT TO SHOOT: THAT IS THE QUESTION
A rookie cop joins the crime branch of the Mumbai police department, and on his first assignment is faced with the dilemma of whether he should shoot a murder suspect who is attempting to escape or not.
Debutant director Amit Kumar's crime drama, Monsoon Shootout rests more on style than substance. The story hinges on how a decision made in a split-second by Adi, a cop (Vijay Varma), when he comes face-to-face with a murder suspect, Shiva (Nawazuddin Siddiqui), can change the course of not only his life but also that of the suspect.
Adi wrestles with the idea of whether to follow the right path, the wrong path or the middle path in life. However, when he is faced with the moment of truth, he also realises that life doesn't give one the chance to ponder over the repercussions of one's actions. In fact, what is also compelling about the story is how it throws light on the compromises involved, irrespective of the moral aspect of the cop's decisions and actions.
While the idea hooks the viewer, what fails the film is its execution. Three different versions of the narrative play out based on the varying decisions made by the protagonist and end up frustrating and fatiguing the viewer. The screenplay must have sounded good on paper but when translated on screen, it lacks a definitive sharpness.
The cinematography is top notch and the manner in which the city of Mumbai is invested with a visceral quality is one of the film's high points. Vijay Varma makes a fairly assured debut in a lead role and Nawazuddin Siddiqui plays evil with a smirk and elan. Since the actors reprise their roles thrice over, they often don't have enough screen time to flesh out their characters adequately.
Perhaps, this film makes for a one-time watch, if you are in the mood to indulge in a narrative that's not run-of-the-mill.
Our overall critics rating is not an average of the sub score below.