India's Most Intriguing New Film Is Like Sliding Doors With Gangsters

In Monsoon Shootout, a new film from India, Vijay Varma plays a rookie cop who has to decide whether to shoot a fleeing suspect who he believes is Shiva, the Axe Killer. And then the film shows us three possible scenarios, depending on what choice the cop makes.

Monsoon Shootout made a pretty decent impact at Cannes last year, and has done other festivals since then — but now this tale of branching possible timelines (akin to Sliding Doors or Community's dice-throwing episode) is being recognized as a speculative movie, being featured at the Brussels Fantastic Film Festival.

As Variety wrote in its review from Cannes:

Alternate endings and open-ended plots are nothing new, but Kumar's writing and helming smarts are apparent in the way he plays around with variables and constants, maintaining a continual element of surprise while elaborating on the seamy underbelly of Mumbai society that serves as his canvas. Corruption is a clearly recurring theme, as Adi's decision whether or not to pull the trigger ultimately has no impact on the collusion among police, politicians, businessmen and gangsters; Adi's proud claim that, for a cop, "the truth is simple" takes on the blackest irony.

Even as the characters shift motives and courses of action, the well-chosen actors manage to build and sharpen their personalities with each new segment. Each version includes an emotionally manipulative scene in which Khan rattles by-the-book Adi with his unscrupulous methods, such as framing a suspect. Yet as more facets of the police's internal corruption are exposed, the rationale behind Khan's cynicism becomes clearer, even more acceptable, thanks to Kabi's nuanced performance, which allows some humanity to emerge.

Check out a couple of clips from the movie below. No clue if/when it's coming to U.S. theaters: