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John Day Review; Good story-telling but not thrilling enough

Cast: Naseeruddin Shah, Randeep Hooda, Elena Kazan

Director: Ahishor Solomon

Producer: Anjum Rizvi, Atif A Khan & K Asif

Genre: Thriller

Rating: 2.5/5

Plot: A couple enter a place somewhere on the outskirts of Bombay which seems like a very secluded area. They settle down in a bamboo hut, joyfully talking and playing guitar. They go for a swim in the lake where the girl swims for a while before she returns back to the hut, removes her t-shirt and closes the door. The next scene takes us to a cemetery where a middle-aged man and his wife grieve for their daughter and hand over her body to mother earth. 

The film paces up two years ahead where the wife is still looming in sadness over her daughter’s tragedy while the husband (Naseeruddin Shah) tries to console her. He accepts an old friend’s invitation to a party and asks his wife to cheer up. He leaves for work telling his wife to wear a nice dress for the evening, ‘red or something’, and after a few hours, his complete life changes. 

Naseeruddin Shah and Randeep Hooda are seen adorning two different characters which are similar in terms of darkness. Naseeruddin Shah (Mr. John Day) plays the role of a bank manager while Randeep (Gautam) plays the role of a corrupt cop. Both men have haunting pasts to deal with turn completely justify the dialogue which Randeep is heard saying in the trailers, “Duniya ka sabse bada jaanwar insaan hota hai’. 

The movie’s plot is mostly based on a 2002 Spanish thriller called La Caja  – a bank manager with a daughter who died, a bank robbery years later, documents that reveal that the girl’s death was part of a much larger plot, and a cat and mouse game between the bank manager and a renegade cop. But John Day showcases some really gruesome scenes which the Indian audience is not used to.

Technical-Aspect: Ahishor Solomon directorial debut was not really a disaster but more like a struggling step towards his direction career, The direction was not as good as it should have been but the screenplay was pretty tight. The plot had it’s message clearly delivered to the witty. The dialogues were average when compared to what could be produced. The background score was nice and kept the intensity of this thriller flick always going. And yeah, thank god for no songs.

Performances: As you might have expected and now guessed, Naseeruddin Shah and Randeep Hooda totally carry the movie over their shoulders with their impeccable and convincing performances. Though I’d say Naseeruddin Shah was not as convincing as he could be, but in the end he pulled it off really well. Randeep Hooda as he said before that he’d never played a darker character than this was true to his words. But his acting in Jism 2 was a level better. Elena Kazan is really very hot but acting is certainly not her cup of tea.


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