Eons ago moviegoers lapped up the comedy dished out by the duo Laurel and Hardy. We have one Hardy again. This time he is a pet tortoise, a computer-generated one. His Laurel is Freddy, the subject of our story. Together they are leading a happy life until Freddy falls in love with one Kainaz who is already married. So, in order to marry her, Freddy decides to bump off her husband. Freddy now hopes to unite with his Kainaz but instead receives the shock of his life that she is hand in glove with Raymond and dumps Freddy for him.
This utterly predictable story and screenplay by Parveez Shaikh may come across as repetitive for audiences who have already seen all this and ilk in ‘n’ number of movies. But all filmmakers still want to give it “their touch” and so did director Shashanka Ghosh. Kartik Aryan plays the title character and he is the only saving grace of the insipid drama termed as a revenge thriller.
Freddy is a complex character and Kartik does play it with elan. After ‘Bhool Bhulaiyaa 2, indeed he has become a bankable star and ‘Freddy’ just drives home that point further. Freddy is a bundle of contradictions. He is a simpleton and scheming at the same time. He is slow and a tech guru rolled into one. He is a dentist who is desperate to get married and hence falls prey to the plot hatched by Kainaz (a convincing Alaya F). However, hell breaks loose when he realizes that he has been taken for a ride. Being a dentist, he believes in an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.
Unfortunately, viewers too have to embark upon a childish and illogical journey of over two hours. En route, they encounter a Mumbai which surprisingly wears a vintage look and is never crowded, BGM by Clinton Crejo which alerts them to the thrills and chill on the screen, and two passable songs composed by Pritam.
It’s towards the climax that this saga picks up pace but it’s too late to invest in it by then. The scenes intended to be thrilling are ridiculous and the ones supposed to be light are pathetic. Picture this: Freddy asks one of his young patients: Who is Agarbatti’s mom? Or Freddy breaking into Kainaz’s house, spiking her face wash, hacking into her and Raymond’s phone, cops giving ample time to murder suspects (Kainza and Raymond) to come over to the police station, et al. Also, after decades you will find the ever-obedient and affable Ramu Kaka as a servant again. The story is replete with pothole-sized loopholes. It can appeal only to those wet behind their ears or die-hard fans of Kartik Aryan.
Hindi cinema is known for stereotyping communities and Parsis are no exception. However, ‘Freddy’ must be one of those rare movies in which a Parsi is not shown in a positive light. Be it Freddy, Kainaz, or her husband or boyfriend, all characters have negative shades.
The weakest link here is the story and characterization which are amateurish to the hilt. Everything happens too easily here. Despite an impressive performance by Kartik Aryan, you end up being fried.
If you do not wish to escape from this movie by the skin of your teeth, ‘Freddy’ is streaming on Disney + Hotstar.