Director: Shirish Kunder
Cast: Jacqueline Fernandez, Manoj Bajpayee, Mohit Raina
Three people have a good time in Mrs. Serial Killer. First, Manoj Bajpayee who is such a class act that even when he is hamming unabashedly, he’s watchable. And second, the two DoPs – Ravi K. Chandran and Kiran Deohans. The film is a thriller set in an unnamed hill station. Ravi and Kiran capture the natural beauty but also go full gothic with saturated colors and mood lighting. The reds and greens soak the screen. These three try hard to invest this harebrained film with meaning but it’s like trying to resuscitate a dead body. You can keep pumping air in but it won’t move.
This is an apt analogy because Mrs. Serial Killer, as the name suggests, features lots of dead people. Most of them are young, pregnant women. Their dismembered bodies with the fetuses sliced out and preserved carefully in jars, are unearthed. The respected local gynaecologist Mrityunjoy Mukherjee is arrested for the crime. So his wife Sona decides that the smartest way to get her husband out of jail is by replicating the crime – because of course, once the police sees that the killer is still out there, her husband will be released. This genius scheme is concocted by a lawyer, played by Darshan Jariwala, who has just had a cardiac arrest. He lives in a gigantic house, which looks like the setting for the next Vikram Bhatt horror film. And he plans his cases while lying in bed. There’s also a cop, played by Mohit Raina, whose entire career seems to hinge on convicting the good doctor. But since he’s had a relationship with Sona, he’s an equal suspect.
Director, writer, editor and composer of the original music score Shirish Kunder takes great pains to make everyone and everything look suspicious and creepy. So even a casual conversation between Sona and Joy early in the film plays out as dangerous – he’s flying out of town and she’s scaring him by saying that she’s not alone in the house. There’s someone with her. Which is the first sign that she’s a little loopy. In fact, the whole film has a slightly unhinged vibe, which might have worked if the plot actually made sense. I don’t want to reveal any twists but believe me when I say this – the story is flat-out bonkers.
The heaviest load is on the shoulders of Jacqueline Fernandez. Jacqueline’s amiable, attractive presence has been put to good use in big blockbuster movies like Judwaa 2 and Race 3 and assorted dance numbers. But here she must play the role of a doting wife who will go to any lengths to prove that her husband is not a killer. In one scene, she’s menacing. In the next, she’s disguised as a man. In the third, she’s torturing a girl. Jacqueline gives it her best shot but much of this becomes unintentional comedy. Admittedly, the dice is loaded against her. I don’t think any actor could make sense of the silly dialogue and plot. At one point, Sona is attempting to perform an abortion watching an online tutorial. In another scene, she asks the gods, in exasperation: Saare conflicts meri hi kahani mein kyun hain? What makes it even sillier is that Sona does all the kidnapping and torturing while wearing tasteful dresses, high heels and carrying matching handbags. Her husband might be in jail but the commitment to fashion never flags.
My favorite moment was when Mrityunjoy loses it and screams: Stop calling me Joy, I’m not a fucking ice cream
Once you surrender to the sheer incompetence of the film, there is some fun to be had. In one scene, someone says: Meri behen ek gynecologist se mili thi which was odd kyunki meri behen kuwari thi. Obviously, single women never need to see gynecologists. And my favorite moment was when Mrityunjoy loses it and screams: Stop calling me Joy, I’m not a fucking ice cream.
That line made me laugh out loud, which is exactly what I needed at the end of a tough week. You can watch Mrs. Serial Killer on Netflix.