So…how bad is it? That’s the question which, those lucky enough not to sit through this newest and perhaps stupidest cock-and-bull concoction from the once-illustrious house of Bhatts, would gleefully ask those who are fated to suffer the wages of sins that we unknowingly committed in our previous lives to be punished in this way.
Unlike the Bhatts’ last film Khamoshiyan, which was unintentionally funny, Mr. X is not even that. It is punishingly bad. A crime caper that is likely to qualify as cognizable offence if stretch into a God forbid, a sequel.
The best thing about this dreadful film is that Emraan Hashmi is invisible for a part of the playing time. I’ll be frank. I didn’t miss him. What I did miss was the presence of a script writer who knows the craft of spreading an outlandish idea (man gets swathed in a chemical and goes invisible) into an engaging comic book yarn. Too stiff limbed to be animated, this is a film that begs to be told to chill.
Not one character comes across as anything but cartoonish in the most laughable way possible. The villain played by the once-interesting Arunoday Singh snarls and grits his teeth scaring no one except himself. Stand-up comedian Tanmay Bhatt is cast as Popo (I remembered his name as it was one of the more interesting details in the sloppy plot) a good Samaritan with a sister who works in a hospital. The sister rummages the medicine cabinets for antidotes to Hashmi’s chemical radiation
“This will either kill or cure you,” she says flashing a bluish liquid into our face (the film is in 3D, you see).
As if we care either way.
I am not going to waste my time or the readers’ dwelling on the distressing dimensions of the radiation disaster that strikes Hashmi’s character. Suffice it to say that in the recent Shankar-directed I Vikram too played a man whom the villains turn into an unrecognizable mound of deformed flesh.
Here, the deformed makeup remains on for maybe 10 minutes. The rest of time Hashmi is either invisible or looking to see how to escape from playing Mr. X.
But we know better than the hero that there is no easy escape from this gigantic mess of a sci-fi, romance, action and drama. Romance reminds me of the very pretty Amyra Dastur who was striking in debut film Issaq. Here she plays a federal agent with so many chips on her tender shoulders that she forgets to have fun with her role.
Taking itself much too seriously to be an off ball sci-fi yarn, Mr. X is an unmitigated disaster. Neither fish nor fowl, it just one big howl of a movie better left unseen.
“You can call me X”, croons producer Mahesh Bhatt for Hashmi.
We’d like to call for help from the nearest trauma centre.