Movie Review | Mrs Undercover' has its cover blown
DECCAN CHRONICLE | Ajit Andhare
The spy universe has always been a male-dominated arena. Of late there have been a few attempts to breach that citadel but such instances are far and between.
One such effort is ‘Mrs Undercover’ which has premiered on Zee5.
Anushree Mehta’s directorial debut is a sincere but half-baked product marred by the premise-to-plot syndrome.
The idea of an undercover agent who doubles up as a housewife had the potential to be an intriguing tale of murder and mystery. Instead what we get is a juvenile and predictable fare.
The usually dependable Radhika Apte gets to play the homemaker Durga who is an ideal wife, dutiful daughter-in-law, and a doting mother. She has long forgotten that she is a trained undercover officer and this domestic setup is her cover.
Circumstances force her to once again pick up the gauntlet and hunt down the ‘Common Man’, a serial killer who has killed 16 women so far. Why? Because he doesn’t like independent women. And why doesn’t he like independent women? No answers are provided for such basic queries.
While the idea was indeed interesting, the writing by Anushree is extremely poor. She has spent half of the run time in Special Force Chief Rangeela, played by Rajesh Sharma wooing Durga to take up the assignment.
Also, this entire idea of a Special Force, which is a darling of a theme on the streamers, needs to be handled with some sense. Which force trains a woman to be a special officer, gets her married, and then forgets about her for a decade? Ridiculous. Can such agents get back in the groove and be ready for the mission by attending a ‘mela’ and doing some shooting practice there? Seriously! It’s nothing but making a mockery of the security apparatus.
As Durga is busy tracking down the killer, her husband is busy having an affair with a woman who works for the Common Man. At this point, on Durga’s insistence, the Special Force steps in to sort out Durga’s domestic problems. Unbelievable.
Performance-wise Radhika Apte gets the meatiest part but has very little material to work upon. She tries her best to do good in the given circumstances but her performance largely stays basic.
Saheb Chatterjee as the male chauvinist husband of Durga does a convincing job. We as audiences dislike him for his onscreen character. Laboni Sarkar as Durga’s mother-in-law deserves a special mention. This veteran actress has very little screen time but dazzles in two or three scenes she gets. Wish her track was given some more prominence.
Sumeet Vyas shines in the first 10 minutes of the movie when we meet him for the first time. In the opening scene, he effortlessly executes his murder plan. It is his 16th. Like Bob Biswas of ‘Kahaani’, Common Man is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Unassuming. That’s his strength and cover.
Thought epistemologically, the movie falls flat on several counts. No adequate reasoning and backstories are provided to make the characters and situations look believable and convincing. And that’s the basic flaw. The first ten minutes are riveting and promising. But the makers have failed to keep the same momentum consistent throughout the movie.
‘Mrs. Undercover’ therefore is neither as comic nor thrilling as it was promised to be. It’s a no-brainer and it’s no secret.
Movie: Mrs Undercover
Director: Anushree Mehta
Cast: Radhika Apte, Sumeet Vyas