Film: Vodka Diaries
Director: Kushal Srivastava
Cast: Kay Kay Menon, Raima Sen, Mandira Bedi, Sharib Hashmi
Want to experience the ice clad mountains (Ode to Yash Chopra) but in India sans the chiffons and Shiv Hari? Watch ACP Ashwini Dixit (Kay Kay Menon) run across the ice hills of Manali.
You may keep losing the connection between the romantic holiday of the duty-bound police official with his verse half Shika (Mandira Bedi).
However back home it is murders aplenty. Four to five victims, all pointing to the local joint Vodka Diaries where young couples and partners come to spend uninhibited moments only to get entangled in the fatal murder mystery. Things get worse with Shika first missing and a repeated play of a visiting gory nightmare to the stern police officer. Soon it is suggested that the script may be drifting to suggest a para normal twist to the tale.
There is an assistant to the ACP, Ankit Dayal (Sharib Hashmi) and even a lady with a know all aura in Roshni Banerjee (Raima Sen). The tale simply lacks clarity and very soon into the paid seats the viewer regrets having made a choice. The thriller (call it a suspense story if you want) just does not interest you enough. It moves from one episode to another that could make for interesting viewing in the drawing room leaving the audience to look forward for something at the next episode but in a film, it is drab and the actors do not inspire enough for one to empathise with them. A suspense thriller is based on empathy for the victim and curiosity for the culprit. Here you have neither. The needle of suspicion does not point at any one and as the script unfolds it becomes even more yawnful.
The kick, if any to this film and the curiosity is restricted to the title. The director Kushal Shrivastav simply fails to give the narrative a punch and on the other hand induces a I could not be bothered approach in the audience. This is a thriller that does not thrill and a vodka that does not intoxicate. The diary is drab and the persons involved are boring. While Mandira Bedi looks gorgeous, her recitation of the poems she is said to have written are bland. Even the highly reputed Kay Kay Menon disappoints. May be he reads too much authenticity into the character but that robs the viewer of the only source of hope and drama in the film. The rest of the crowded cast save Sharib Hashmi in and out as if they were enacting roles at the annual parents day school function. Vodka back home is any day a better choice.