Language : Hindi/Tamil
Director : Sriram Raghavan
Writers : Frédéric Dard, Sriram Raghavan, Arijit Biswas, Anukriti Pandey, Pooja Ladha Surti
Cast : Katrina Kaif, Vijay Sethupathi, Radhika Apte, Tinnu Anand, Pari Sharma, Vinay Pathak
Genre : Drama | Thriller
Streaming in Theatres near you
In review is the Hindi Version of the film. Spoilers ahead!
Sriram Raghavan’s latest work tells a peculiar love story between two oddballs in his usual neo-noir, black comedy set-up. It’s a slow burner that wants its audience to invest in the characters before diving into the typical Sriram Raghavan territory. The casting is spot on with Vijay Sethupathy playing an affable soul who is bound to leave you moved by the end of it. Katrina Kaif gives one of her best performances in a character that’s hard to gauge for most of the runtime. Together, they keep the film lively and take it a notch higher towards the business end.
Sriram has stuck to his signature filmmaking tropes that are filled with homages and references to yesteryear films. The music and artwork play an integral role in the narrative rather than being just auxiliary aids. These factors coupled with the Hitchcockian vibe that he treats us to, result in Merry Christmas being an absorbing piece of art that warrants your attention.
Now, for a Sriram flick, the twists and turns are pretty low-key here and the shared similarities with The Devotion of Suspect X, apart from the French novel Le Monte charge that it’s adapted from, sort of diminishes the whole excitement. But what works here is the treatment that surprisingly underplays the twists, and exploits the character equations (between Albert and Maria). So if you can buy into that core structure of the film, Merry Christmas is bound to leave you satisfied. If you’re signing up for it expecting another Andhadhun, you may get a bit disappointed.
Verdict: 5/7 stars
The first film of Director Sriram Raghavan made and shot in two different versions with common lead pair but different actors. Made in both Hindi and Tamil, the film is in a way first bilingual film of Raghavan’s career as filmmaker.
Sriram Raghavan plays a perfect tribute to his fav crime thriller movie Jewel thief by using the same background music in few of the important scenes of the movie Rishi Vij.
So far the only Sriram Raghavan film that took longest time to release much after its production is almost finished. In many interviews post release he talked about the main reason of Covid years. Raghavan’s last film ‘Andhadhun’ released in 2018 and this one is 2024; showing five years long gap between two films.
Yash Chopra’s cult songless Rajesh Khanna-Nanda starrer thriller ‘Ittefaq’ is surely one of the reference point for Director Sriram Raghavan as there’s heightened suspense and unusual chemistry between two lead pair sparing a night together in unusual circumstances in both films. He pointed this to many post film release promotional interviews.
The film is dedicated to Shakti Samanta, the maverick who gave some classic romantic drama starting Rajesh Khanna. Shocking screaming Asha Parekh frame prior to dedicated credit belongs to Samantha’s superhit ‘Kati Patang’.
Vijay Sethupathi’s first lead role in Hindi film as a hero.