HIFF Review: ‘Monsoon Shootout’
REVIEW BY BETTY SHIMABUKURO / email@example.com
In a moment, everything changes. One decision, made in a nano-second, by a young man with a gun, reverberates throughout his world. Director Amit Kumar places his star, the rookie cop Adi (Vijay Verma), at that tipping point again and again. It is both illuminating and excruciating.
Spotlight on India
Screens at 9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 18, and 11:15 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 20, at Regal Dole Cannery Stadium 18
The moment: An alley in the pouring rain, where Adi has cornered the murderous gangster Shiva. Does he shoot?
Kumar returns Adi to that alley three times, examining his disparate choices and the fallout in both men’s lives. The twist is that while Adi is basically the same man in all the iterations, Shiva is not. Guilty? Bystander? Guilty bystander?
Verma is solid in the role of the innocent plopped into not just a single violent situation, but also the ongoing corruption of his Mumbai police department. It is Nawazuddin Siddiqui as Shiva, however, who is the lightning rod in this film, by turns brutal criminal and devoted father, wholly convincing as both.
“Monsoon Shootout” is dark, earnest and sober, with an intriguing storyline that repeatedly turns on itself. As a whole, however, the movie fails to engage. Many TV dramas do as well, without taking themselves quite so seriously.
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