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Movie Review: 'John Day'

A thriller it is supposed to be. And looks pretty promising in the beginning too. A young girl and a boy go to an area where they are not supposed to, and tragedy strikes. The rest of the film is the aftermath of that tragedy and slow unravelling of the facts that led to the tragedy. Naseeruddin Shah plays the title role of a middle class bank manager who loves football and his family and suddenly finds himself in the midst of a criminal nexus. His mission is to take revenge and that can be done only by hoodwinking the corrupt cop, Gautam (Randeep Hooda).

'John Day' review
'John Day'

The first half of the film manages to keep you hooked to the story but in the second half the pace dips drastically.

The film, (directed by debut director Ahishor Solomon), deliberately or otherwise, has been given a morose, humourless feel to it. The motive must be to make it dark and edgy but it soon turns out to be nothing but a dull and tedious affair. The execution is not to be blamed as much as a sketchy, far fetched storyline which is all over the place. The way John Day stumbles upon some evidence and some portions of the plot after that seem too convenient to be believable. However, the director should be given credit for choosing unpredictable, real locations and also handling some scenes deftly. But that’s about it.

At one point, the story goes on at such a tedious pace and there are so many baddies swarming around, that one loses count of who’s who. Sharath Saxena plays the big baddie and with his expressions one can not really fathom what’s his take on Gautam or on life is. He does show a gentle side to him, but by then you have kind of stopped caring about him or the plot.

Gautam, the man who’s had a rough childhood and so is now afraid to be vulnerable, is played to perfection by the dependable Randeep Hooda. Though there was a point where his performance bordered on hamming, overall he gives a strong performance. However, if there is a sole reason to watch this film, it is Naseeruddin Shah. Shah is more than brilliant as he smoothly makes a transition from a helpless family man to a cold blooded revenge seeker.

And yes, Gautam has a girlfriend, Tabassum (Elena Kazan) who he slaps around when not being with her in bed and periodically asks her to shut up. Yes, he’s the bad guy with a bad temper, but someone at some point needs to stop glorifying violence on women. Elena, sports more tattoos than talent. 

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