Merry Christmas is a 2024 Indian mystery thriller film directed by Sriram Raghavan, starring Katrina Kaif and Vijay Sethupathi. The film is produced by Ramesh Taurani, Jaya Taurani, Sanjay Routray, and Kewal Garg under Tips Films and Matchbox Pictures. It is based on Frédéric Dard’s French novel Le Monte-charge (Bird in a Cage).
On Christmas Eve, the city of Mumbai, which was then known as Bombay, is seen rejoicing. You can sense the joy increasing because of the Christmas mood and the illuminated streets.
Amidst all of this, architect Albert (Vijay Sethupathi), who works in Dubai, prepares for his long-awaited seven-year return. He was unable to attend the funeral for his mother. While Albert is abroad, his neighbor Tinu Anand reveals his friendship with Albert’s mother and offers him a bottle of homemade wine.
Later, Albert visits a restaurant for dinner, where he offers to assist Maria (Katrina Kaif), who is holding a tiny child (Annie) and a teddy bear in her arms. Maria’s initially gloomy expression brightens as they stroll across the city, and Albert’s Christmas tree starts to seem festive. Annie is escorted by Maria to the Pinocchio movie, where she discovers Albert sitting as well.
A friendly chat later, the three of them return to Maria’s flat, where she also runs a bakery named Jupiter Bakery. All this while, their conversations reveal just the bare minimum. Maria invites Albert to her home, and easy banter follows between the two. After putting Annie to bed, Maria decides to go out again with Albert and leaves a note for her husband, Jerome (Luke Kenny), that she will be back in an hour.
What happens next is the startling sight of Jerome’s lifeless body lying on a lone sofa seat with a gunshot wound to his chest. Albert takes instant command of the situation and attempts to phone the police but stops, wondering how he would explain the sudden body when they had gone out for an hour. It wasn’t long before the joyous moment turned frighteningly sinister.
Katrina Kaif: Maria
Vijay Sethupathi: Albert
Tinnu Anand: Yadhoom Uncle
Annie: Pari Maheshwari Sharma
Vinay Pathak: Police Inspector Prashant Kamdar
Sanjay Kapoor: Ronnie’s Fernandes Aka Ron
Luke Kenny: Jerome
Directed by: Sriram Raghavan
Writing By: Sriram Raghavan, Arijit Biswas, Anukriti Pandey and Pooja Ladha Surti
Based on a Novel By: Frédéric Dard
“Merry Christmas” is a unique film. The choreography of every scene and sequence is excellent, and it is enhanced by aptly selected music and a backdrop that conveys the meaning of the characters and the plot really well. The movie, which stars Vijay Sethupathi and Katrina Kaif, has been imprinted with Sriram Raghavan’s trademark style.
‘Merry Christmas’ has it all: a new genre thriller, a background score that functions almost as a character that is a blend of mystery and horror, an intriguing cast, odd chemistry, and a filmography heavily influenced by Alfred Hitchcock, including visual angles and camera placement within scenes.
Katrina Kaif and Vijay Sethupathi make an interesting pair, and a natural sense of equilibrium is maintained in their scenes. Where Vijay Sethupathi brings a sense of humor and gravity to a scene, Katrina Kaif brings in the drama and madness.
Their romance appears magical and mysterious, yet when watching a Sriram Raghavan film, viewers often fall for the craziness and impossible theatrics of the narrative. The close-ups are intense, particularly the ones featuring Katrina Kaif. Katrina Kaif plays a role that is respectable for a megastar like her.
Sethupathi fits into the narrative and appears to be most comfortable with the dialogue, the screenplay, and the dark comedy it depicts. Everything points toward a larger climax near the end of the movie and communicates a purpose, a motive, and a gap.
The background score and jazzy tunes enhance the story line, filling in blanks, helping the viewer connect the dots, and dramatizing suspense in moments when the acting is little. One of the best aspects of the movie is the clever use of the famous “Merry Christmas” jingle.
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