Monsoon Shootout (India)

"The law is what it is. If you can't use it to get justice then you're the ass!" - Rookie officer Adi addressing his superior.

Monsoon Shootout from director Amit Kumar is a tight and satisfying take on first day on the job dramas such as Training Day while layering in a metaphysical treatment of the power of choices we make in each moment of our lives. Clocking in at a fast 88 minutes a lot gets packed into this one.

The film kick offs with Adi's first day on the job as a cop. He's teamed with Khan, a beyond pragmatic lawman who believes in justice but not upholding all the details of the law. That's made pretty clear when within minutes of reporting for duty Khan executes a group of suspects in the extortion murder of a real estate developer. Adi's asked to crash their car to cover up the "escape" attempt and his moral dilemmas begin. Before long he's making choices that are all over shades of grey spectrum as they try to put away Shiva (aka the "Ax killer") who's the tip of the bloody spear wielded by local gangster "the Slum Lord." In the meantime corruption is all around in what could just as easily serve as a scathing indictment of Indian society as a hard nosed police thriller.

Adi turns out to be a hell of investigator and coupled with Khan's sack of guns makes rapid progress on the streets. He's quickly on the heels of Shiva, racing through a crowded night market. Drenching rain provides the backdrop for a fateful split second judgement around with the rest of his existence pivots. I will say no more about that.

The look of Monsoon Shootout tends to be dark, lush and predictably rain soaked. Which blends nicely with the relationship of few, but often explosive, words between Khan and Adi. Things start off pretty fragile but the deepening relationship adds authenticity to the story. Truthfully, the actual nature of the crimes are bluntly simple enough that they're almost besides the point. But they form an important construct to hang off everything else. Plus the Shiva is one seriously serious bad ass dude. Especially for a guy with such a sweet clay sculpting kid.

If you threw The Wire, Training Day, Sliding Doors, a class on ethics and drenching rainstorm into a blender you'd get Monsoon Shootout. And if you could I'd advise you to take a long deep gulp of that cocktail. I assure you that 88 minutes will scream buy punctuated only by a couple of excellent WTF? moments. Drink up!

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