Mr. X Hindi Movie Review
This weekend's Mr. X once again raises the one question that has confounded movie-going audiences since the beginning of eternity: if it looks like rubbish, if it walks like rubbish and if it talks like rubbish, do you really have to see it to know for sure if it's rubbish?
The answer remains a resounding "Noooooo!!". Sure, there are a few exceptions that have bucked the trend, that have managed to transcend a shoddy concept and a terrible name to pleasantly surprise you. Y-Films' spunky 2011 rom-com Mujhse Fraaandship Karoge is one film that instantly comes to mind. Sadly, director Vikram Bhatt's crummy sci-fi ode to Mr. India is instead a trend-defining film that reinstates your faith in your judgment of rubbish films.
Bhatt once again teams up with his non-blood-related frequent collaborators Mahesh Bhatt and Mukesh Bhatt and their blood-related permanent-fixture Emraan Hashmi to put his own spin on the age-old concept of invisibility as a superpower.
The invisible protagonist here is Raghuram Rathod aka Raghu (Hashmi), an honest officer of the Anti Terrorist Department (ATD), where he works with his lover. Due to a twist of fate (and some very bad, very corrupt men), he is framed for the murder of the CM. One thing leads to another and he becomes invisible. He just becomes completely, utterly invisible. Except when he's in sunlight or red light or violet light. That's his kryptonite.
If you've ever seen a Vikram Bhatt film before in your life, you'd know why the thought of him attempting a sci-fi film is more entertaining than the film itself. He probably has no idea that the sci in sci-fi actually stands for Science. He tries his level best to come up with a scientific method of making his protagonist invisible, but fails miserably. So he drops all pretenses and comes up with the one explanation that needs no explanation: act of God. He repeatedly cuts to a small statuette of a God to make his point, and at the same time to shirk off any responsibility for the lack of any sort of logic, because who could question an act of God? Certainly not me.
Taking it to be God's will, Raghu decides to take revenge from the wrong-doers by breaking the law himself and killing them off one by one, something that is not acceptable to his extremely lawful fiance. So, they fight, they kiss, they shower and they swim together, and then they fight again. Who says invisible people don't have urges.
Bhatt assumes that as an audience, you live in a vacuum and haven't seen a single other film in your life, in Hindi or any other language. He assumes that no matter how far he strains your credulity and offers one unbelievable scenario after the other, you'll just lap it all up because it's your first time inside a movie theater. He assumes that no matter how cheap and tacky and cringe-inducing his special effects may be, you'll be left with a sense of awe because you never knew that 3D technology actually exists. He assumes that no matter how bad a movie he's made, you'll love it because actors are kissing in it.
So, Bhatt just goes about his merry ways, ripping off dozens of other films to create a snuggly ball of trash that is Mr. X. To hell with any sense of coherence. So, after a factory blows up in which Raghu supposedly died, nobody bothers to even find his body in the rubble. Instead, Raghu just wakes up the next morning, finds a perfectly working landline in the burnt-down factory and calls for help. He gulps down a random anti-radiation medication and disappears into thin air. To keep a character safe from the wrath of Mr. X, the ATD hide him in the back room of a disco where a full-on item number takes place.
No matter where you look, there is an inescapable sense of amateurish conception and execution in every frame of the film, right from its direction and screenplay (both credited to Vikram Bhatt) to its cinematography (non-blood related frequent collaborator Pravin Bhatt) to its editing (Kuldeep Mehan) to its production design to its musical score (Jeet Gannguli). You also get tons of corny, cheesy, cliche dialogue about the scent of your lover and the sanctity of law, because no Bhatt film, Vikram or Mahesh's, could be complete without making you wonder "who the hell talks like that?".
Emraan Hashmi fights a losing battle, trying to keep the film alive and watchable. He gets an ill-conceived, poorly-etched, horribly misguided character to play, a handicap that is impossible to recover from. But he rallies till the very end against a film that relies heavily on melodrama and ridonculous twists, trying his hardest to inject some sort of sincerity and real emotions into the proceedings. Even though he still fails to make you root for him, and even though it may not be anywhere near a memorable performance, he remains the bright spot in an otherwise dull and mundane film.
Amyra Dastur looks pretty and acts pretty badly. You can tell she's straining every single fiber in her body to conjure up believability and conviction, but it's all in vain. Arunoday Singh doesn't manage to impress either, straddled with old-man hair and overly-simplistic motivations for his villainy.
Overall, it's high time that Vikram Bhatt stopped making films, and more importantly, that Emraan Hashmi stopped acting in them out of a sense of debt. You could go into theaters expecting to spend a terrible couple of hours and you'll still come out with your expectations superseded by this inept, incompetent and insipid sci-fi feature with an IQ level that is smaller than the size of Emraan Hashmi's shoes. This is one X problem that cannot be solved using even the most mind-numbingly complex mathematical equations and formulas.