Horror is one such genre which has been struggling hard to find its right base in our Hindi films. Right since the 70's, 80's and 90's era of trashy costume based horror films to the decent ones in the millennium era, this genre has travelled a lot.
The filmmakers are trying to make something different and 'Mona Darling' seems to be one of those different types of horror films as it claims to be also a social media thriller. The marketing strategy has been good related to this movie, but lack of star value has managed to create very low expectations from the film.
'Mona Darling' starts with unnatural deaths of few youngsters in a college campus. At the same time Mona Raheja (Suzanna Mukherjee) is missing from the college campus and her best friend Sarah (Divya Menon) gets desperate to find her. Sarah seeks help from a fellow student Wiki (Anshuman Jha), who is known for his fine computer skills. Together, Sarah and Wiki find a pattern between the campus murders and missing of Mona. They also find a fake Facebook profile of Mona, which keeps sending friend request to everyone on the campus. The dots starts connecting as Wiki and Sarah start joining everything happening around them, leading to an unexpected truth.
The 'Glitz' Factor
The story on paper is highly interesting and something different than what we have seen in this genre. The movie also starts on the right note, which helps to set the right base.
A better screenplay would have definitely done proper justice to the interesting story idea of the film.The cinematography is fine and the makers have chosen to play with the low lighting matching up with the mood of the film.
Director Shashi Sudigala comes up with an interesting concept. Suzanna Mukherjee is good in her part.
The 'Non-Glitz' Factor
The entire first half goes on a snail pace, trying to establish the main plot. It hardly picks up its pace in the second half and lead towards a trashy type of ending, which could have been presented in much dignified manner.
The makers try hard to create the curiosity factor, but fails miserably. Everything seems forced and abruptly placed in the film. There are few unwanted tracks which could have been omitted from the film. The suspense part is predictable. One can also find a mild connection to the international film 'Friend Request'. There is not even a single scary scene or even a mild shocker in the movie. Everything is slow and dragging.
The thriller part is highly missing and is more of a wait and watch type of drama, where one does expect to see some drastic change happening in the screenplay. The solo dance song is unwanted and is added only to add glamour quotient in the movie.
The background music is jarring at times. The whole purpose of the film is diluted due to forced inquisitiveness in the film.
Anshuman Jha is average and acts only with one type of expression in the film. Divya Menon is decent, but lacks the screen presence. Sanjay Suri is wasted.
'Mona Darling' is a dilemmatic tale where the makers itself are confused whether to call it a horror film or a thriller film. An experienced filmmaker would have done wonders with this story idea.