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Strangers – movie review

A thrilling game of deception and dangerous secrets


Strangers movie review

A truly slick Murder Mystrey that is this film Strangers.

Two men, complete strangers to each other and absolutely opposite personalities, are travelling in a train’s first class compartment in a train between Southampton and London. Sanjeev Rai (Kay Kay Menon), a successful businessman and Rahul (Jimmy Sheirgill), a struggling writer looking for a break in his career.

Strangers opens with an extremely dramatic event that in actuality is only an incident, such as one of the protagonists of the film being arrested for a murder of another of the protagonists. Its opens with Rahul’s arrest for — in all probability at this point for murder of Priety (Nandana Sen). The film then kick-starts its proceedings with Sanjiy Rai and Rahul sharing a first class coupe and sharing stories.

They try to know each other and there are visible efforts to entertain each other throughout the journey. While Sanjiv’s wife (Sonali Kulkarni) is close to madness after losing her only son in an accident, thus making life difficult for him, while Rahul’s wife Priety is the one blamed for the breakdown of their marriage.

Now in a bit of detail: Jimmy Shergill who is a struggling writer is married to Nandini Sen, a girl he fell in love with, pursued, and has now been married to for six years. And Kay Kay Menon is a businessman who’s been married to Sonali Kulkarni for over 15 years. Both marriages have been rendered defunct — one for disagreeing over having/affording a baby, while the other, over the wife’s obsession with her dead son.

Before the journey ends the strangers agree on a plan to do away with their respective wives. The men here agree to swap the killing duties, since being strangers it gives the duo an advantage of pulling off a crime which would never be tracked back to their affiliation. Four lives are put at stake and everything is about to change.

Director Aanand Rai narrates an absorbing story which has been beautifully executed in this simple, yet stylish unfolding. As the movie progresses, it slowly unravels the mystery, layer by layer, taking the viewer by surprise.

Strangers has an abrupt ending where its shown that Jimmy accomplishes the task so very easily. Some situations are left unexplained for the viewer to use his own imagination. It is a very craftily produced movie unlike any other hindi film yet seen by the viewer giving a Hollywood style treatment. Unlike some desperate and unsuccessful efforts lately by some of our new age directors who think that just by using hand held camera, continuous long shots and follow it with some blue tone in the movie, where they end up nowhere.

Kay Kay Menon and Jimmy Shergill have very aptly done their roles especially Jimmy with his inherent awkwardness. Nandana Sen comes out with a very impressive performance especially her smiles in certain situations which speak more than words. Sonali Kulkarni has very little to do much in the film.

This film is truly a class of its own. Infact, one one wouldn’t attempt to leave his seat even during interval who knows a few seconds delay would make one miss an important link in the movie. Strangers is a well-made intelligent thriller, which unfortunately may impress only a certain set of audience.

Cast of Strangers:
Jimmy Shergill, Kay Kay Menon, Nandana Sen, Sonali Kulkarni

CREDITS of Strangers:
Production House: Indorama Films
Producer Raj Kundra, Uday Tiwari
Story & Director: Aanand L. Rai
Script: Gaurav Sinha, Himanshu Sharma
Lyrics: Javed Akhtar
Music Vinay Tiwari
Lyrics Javed Akhtar
Cinematographer: Manoj Shaw
Sound: Nihaar
Editor: Sanjay Sankla
Publicity Designing: Endeavour
Production Designers: Mitu Tiwari, Nilofer Amrohi
Strangers, movie review