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Producers: Kushal Srivastava, Vishal Karkera, Vishal Raj, Atul Pupneja, Vivek Sudhindra Kulshrestha
Writers: Vaibhav Bajpai
What's Yay: Kay Kay Menon
What's Nay: Poor execution of the plot, Lethargic writing, Jarring background music
Popcorn Refill: Whenever your popcorn tub needs a refill
Iconic Moment: That's a mystery for you to solve post the end-credits
The film begins with a man sprinting across the snow-clad landscape and then lo, there rolls in the name of the film in the next shot- Vodka Diaries! Damn, they just told you what would come in handy to survive this 117 minutes of tedious watch!
After a vacation with his poetess-wife Shikha (Mandira Bedi), ACP Ashwini Dixit (played by Kay Kay Menon) finds himself investigating a series of murders where dead bodies start piling up, each with a link to a local hotel named Vodka Diaries. As he goes deeper into his investigation, a mysterious call from a nameless lady (Raima Sen) topples his life upside down when he discovers that his wife Shikha is missing and the only way to reach her is to connect the clues left by the unknown caller. Will Ashwini manage to crack this case?
Vodka Diaries is highly misleading! What starts off as a murder mystery ends up as a psychological thriller which in turn is a shoddy 'Indianised' version of Martin Scorsese's Shutter Island. Kushal Srivastava's amateurish execution in Vodka Diaries leaves you scratching your head in despair. The suspense-laden moments are sparsely scattered throughout the film leaving you bored for most of the run-time.
The sluggish pace of the narrative adds more to the woes. The cat-and-mouse chase fails to keep you at the edge of your seats and the lackluster dialogues ain't good news here.
Kay Kay Menon is the only reason why Vodka Diaries manages to hold your attention. Sadly even that bundle of talent couldn't save this ship from sinking deep. On the flip-side, the actor looks a tad uncomfortable when it comes to romance as you see him go a little OTT in a few scenes.
Mandira Bedi tries to make most of her role and succeeds to some extent. Raima Sen fleets in and out of the frame as if she shot the film in bouts when on a holiday. Sharib Hashmi as Menon's side-kick tries to bring in some humour element but they simply fall flat.
Apart from Kay Kay Menon, Maneesh Chandra Bhatt's surreal cinematography of the scenic Manali is another reason to cheer. Aalaap Majgavkar's editing should have been tighter to keep the grip on the premise.
Lesser said about the background music the better! It definitely ends up killing your interest in the suspense. Rekha Bharadwaj's soothing voice in Saakhi Re during the end credits bring you much relief. The rest of the tracks are avoidable.
Some shots of vodka are best left untouched. This Kay Kay Menon starrer turns out to be one of them.