“Mrs. Serial Killer” is more than just a film; it’s a huge lesson for a Netflix noob. A lesson learnt the hard way by wasting 106 minutes of precious movie time, double the amount of energy suffering through it, and risking one’s sanity in the process. Written, directed, and co-produced for Netflix by Shirish Kunder, Mrs. Serial Killer is proof that not all films that make it to Netflix’s trending list or create a buzz on social media are worth watching. (So much for the habit of not reading reviews before watching a film! Our readers are strongly advised to dig up APEX reviews before watching anything.)
Mrs. Serial Killer tells the story of Sona Mukerjee (Jacqueline Fernandez), a distraught wife who decides to kill someone so that she can free her husband Dr. Mrityunjoy “Joy” Mukerjee (Manoj Bajpayee), an accused serial killer who is in custody. The logic, as suggested by their lawyer Brij Rastogi (Darshan Jariwala), is that if a crime is committed with the same modus operandi as the suspected killer in custody, the court will have to grant him bail and the case against him will weaken. So Mrs Mukerjee tries to become Mrs. Serial Killer, with twists and turns and an ex-boyfriend—Inspector Imran Shahid (Mohit Raina)—determined to stop her.
The idea itself is not as bad as the execution. Right from the beginning, which starts with Jacqueline’s close-up shots, the film begins to spiral. And it tanks so awfully that the audience is left with nothing to hang on to in this one-way roller-coaster that takes them to the very bottom of a pit where cinematic disasters like Mrs. Serial Killer rest in peace.
For lead actress Jacqueline—who’s probably never gotten the same amount of screen space in any of her previous films—this movie was a chance to prove herself as an actor. Unfortunately, the actress seems to lack acting chops and as we reflect on her past works, we cannot conjure a single valid reason why filmmakers would choose her for this important role. Not only does Jacqueline manage to make a mess of the already messed up screenplay with her unreadable facial expressions, her dialogue delivery also falters as the film progresses.
But we cannot hold anything against her. She’s just a victim of wrong casting. However, the same cannot be said of veteran actor Manoj Bajpayee. A winner of multiple awards—including the coveted National Awards—in his almost three-decade-long career, Manoj bitterly disappoints. Granted that the writing and direction are below average, yet Manoj’s depiction of Dr. Mukerjee has to be among the worst performances of his career. He’s playing a simple-looking doctor who might be a serial killer in a film that is supposedly a thriller. But Manoj seems to have come to come to work unprepared and is confused how to project himself. Instead of getting into his multi-layered character, he seems to be mimicking a bad actor, trying to perform a role he doesn’t comprehend.
Indian television’s ‘Mahadev’ Mohit Raina is no better. The actor who became a household name with his portrayal of Lord Shiva in the “Mahadev” television series a few years ago, does not seem cinema-fit. Playing a character that has a reason to be constantly angry, to seek vengeance, Mohit seems unable to grasp the intensity with which he needed to portray police inspector Imran.
Bad writing, direction and acting are complimented by the mediocre background music. Surprisingly, Mr Kunder takes credit for music as well. Any movie fan will tell you that good background score is a must for a thriller. In this case, the music doesn’t build up any tension or create suspenseful, ominous moments. To cut it short, the background score in Mrs. Serial Killer is like one of the tracks people with Garage Band make, by arranging already available sound samples into a single track.
Who should watch it?
The beauty of Netflix is that it offers thousands of hours of videos from all around the world and as such Mrs. Serial Killer shouldn’t be on anyone’s list.