“Merry Christmas” is a must watch, even just once

by Trailerman Sam (trailer17@hotmail.com)

A beautifully decorated Christmas tree in the hall, a lonely light brown teddy bear on the sofa, a man shot dead at point blank straight into his heart on a couch, two losers in love, Katrina Kaif and Vijay Sethupathi complementing each other is a slow burning Hindi-Tamil bilingual mystery thriller film directed by Sriram Raghavan.

Merry Christmas stars the lovely and gorgeous 41-year-old Katrina and Makkal Selvan Vijay Sethupathi. Have a good look at Katrina. She really doesn’t look 41 at all!

Vijay was nicknamed Makkal Selvan (meaning people’s man) by Seenu Ramasamy while filming Dharma Durai, and has been popularly known by that moniker. Sanjay Kapoor adds a fine slimy touch to the tale.

Merry Christmas is produced by Ramesh Taurani, Jaya Taurani, Sanjay Routray and Kewal Garg under Tips Films and Matchbox Pictures. It is based on Frédéric Dard’s French novel, Le Monte-charge (Bird in a Cage).

On a beautiful Christmas Eve, Albert (Vijay)returns home after several years of being away. Why was he away…you will find out at the tail-end of this think-hard movie.

Still grieving and stretching much effort to adjust his life after losing his mother, he steps into Bombay before it was called Mumbai, seeking cheer in the city’s Christmas Eve festivities.

By chance (Cupid sure works in the most mysterious way), he bum[s into the beautiful and mysterious Maria (Katrina), and her little daughter who is mute.

With the whole city sparking with the festival mood as it fans into long walks and conversations, sparking unexpected, but undeniable, magnetism between Albert and Maria.

Ahh…… love is in the air!

Cast in perhaps her most cerebral and well-rounded role, Katrina not only looks the part of a beautiful and seemingly-innocent woman, but goes beyond it to hold on to the soul of a complex character.

Her facial expression and movements of her limbs never ends up stiff throughout her flirtatious conversations with Vijay, who holds the strings together with a performance that warms and wrenches the heart in equal measure. It is a slice of crime that would not have worked without the life-like characters and Vijay is the super glue that keeps the loose ends together.

The way he jives or the way he depicts the helplessness of Albert in front of the mystique of Maria, Vijay turns a hopeless hero into a winsome experience.

Maria feels deep inside her heart that Albert is everything she could have asked as a Christmas gift from Santa. Albert sees Maria is nothing short of a Christmas miracle.

Miracles at times could take a dark turn, thus turning an evening of romance into a nightmare.

An exceptional director, Sriram Raghavan who thrives in movies of this genre, and has made most of his material hit the spot with a so-called surprise ending.

Actors are very honestly true to their art. Katrina does it exceptionally well. Vijay is such a charm, you will just love watching him on the screen.

Only if there was more meat on the soup, the celebration would have made it a perfect Merry Christmas platter.

Merry Christmas keeps up its positive vibe and excitement with an engaging cinematic experience.

Compared with most films of the present time where the narrative and build up are often speeded up with  patchy narration, Merry Christmas is a slow burn. But with its gripping and intriguing storyline, it sill keeps you glued for most parts.

So, it’s not boring after all despite the slow burn. Merry Christmas is the kind of movie that makes you sink your back into that nice sofa absorbing and soaking your thoughts, analysing the dialogue deeply.

With some 30 minutes or so of the climax, it was nail-biting good. The ending was rather experimental in its presentation.

This is a movie that will not leave your mind until you have interpreted it in your own way or with much eager feelings that it needs to be discussed with a friend.

Watch this Vijay Sethupathi and Katrina Kaif-starrer to appreciate a good movie with brilliant dialogue. It might keep you on the edge of your seat, but I won’t promise you might jump out of it!

Sriram Raghavan’s cinematic world is a must watch, even if for just one time. Don’t wait till the real Christmas some nine months away. See it right away. After all, it carries an IMBD rating of 7.3 stars with 21,000 users.

Trailerman Sam is our on-the-ball movie reviewer from Lunas, Kedah