Manoj Bajpayee Fails to Save ‘Mrs Serial Killer’ From Its Script

‘Mrs Serial Killer’ is now available for streaming on Netflix.

Updated04 May 2020, 06:49 AM IST
Movie Reviews
3 min read

Manoj Bajpayee Fails to Save ‘Mrs Serial Killer’ From Its Script

Truth be told, I really tried to come up with some funny, attention-grabbing opening paragraph for this review. But I have failed miserably. As it is, this lockdown is hard and then to watch Mrs Serial Killer can really bring on the blues. So straight to the point. I won't be so mean and tell you who the killer is (though no big surprise in store) but I can tell you Mrs Serial Killer is really a great mood killer and logic killer and sadly not a time killer either!

Your best friend while watching this new film that dropped on Netflix is going to be the 10 seconds fast forward button. Keep pressing it till you get a sneak peek of Manoj Bajpayee in the video thumbnail as you scroll on the progress bar. Separating the grain from the chaff and Bajpayee from the rest of the cast is all you can do to save yourself if someone is holding up a gun to your head and insists you watch it.

It’s only Bajpayee who tries to bring some inventiveness to this plot. And even he, by the way, hasn’t been extended any favours.

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The character is lopsided, no effort is taken to delve deep and give us a more compelling portrayal of why he is the way he is. Bajpayee plays Dr Mrityunjoy Mukherjee, a gynaecologist by profession. He is accused of murdering unmarried pregnant women. Wife Sona (Jacqueline Fernandes) is inconsolable and tries everything she can to save her husband. There is also a police inspector Imran Shahid aka Mohit Raina who seems to have an unresolved grudge with the couple.

When the film opens we see a visibly unstable Jacqueline mumbling to herself “hamari kahani khatam hone wali hai”. Almost echoing our thoughts a young woman tied to a nearby bed screams “who are you talking to you freak”. As Jacqueline threatens her with a scalpel in hand ”torture tune dekha hi kahan hai…who tum ab dekho ge”…its almost like she is speaking to us directly coz then it starts - the torture that lasts for a little less than 2 hours!

A crime thriller understandably has a degree of mystery and the actions shrouded in secrecy but must it do that at the cost of a throbbing screenplay? The doctor and his wife speak to each other in menacing hushed tones and its inexplicable why.

The hospital Mrityunjoy runs has huge blowups of his wife and is even called Sona Maternity Home but we never see any staff or attendant there. Everything seems a setup… a rudimentary half-hearted rehearsal.

Sona’s perfectly put liner and hairstyle is the least of our concerns. Even as in the culmination scene, the hostages in their efforts to get rid of the killer act are so indecisive it is almost like they are waiting for someone from the crew to tell them what to do. Somewhere in the middle of this film, a desperate Jacqueline Fernandes says to a gatekeeper who refuses to let her in “ye zindagi aur maut ka sawal hai”. That’s when I paused the film. One of the most original “filmy” dialogues ever uttered deserved a moment of quiet reflection.

Shirish Kunder who has written, directed, edited, co-produced and even composed the original music score has films like Tees Maar Khan and Joker to his credit. So Mrs Serial Killer turned out the way it has and shouldn’t come as a surprise some would argue.

Also, it has Jacqueline Fernandes. I really don’t want to dwell on her acting prowess or its absence which becomes all the more exposed when sharing the frame with someone of Bajpayee stature.

But what if the only brief she was given was to look good? Mohit Raina is just about okay. Aamir Khan’s niece Zyan Marie Khan makes her debut. She has a couple of elaborate fight scenes where she lands on her feet with aplomb. Darshan Jariwala in the role of a lawyer friend is handed an incomplete character. All this so the film could end with a cliff hanger! Is there a sequel being planned? We care only because the last shot is of Manoj Bajpayee. He deserves a better film. So do we.

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Published: 01 May 2020, 03:11 PM IST
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