Mrs Serial Killer falls prey to an overenthusiastic creative urge to make an Indian version of ‘Silence of the Lambs’
Anurag Singh Bohra |New Delhi
As I was trying to get over the demise of two great cinematic legends, Netflix was the only escapism. So, I stream on the latest Shirish Kunder web release Mrs Serial Killer. To my amazement and surprise, I realize my taste for art and cinema wasn’t questionable until this one happened. The last time I regretted watching a first day theatrical release was way back in 2007 with ‘Ram Gopal Varma Ki Aag.’ Contrary to my expectations, I was both appalled and amused that Mrs Serial Killer even surpasses ‘….Aag.’ Although not a very promising trailer, yet a much-anticipated release as it starred Manoj Bajpayee and Jaqueline Fernandez.
OTT platforms are hailed for their content, so anything on a digital streaming service is bound to raise expectations.
From the very first shot, the late 90s Doordarshan telefilm vibe strikes. Manoj Bajpayee is a gifted actor who like all his films yet again gets into the skin of his character. The actor emulates the filmmaker’s vision on-screen and is convincing in his performance as always. However, with a Ramsay brother meets Manoj N Shyamalan crossover, one can hardly expect an engaging plot or well-crafted characters. Mrs Serial Killer falls prey to an overenthusiastic creative urge to make an Indian version of ‘Silence of the Lambs.’ Due to rather lazy scriptwriting, even Bajpayee looks redundant and overboard in a few scenes and dialogues in spite of his perfect screen timings.
Kunder honours Netflix with one of the most clumsily written plots of the decade.
Jaqueline Fernandez rather known for glamourous roles in mainstream cinema attempts a grey character. Although Fernandez tries hard with screams, enacting the fear and helplessness, the actor fails to impress the audience in this damp squib. Mohit Raina, who was promising in the mythological costume drama ‘Devo K Dev Mahadev’ and ‘Uri – The Surgical Strike,’ has very less scope while playing the usual mainstream cop investigating the evil serial killer. However, it’s Darshan Jariwala as lawyer Rastogi who holds his ground in brief appearances and is the only actor to watch out for. Debutante Zayn Marie as Anushka Tiwari is victim to the same trap as the rest of the cast, so it’s better to reserve our judgment for her range as an actor till her forthcoming projects.
Netflix so far has been praised for its out of the box content. With Mrs Serial Killer one gets the impression that any content comprising violence, gore with an R rating could be backed by the digital streaming giant irrespective of the engagement quotient. Kunder somehow upped his game with the 2016 psychological thriller short film Kriti starring Bajpayee, Radhika Apte, and Neha Sharma. The filmmaker tries hard to recapitulate the same impact with this crime thriller with all the twists and turns. The cinematography by Ravi K Chandran and Kiran Deohans is spot on and amicably complements the narrative. Chandran and Deohans have filmed the movie in the most realistic way yet been able to maintain the thrill and horror in a few scenes. The editing by Abhishek Shekhawat and Mohammad Zayemuddin deserves praise for making a movie with a rugged storyline watchable for the audience.
Watching a film, series, or documentary is a matter of personal choice. So, if you’re a hardcore admirer of the filmmaker or any of the above-mentioned actors you may go for a one-time watch.