Forensic is ambitious yet average whodunit

Vikrant Massey plays a forensic ace in Forensic. Photo: Trailer Video Grab

Mussoorie, the way the developed hill-resort is shown, looks like a lush dream—DOP Anshul Chobey may take a bow, though he is instructed to keep the camerawork somewhat dark. What the lead characters go through is a sordid and sometimes morbid nightmare. And the film falls somewhere between.

I am told that the Malayalam film on which this is based was gripping and far superior, with a different climax. Not being privileged as of now to watch it, I have to take this film at its own worth. Frankly, I would term this film as ambitious yet average.

Forensic expert Johnny Khanna (Vikrant Massey, over-the-top mostly), with a penchant for saying the ‘Johnny Johnny yes papa’ poem’s personal versions while interacting with his ex-girlfriend as well as a corpse, is summoned professionally to that picturesque town. His ex-girlfriend and relative by marriage, cop Megha Sharma (Radhika Apte) is following up a case of small girls going missing after their birthday parties and then found brutally killed later.

Johnny and Megha have parted as lovebirds due to tensions—Johnny’s elder brother Abhay (Rohit Bose Roy)’s wife was Megha’s sister and she died a while after this couple’s daughter was similarly found killed. The surviving twin, Anaaya (Harbandana Kaur) is under Megha’s care and also under child psychiatrist Dr. Ranjana (Prachi Desai). Due to the estrangement in family relationships, Anaaya is kept away from Abhay, who craves to meet her.

Red herrings, of course, are strewn all over the 2-hour film. And Johnny surprisingly has a fully-equipped forensic setup in small town Mussoorie, presumably only for this case! Child murderers, disturbed individuals, scared witnesses and a sex-change operation are all included for a perfect whodunit recipe. We are (in TV serial C.I.D. fashion—its actor as forensic expert—Narendra Gupta—is playing a similar role here!) also introduced to some lesser-known forensic details, like Forensic DNA Phenotyping (FDP), which are interesting and illuminating.

There is also the troubled Megha-Johnny history, though they are forced to work together professionally, an ace psychiatrist suffering from cancer, and incredibly, a fully equipped and huge forensic lab in nearby Rishikesh, an even smaller town to Mussoorie, which is basically famous as a pilgrim center! The original film, reportedly, was based in a big city, which made this important aspect decidedly credible.

The denouement is definitely shocking, but we also feel cheated in a way—unlike masterful thrillers like Gupt, Aitbaar, Anhonee (1973) or Johnny Gaddar, we do not find the narration an open book, where we can revisit the film to know how cleverly the culprit was hidden throughout the drama. This film is more in the league of the 1974 Benaam, where a crucial fact is hidden and so the killer could not have been guessed anyway!

Radhika Apte, Rohit Bose Roy and Prachi Desai go through their roles with ease but in routine manner, Prachi actually scoring better than anyone else. Some amusement comes from Vindoo Singh Randhawa as Megha’s deputy, but that’s about all.

If the details had been attended to, this film, like so many others in recent times, could have gone places. But ambition must be supplemented by cerebration for this to happen.

Rating: **1/2       

ZEE5 presents Sohum Rockstar Entertainment’s Forensic  Produced by: Deepak Mukut, Mansi Varun Bagla & Varun Bagla  Directed by: Vishal Furia Written by: Adhir Bhat, Ajit Jagtap & Vishal Kapoor Music: Adrija Gupta  Starring: Vikrant Massey, Radhika Apte, Rohit Bose Roy, Suneet Bora, Prachi Desai, Ananth Narayan Mahadevan, Vishal C. Bhardwaj, Vindoo Singh Randhawa, Harbandana Kaur, Narendra Gupta & others






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