‘Casablanca’ is the property in the name of which everyone goes berserk in John Day. The movie starts off with a young girl and boy hiking in a bone dry forest near Lonavala and encroaching on this land. This sequence ends abruptly, and the next scene is John Day (Naseeruddin Shah) burying his daughter. We learn later that the forest was deliberately set on fire that very day the kids were hiking, and in a bizarre and convoluted series of events, Mr Day, a bank manager, gets involved in a murder mystery.
Meanwhile, a cop gone bad (Randeep Hooda), strides across the screen. He is psychologically disturbed, both by his past and his present. He was molested as a boy and has never been able to come to terms with his childhood trauma. Now he has money and a very pretty girlfriend (Elena Kazan), but she is an alcoholic and he just can’t handle her addiction.
With a few additions and some alterations, John Day rips off Box 507, Enrique Urbizu’s 2002 film in Spanish. With all his enthusiasm for Biblical messages, director Ahishor Solomon could have paid some attention to one of the Ten Commandments—‘Thou shalt not steal’—but unfortunately, he just skipped the ‘Decalogue’.
Damnation done, you have to say that the charisma of the two central actors holds you to your seat till the end.