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Bloody Mary review: Director Chandoo Mondeti returns to form with a smart thriller cum dark comedy

Nivetha Pethuraj gets one of the best-written roles in her career and is ably supported by her-co stars Kireeti, Rajkumar Kasireddy, Brahmaji and Ajay

3rating
  • Srivathsan Nadadhur

Last Updated: 10.05 PM, Apr 14, 2022

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Bloody Mary review: Director Chandoo Mondeti returns to form with a smart thriller cum dark comedy
Bloody Mary

Story:

Mary, Basha and Raju are three orphans with different handicaps. While Mary's vision is far from perfect, Basha can't speak and Raju can't hear. They escape the organ-trade mafia in their childhood and do odd jobs for a living in their later years. One day changes their life beyond their comprehension - one has accidentally killed a doctor, the other is a witness to a murder at a film director's office and the other chances upon a camera in which the crime was recorded. When CI Prabhakar catches hold of the trio, the odds are pitted against them and there's no light at the end of the tunnel. How do Mary and her friends bounce back?

Review:

When director Chandoo Mondeti made a fantastic debut with Karthikeya nearly a decade ago, one could sense an original voice, a man with a clear head and a unique sensibility, who could make a mark amidst the slapstick muck in the industry then. The success of the film wasn't exactly good news for the storyteller in him - the spark was visibly amiss when the director moved onto the mainstream space and tried to punch above his weight with Premam and Savyasachi. For all those who missed the original, raw Chandoo Mondeti, a film like Bloody Mary is great news. 

Despite featuring a well known, commercially bankable actress like Nivetha Pethuraj, Bloody Mary is an indie-spirited film at heart, made with a limited setup, backdrops, and a minimal bunch of actors where good storytelling is the ultimate priority. Prashanth Kumar Dimmala's writing and Chandoo Mondeti's directorial finesse blend seamlessly in a crisp, compact outing, enhanced by confident performances from the cast and commendable contributions from the crew.

The film builds on a promising idea, putting together a trio with three different disabilities in the middle of a crime scene and still not making them creatures of sympathy. They are characters who don't want to be defined by their disability. Mary seeks to rise higher in the medical field, while Basha and Raju hope to make it big in the film industry as a cinematographer and an actor. No societal barriers can come in their way and the filmmaker puts that forward subtly with their three different religious identities.

How would such a trio handle a deadlock situation differently in comparison to their seemingly normal counterparts? When caught between a wily cop and an unsparing organ trafficker, the various ploys employed by Mary and her friends to outsmart the two, make for an entertaining watch. There's abundant scope for situational humour here and the writer, and director are sensitive enough to not laugh at the characters' limitations. In terms of the thriller genre, it may not break new ground but works as a proper masala film with a hilarious, intelligent twist.

Mary's transformation from a submissive girl to a badass woman is unabashedly fun. It's a relief to see an ambitious, uncompromising woman in such an intense yet entertaining setup. The strength in her personality isn't defined by her pelvic thrusts but by her strategy. For a change, her two male friends, who play the supporting parts, don't make any attempt to steal the limelight from her. The infectious yet casual on-screen camaraderie between the actors is the soul of Bloody Mary.

Apart from the lead trio, the other characters, CI Prabhakar and Sekhar Babu, in particular, are no less funny. For someone as experienced as Ajay and Brahmaji, the roles are like a walk in the park but they still give us a reason to look forward to their presence. The dialogue writer in Chandoo Mondeti is in sparkling form in the conversations between the friends and these two characters. Pammi Sai and Mirchi Hemanth impress in their limited portions and manage to bring a smile to your face.

There's no better example than Bloody Mary to prove why you don't need to do anything earthshattering-ly different to make a good, timepass fare. The key advantage for the team in pulling this off is the runtime - this is a slick 91-minute film that doesn't beat around the bush and is content with its compactness. Excepting the song to establish the friendship between the lead characters, the screenplay is taut. The climax, in a bid to tease audiences about a possible sequel, takes an eight-year leap.

Nivetha Pethuraj can finally boast of a well-fleshed out, meaty role as a lead in her career and the actress succeeds in bringing the character's resilience and indomitable spirit to the fore. Kireeti's consistent effort to break stereotypes aids him yet again and Rajkumar Kasireddy's spontaneity is his major asset. Kaala Bhairava's music score is just what the doctor ordered for Bloody Mary - it's stylish, modern and non-indulgent. The slick editing and Karthik Gattamneni's classy cinematography add more bite to the proceedings.

Verdict:

Bloody Mary is a near-perfect OTT watch. It gives you all the highs and the adrenaline rush you expect from a thriller and also entertains you with its dark humour. Watch out for the impressive performances of Nivetha Pethuraj, Kireeti, Rajkumar Vasireddy, Ajay and Brahmaji. However, the very reason why they get a chance to shine is because of the good writing (by Prashanth Kumar Dimmala) and the neat, unfussy direction (by Chandoo Mondeti).

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