Anupama Chopra’s Film Review of Vodka Diaries

Director: Kushal Srivastava

Cast: Kay Kay Menon

Vodka Diaries is a film so preposterous that within a few minutes I started to feel a little embarrassed for the actors on-screen.

I felt especially bad for Kay Kay Menon – a fine actor who has done stellar work in films like PaanchBlack FridaySarkar and Haider.  But here he is cheerfully hamming perhaps because he is saddled with a role that is entirely logic-free. Vodka Diaries begins with an overhead shot of Kay Kay running, like a man possessed, through the snowy mountains of Manali. He is either being chased or chasing but there is no one else in the frame. When he reaches his destination and introduces himself as ACP Ashwini Dixit, it is night. So did the assistant commissioner run all day?

This is only one of the many WTF moments in this film. Ashwini has a loving relationship with his poetry-writing wife Shikha, played by Mandira Bedi. There are lengthy scenes of them being cute but he also has a recurring dream of someone killing his wife with a vodka bottle.  Which I have to admit is a pretty original murder weapon. There’s also a club called Vodka Diaries where multiple murders take place in one night. Raima Sen shows up at the club and starts flirting with a man who declares, and I think he’s trying to be seductive here, I kill beautiful girls.

My favourite moment – a character is found frozen to death in snow outside the club. The ACP’s assistant, played by Sharib Hashmi, says isko main bol bhi nahin sakta, freeze. This is the kind of film in which fans at a book launch, shout, I love you to the author and the rockstar author shouts back – I love you too. If only the publishing world was half as exciting.

Debutant director Kushal Srivastava, who has also written the dialogue, is trying to create a twisty suspense thriller – a la M. Night Shyamalan. But the script is riddled with football-size loopholes. What I liked best was the beautiful scenery – the winding roads and white mountains.

At one point, the ACP’s assistant asks him – Sir, yeh kya ho raha hai?

My sentiments exactly.

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