Star Cast: Alia Bhatt, Vijay Varma, Shefali Shah, Roshan Mathew, Rajesh Sharma
Director: Jasmeet K. Reen
What’s Good: The ‘tragedy mein comedy’ treatment & a plethora of mind-numbing performances
What’s Bad: Missing an opportunity of watching this on a big screen! Not every film needs to be an OTT watch
Loo Break: You piss you miss!
Watch or Not?: Yes to know why Bollywood is far from finished!
Available On: Netflix
Runtime: 133 minutes
Badrunissa (Alia Bhatt) is in hopeless love with his unemployed boyfriend Hamza (Vijay Varma). To not come across as a loser in front of her parents, he gets a Government job in Railways. Cut to 3 years later, he emerges to be into this drunkard who keeps thrashing his wife.
Blind in louuuuuu, Badru entertains everything about Hamza trying to find a solution to her problem. Once she realises, there isn’t any, she teams up with her single Mother Rukhsar (Shefali Shah) and kidnaps Hamza. Now, the ball (precisely balls of Hamza) is in the ladies’ court as they decide to do what to do next.
Darlings Movie Review: Script Analysis
Along with Jasmeet, Parveez Sheikh has written the film who should be celebrated more for giving us films like Queen (co-writer), Bajrangi Bhaijaan (co-writer), and Blackmail (writer) & many others. Going by his body of work, we know well he could balance humour with any other genre in the film. Be it the drama in Queen, Bajrangi Bhaijaan or thrills in Blackmail, he knows how to keep things light while staying afloat in the main genre of those films.
Be it the way how Badru’s domestic violence is constantly ignored by a make-up artist in her building who keeps readying various brides-to-be or Shefali Shah going “Duniya sirf Twitter walo ke liye badalti hai sahab!” This film has enough fodder to ponder upon from scene 1 till the end credits roll. For the ones trending ‘boycott Alia Bhatt’ because they think this film ‘promotes domestic violence’: Darlings, can you please watch this once before being all woke?
It has some rough edges as things do get a tad bit monotonous in the second half and by the climax, your expectations hit the roof where it gets extremely hard to reach for the makers.
Darlings Movie Review: Star Performance
Alia Bhatt once again has proved why she’s not hyped just for the sake of it. She’s just proving every word said about her on the latest season of Koffee With Karan. From the accent to the physical tonality, she has done Badru as no one else could’ve.
Despite a stellar performance by Alia, Vijay Varma remained to be the most intriguing element for me in the film. The artist in him owns the hate he gets for Hamza so much that almost starts feeling like he’s feasting on the same to improve his character. The emotions he enrages in you from fear to the urge of killing him is a sign of his artistic brilliance & the magic of this script.
Shefali Shah flows with the story as smooth as the butter. The emotional burden Rukhsar comes in the guise of her quirky nature is highlighted impeccably well by Shefali ma’am. Post Choked, Roshan Mathew chooses yet another interesting character portraying his skills at the best. The way his character is used for comical relief in the second half stands out. Rajesh Sharma doesn’t get much dialogue but still, he adds certain substance to his role.
Darlings Movie Review: Direction, Music
Let’s take a moment to sink in that this is Jasmeet K. Reen’s first film! HOW? How can someone be so good that she reminds you of Vishal Bhardwaj in her debut? I can only imagine the idea of “let’s portray domestic violence for how bad it is but let’s also f*ck around it and have fun” being discussed in the team & many people getting hesitant about the same. Jasmeet not only hits it out of the park with her debut, but she also makes sure the ball hits the people asking to boycott this without watching.
Apart from Prashant Pillai’s intriguing background score, it’s the sound design of the film that took the cake for me. From the sound of Vijay Varma banging his tiffin on the stairs while climbing up to syncing guitar-riff in a very important ‘sandal-hitting’ scene, the designer uses all this external noise extremely well to create the tension in the room. Vishal Bhardwaj & Mellow D’s songs just land perfectly without creating any obstruction. The rap song Bhasad is to this film exactly what Badla was to Blackmail.
Darlings Movie Review: The Last Word
All said and done, Darlings is Bollywood getting as close as it could ever be (to date) to Andhadhun. The ‘tragedy mein comedy’ treatment gives this a soul as Alia Bhatt ends up being the heart of this film.
Three and a half stars!
Not into comedy-thrillers? Read our Samrat Prithviraj movie review to know why you should watch this film instead.
Darlings releases on 05th August, 2022.
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