Magazine article Screen International

Monsoon Shootout

Magazine article Screen International

Monsoon Shootout

Article excerpt

Dir/scr: Amit Kumar. UK-India-Netherlands. 2013. 88mins

Serving up a portion of Rashomon with a side of Sliding Doors, this tasty Mumbai crime story offers multiple outcomes of one fateful decision in a rookie cop's professional life. Though it sounds like a potentially experimental premise, Monsoon Shootout is a glossy ethical drama designed to appeal equally to more upscale Indian audiences and worldwide genre fans.

Monsoon Shootout delivers it in a more hard-boiled package that will appeal to a younger demographic.

Debut writer-director Kumar has previously worked as associate director on films by Florian Gallenberger and Asif Kapadia, and with its crisp digital photography, flavoursome art direction and moody soundtrack, Monsoon Shootout has some of the made-for-export world cinema feel of the latter's The Warrior - but delivers it in a more hard-boiled package that will appeal to a younger demographic.

You can tell just by looking at upright, clean-cut police sub-inspector Adi (Varma) that he's a good boy from a good family and a stickler for the rule of law. This is challenged as soon as he's assigned to 'Dirty Harry' style inspector Khan (Kabi), a seasoned veteran who tends to kill uncooperative suspects and keeps telling his over-scrupulous young charge "don't think too much". Their mission is to track down the Slum Lord, who uses threats and extortion to control Mumbai rents and the construction industry - and who, we soon discover, also enjoys the protection of the minister in charge of the police department

On the evening he is supposed to be meeting his pure and virginal love interest Anu (Thapa), Adi is ordered by Khan to accompany him to a stake-out of one of the Slum Lord's enforcers, mean, axe-wielding Shiva (Siddiqui). When Adi tracks Shiva's down in a flooded alley in the driving monsoon rain and pulls his gun on him we have no reason not to buy Shiva's subsequent escape. …

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