Tuesday, 4 October, 2022
HomeFeaturesReel Take‘Forensic’ doesn't know what to be an expert in — investigating murders...

‘Forensic’ doesn’t know what to be an expert in — investigating murders or cramming twists

Zee5's Hindi adaptation of the 2020 Malayalam movie 'Forensic' is a flimsy replication that tries to play clever but is done in by shoddy writing.

Text Size:
ThePrint Take
Overall

On paper, Forensic makes for a compelling psychological crime thriller wherein young girls are abducted on their birthdays only to be found dead later. Set in the small town of Mussoorie, the story revolves around finding the serial killer who could possibly be a 10-year-old child. However, as director Vishal Furia brings the story onto the screens, you might be compelled to look up the definition of a ‘thriller’.

A thriller, whodunnit, or any mystery drama usually hinges on its unpredictability wrapped in an engaging and entertaining package. The Hindi adaptation of the 2020 Malayalam movie of the same name is a flimsy replication. The original, starring Tovino Thomas and Mamta Mohandas, isn’t outstanding, but it does the job it had set out to do.

The Hindi remake deals in the usual Bollywood trope. A scene seeking to build tension with — what else — intense background music suddenly leads to a song. As a viewer, you are now supposed to make sense of the romantic past of the characters. Before you could, the film has transitioned back to the investigative mode. It makes you wonder what the brief to the film editor was.


Also read: Radhika Apte spy flick doesn’t sell sex or fantasy — are Charlie’s Angels days finally gone?


Who did it better — the original or the adaptation?

In a recent interview, actor Vikrant Massey described ‘whodunnit’ as a genre that has been “done to death, the world over”. The only thing you can do is change the permutations and combinations of an already told story, he had said. Interestingly, the Hindi adaptation struggles to stay afloat, especially in the parts where it veers from the original.

The plot is largely the same. In the original, Thomas is a forensic expert known for his impeccable investigative skills. He also happens to be the brother-in-law of the investigating officer, played by Mohandas. Even though their unresolved familial issues do seep into the investigation, the murder mystery remains the prime focus of the Malayalam film.

The Hindi remake, where Radhika Apte plays the investigating cop (Megha) and Massey (Johnny) the forensic expert, tries to improve on the original by infusing shocking plot turns, flimsy comedy, and a romantic past. To top it all, the narrative concludes with an equally absurd twist.

In one of the early scenes of the Hindi adaptation, Massey’s character enters the crime scene while humming the nursery rhyme ‘Johny Johny Yes Papa’. He examines the body and later, with much suave, claims he has discovered the killer. We have to endure these shoddily written scenes so that we know how brilliant he is at his job. To Massey’s credit, he makes even the hastily written character appear watchable. There is a certain ease with which Massey acts his scenes, evoking likability, be it the innocent Shutu in Death in the Gunj or the unhinged husband Rishabh in Haseen Dillruba.

Besides Massey, Apte too makes you root for Megha. If only the writers had thrown a challenge at these two outstanding actors — who are cast together for the first time.

For all its flaws, Forensic shines when it sticks to the investigative trope and dives into the forensic aspect of solving a crime. If the remake had stuck to the narrative of the original Malayalam film, it probably would have worked. But then, what’s the need to recreate something while the original exists? I wish the creators would have asked themselves this question before filming.

(Edited by Prashant)

Subscribe to our channels on YouTube & Telegram

Support Our Journalism

India needs fair, non-hyphenated and questioning journalism, packed with on-ground reporting. ThePrint – with exceptional reporters, columnists and editors – is doing just that.

Sustaining this needs support from wonderful readers like you.

Whether you live in India or overseas, you can take a paid subscription by clicking here.

Support Our Journalism

Most Popular

On paper, Forensic makes for a compelling psychological crime thriller wherein young girls are abducted on their birthdays only to be found dead later. Set in the small town of Mussoorie, the story revolves around finding the serial killer who could possibly be a...‘Forensic’ doesn't know what to be an expert in — investigating murders or cramming twists
×