Merry Christmas Review: Katrina Kaif and Vijay Sethupathi Charm Their Way Into Your Hearts

Merry Christmas Review: Katrina Kaif and Vijay Sethupathi Charm Their Way Into Your Hearts
Starring: Katrina Kaif, Vijay Sethupathi, Ashwini Kalsekar, Radhika Apte, Sanjay Kapoor, Vinay Pathak, Pratima Kazmi, Tinnu Anand
Directed by:Sriram Raghavan
Language: Hindi
Duration: 141 minutes
Albert’s return to his hometown takes an unexpected turn as he stumbles upon a lady stood up by her date. Maria and Albert quickly bond over their illfated luck as they decide to bring Christmas home together. The night unfolds with lesser known mysteries as the dark night of the festival weaves a gripping tale.
Direction and Technical Elements 
‘Tis the season to watch another well-crafted plot by Sriram Raghavan. Be sure to expect humor and unpredictability going hand in hand during the entirety of the film. Raghavan leaves gifts under the Christmas tree that include well-built characters, masterful pacing, enigmatic elements and a compelling storyline. 

The movie is a visual spectacle through and through, the use of color red to indicate the festival spirit that also has deeper layers to it just proves the point further. Passion and danger is conveyed through the heavy presence of this color. If last time Raghavan used a Rabbit to imply themes, this time he used Swans to foreshadow intervening destinies. But that's just a ruse for another bird to be the signifier all together. Without giving away anything, be sure to not miss any cages. 

The music is composed by Pritam, and the Hindi version’s lyrics are written by Varun Grover. The narrative beats enhance the visual play. “Raat Akeli thi” by Arijit Singh and Antara Mitra echo the melodious undertones of the movie. This music is integral to the storytelling of Merry Christmas. 
For the Hindi version, writers Sriram Raghavan, Arijit Biswas, Pooja Ladha Surti and Anukriti Pandey pen a narrative that dabbles with varied genres. You will laugh in one scene to be shocked by another, cry for a second and then bob your head in the next. The dialogues create a vivid portrayal of the story with clever development in the story and well-timed twist. While the first half appears to be an introduction to the world of Merry Christmas, the second half is all about the characters. Most of the secondary cast are introduced post interval. The initial momentum does start to dim slowly before it picks it up again. The first half is brilliant, but the second half has moments of brilliance. 

Katrina Kaif steals the spotlight on the grand stage. It's a mesmerizing performance put forth by Katrina. Her emotions are a map of direction for the plot. Her entire arc in the second half is one of the best components of the movie. Add this to your list of best Katrina Kaif movies. She is the anchor that holds the film together.

Vijay Sethupathi, a seasoned actor who pulls off the role effortlessly. Surrounded with suspence and drama, his character navigates the world he more or less chooses to be a part of. He doesn't miss his comic timing and furnishes the looming threat whenever required.

The character of Ronnie played by Sanjay Kapoor might be clueless but not Sanjay Kapoor himself who doesn't miss even for a second. His comic flair will leave you in splits. He embraces the role leaving an undeniable mark. 

Stepping into the shoes of a suspicious inspector becomes a cake walk for Vinay Pathak who transforms wit on screen. He appears in the second half and takes the plot by the reins. We need more stories where Vinay Pathak’s character and Pratima Kazmi’s character solve mysteries together. She injects a delightful dose of strictness through humor. Our only complaint could be not seeing more of them.

Special mention for the actors who had short but impactful roles, namely Radhika Apte who has a powerful presence in the story with her brief apperance. She exerts a moment of authority that you will find charming to witness. Ashwini Kalsekar will just come for a scene or two, and you will laugh at the moments created by her long after the scene is over. Lastly Tinnu Anand who has turned fleeting moments into lasting impression. He seamlessly blends into the rhythm of the film. He has the “jhadhoom” of the Film!

Watch or skip?

If you are a fan of Sriram Raghavan, I need not say any further. You know the guy delivers every time. But if that doesn't do the trick, go watch the film for a good laugh and compelling thriller. The unlikely duo of Katrina and Vijay is most likely to charm their way into your hearts and watchlist. We need more of this duo. 
Stars: ⅘