Freddy: Gory revenge story shirks vital details for effect

Kartik Aaryan plays Dr. Freddy Ginwalla in Freddy. Photo: Teaser Video Grab

Hello! Hello! This one is the first Hindi film in which a dentist plays the central character. Admittedly, whenever necessary, dentists do extract teeth out of a patient, but over here, the doctor concerned pays more attention to gorier things.

Dr. Freddy Ginwalla (Kartika Aaryan) has had a traumatic childhood: he has seen his father kill his mother for adultery and immediately shoot himself so that the blood is spattered on the young Freddy’s face and clothes. The traumatized Freddy grows up into a nerdy yet surprisingly successful dentist, who, however, cannot find any soul-mate despite his attempts in that direction.

He has even registered on a matrimonial site and met several girls, and his aunts, Persis (a natural actor whose name I missed) and Shirin (Harshika Kewalramani) cajole him into settling down.

An introvert and a clumsy person, Freddy’s sole friend is his tortoise, Hardy, and he also loves fashioning miniature planes. At a wedding, Shirin persuades him to meet a girl, who turns out to be Kainaaz Irani (Alaya F.). However, she is married to Rustom (Sajjad Delafrooz, of Special Ops and Tiger Zinda Hai fame), who is a mercurial wife-beater.

The next day, by apparently sheer chance, she comes in as a patient. Gradually their acquaintance turns into friendship, and Freddy falls in love with her. When Rustom goes out of town, the two go on a date. Soon, a day comes when Rustom’s domestic violence goes past limits and Freddy proposes that they get rid of Rustom. Kainaaz is appalled, but Freddy says that he will take care of everything. He plans a perfect murder (which is shown in very gory manner). But when he goes back to Kainaaz, he is shocked to find that she has used him as a tool to get rid of her husband, as she is in love with her husband’s restaurant chef, Raymond (Karan A. Pandit)!

Shattered, Freddy finally asks her only to apologize, but the black widow ridicules and humiliates him along with her boyfriend. After this, it is just about how Kainaaz and Raymond blackmail Freddy by threatening to show the police evidence of his reasons for killing Rustom (Freddy’s romance with Kainaaz and the messages and pictures) and how an angry Freddy retaliates. And things get dirtier and gorier…

At first, let me point out to the vital flaws in this dark, noir-inspired thriller: both Freddy and Kainaaz live in apartment blocks that are not isolated bungalows. Yet, no one sees them together at any time, or even Freddy entering Kainaaz’s house in her absence. How could Kainaaz have foretold that Freddy would suggest eliminating her husband, behind the shy yet socially-respectable professional that he is?

Above all, with Rustom’s demise being so recent (as per Kainaaz’s mother telling her on phone), how did neighbors and associates not see Kaimaaz and Raymond living together? Does her mother not visit her even for Rustom’s last rites? Come on, you writers and filmmakers, we are not doing a caper film here where illogic is celebrated, but a serious thriller!

In one sequence, when Kainaaz and Raymond are beating Freddy in his own house, the cops turn up, “as someone had messaged them”! Now, if it was Freddy who did that as he expected to be beaten, how come the cops did not know? Or who was this neighbor? And when does Freddy concentrate on his practice? On two occasions, he leaves his clinic without notice. He takes absences at will and is active in his revengeful actions at all hours of the day!

And last but certainly not the least, the film’s team should have done some basic research on the dental profession and professionals! General anesthesia is used for wisdom teeth (or any adult) extractions only in specific cases, with due precautions (including someone accompanying a patient), and not so casually.

Freddy even tells the other doctor (presumably the anesthetist) to go out for a break after the patient goes under the sedative effect when the procedure should be immediately started and the anesthetist should always be supervising the patient. And in the climax, the forceps used for extraction are very limited and all wrong to the point of being laughable.

Technically upbeat, the film has a haunting number, Kaala jaadu and a functional background score. Kartik Aaryan, in a different sense from the normal, plays to the gallery. He is immaculate as the spurned and quietly vindictive lover, good as the dentist and excellent as the nerdy young man looking for a girl.

Alaya F. is, overall, impactful as Kainaaz, but, as her boyfriend, Karan A. Pandit is just adequate. In his brief and very clichéd role, Sajjad leaves a mark. The rest are of no consequence.

As a film, Freddy may be a few shades better than Kartik’s last and very crass OTT release, Dhamaka, but that’s not really saying much for this thriller. Sadly, this one had potential, but at every point, logic and meticulousness are frittered away, an obsession with noir cinema is pandered to and the result is a mishmash that works only at a superficial level. Once the audience comes out of the anesthetic effects of a seemingly chilling thriller, there will be little to remember.

Rating: **1/2

Disney+Hotstar presents Balaji Telefilms, NH Studioz & Northern Lights Films’ Freddy Produced by: Shobha Kapoor, Ekta Kapoor, Jay Shewakramani, Narendra Hirawat & Shreyans Hirawat Directed by; Shashanka Ghosh Written by: Perveez Shaikh & Aseem Arora Music: Pritam Starring: Kartik Aaryan, Alaya F., Sajjad Delafrooz, Karan A. Pandit, Jeniffer Piccinato, Harshika Kewalramani, Tripti Agarwal, Tarun Judeja & others




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