Cannes Review: Amit Kumar’s “Monsoon Shootout” hits the bull’s eye
“Amit Kumar’s bold noir set amongst corrupt cops in Mumbai acts as a brash, blockbusting corrective to Cannes’s more sombre excesses”, writes Guardian’s film critic Peter Bradshaw in his first look review from Cannes.
Bradshaw calls the film “rainy noir” and concludes in his review, “It’s an entertaining popcorn-movie with a twist, for which commercial success is on the cards. There should be space for pictures like it in Cannes.”
The Hollywood Reporter’s Deborah Young has also given the film a thumbs up. She writes, “The Fortissimo release should make good headway in territories open to India and exotic genre fare and put Kumar on festival radar.”
Here is an excerpt from The Hollywood Reporter Review:
A cunningly intricate first film from India, Monsoon Shootout combines the best of two worlds – a ferocious Mumbai cops and gangsters drama, and a satisfyingly arty plot that turns in on itself to examine the outcome of three possible choices a rookie cop might make when he confronts a ruthless killer. Three times the story returns to a key moment: a boy with a gun uncertain whether to pull the trigger. Though the idea of Dirty Harry meeting Sliding Doors may sound abstract, writer-director Amit Kumar pulls it off gracefully, without losing the sense of heightened drama that earned the film a Midnight Movie slot in Cannes.
According to Screen International critic Lee Marshall, “Monsoon Shootout is a glossy ethical drama designed to appeal equally to more upscale Indian audiences and worldwide genre fans.”
However, Marshall also feels, “…we yearn at time for some of the rawness of Anurag Kashyap’s approach to the Indian underbelly. Sure, there’s plenty of squelchy violence here, squalor and street flavours and the kind of atmospheric night lighting that Johnny To would be proud of. But deep down, we suspect that the film is as decent as its inflexibly nice protagonist.”
Marshall gives a thumbs up to Kumar’s script, “It’s not an easy premise to make an audience swallow whole, but Kumar’s fine script rises to the challenge.”
Variety’s Maggie Lee calls it “a schematic police-thriller structure with a compelling moral dilemma.”
Here an excerpt from Lee’s review:
Juggling three versions of the same scenario a la “Run Lola Run,” “Monsoon Shootout” is a racy mash-up of Tarantino-esque ultra-violence and-gritty but-hip contempo Indian actioners. Tyro helmer Amit Kumar invests a schematic police-thriller structure with a compelling moral dilemma hinging on a standoff between a cop and his suspect. The rain-drenched Mumbai setting contributes to the pic’s noirish allure, which will ease its access into festivals, especially with fest darling Anurag Kashyap on board as co-producer. Theatrical prospects, however, may largely be confined to Hindi-speaking markets.