Merry Christmas

Poster for the movie "Merry Christmas"
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Merry Christmas

Raat jitni sangeen hogi, subah utni rangeen hogi

20242 h 24 min

On Christmas Eve, Albert returns home after several years of being away. Grieving for and adjusting to the loss of his mother, he steps out seeking cheer in the city's Christmas Eve festivities. He meets the beautiful and mysterious Maria, and her little daughter who is mute. The night fans into long walks and conversations, sparking unexpected, yet undeniable, magnetism between the two. But things soon take a dark turn and an evening of romance turns into a nightmare.

Director Sriram Raghavan
Runtime 2 h 24 min
Release Date 12 January 2024
Movie Media
Movie Language
Movie Status
Movie Rating Not rated

Merry Christmas

Starring Katrina Kaif, Vijay Sethupathi

Directed by Sriram Raghavan

Rating:*** ½

Yadhoom is  the  home-made  whiskey that   Albert’s uncle, played by Tinu Anand , recommends  as the spirit of the season: create your own yadhoom and  have a good time in life.

This is  what  Sriram Raghavan  does. His  yadhoom may not match with yours.  But  heck, life is what  you make of it. Merry Christmas is  not  a merry film. Come to think of it, it is  not even Christmassy. Albert(Vijay Sethupathi) and Maria(Katrina) are two wistful souls who collide on Christmas eve  in neon-lit Bombay(this is when Mumbai was  Bombay) in the 1970s  when , Rajesh Khanna, Shakti Samanta’s Aradhana  and  Kati Patang and R D Burman ruled the charts.

Sriram  gives us that sense of  oldworld connectivity between the  couple which we thought  died with  Albert’s  favourite film DDDL(Dil  Diya  Dard  Liya).  The music when retro( R. D. Burman’s Jab andhera hota hai is part  of the dishy sound design) is a trippy treat. But when Pritam Chakraborty steps in with  fresh songs , a staleness seeps in the  soundtrack.

The  film embraces  nostalgia  and repudiates  its clichés. Sriram dedicates  Merry Christmas to  filmmaker Shakti Samanta(who is  a favourite of mine)and opens with a  shot of Asha Parekh in Samanta’s Kati Patang screaming  ‘Nahiiiiiin!’. Raghavan  takes prideful inspiration from the ‘Nahiiin’ culture of damsels in distress in  our cinema.

Sriram Raghavan’s  bitter-sweet homage to Mumbai in the 1970s  is  scattered with nostalgic references. But  the emphasis is on the here and the now. Sethupathi and  Kaif infuse  the festive mood of  Christmas with a piercing  yearning. Sethupathi, is as  usual, rock-solid. Without a word he   can convey an ocean and emotions.

But it is Katrina Kaif who surprises you with a mature performance of a woman with a  past who wants to gift her daughter with a  present. The  supporting cast is effective  though not exceptional. Radhika Apte as Albert’s  girlfriend from the past does nothing she hasn’t already done.This is where Katrina scores.

Merry  Christmas  is  based on Frédéric Dard’s French novel Le Monte-charge.Sriram’s Adhadhun  was also based  on a  French  short-film. Maybe  it’s time for Sriram  to stop looking at European cinema  for inspiration.There is plenty  right here to choose from.

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