MICKEY VIRUS | 26 October, 2013

Dar Motion Pictures and Awesome Films Pvt. Ltd.’s Mickey Virus (UA) is the story of hacker Mickey (new hero Manish Paul). He is hired by police inspector Siddhant Chauhan (Manish Chaudhari) to hack a website and get details of a gang operating in India. Two members of the gang have died under mysterious circumstances and as there are no clues, the police are at their wits’ end while trying to solve the murder cases.

Even as Mickey is trying to help the police, a third murder takes place – Kamayani George alias Kate George (new heroine Elli Avram) is killed. As luck would have it, Kamayani was Mickey’s girlfriend and she had sought his help to transfer a huge amount of money into an account, by hacking in­to the website of the bank she claimed to be working for. To Mickey’s hor­ror, she was murdered in her home soon after he had left the place after dropping her there.

Since the investigating police officer is Siddhant Chauhan and his assistant, inspector Devender Bhalla (Varun Badola), the needle of suspicion soon points to Mickey. But Mickey has left the scene of crime as he wants to undo the transaction of the money transfer. Mickey seeks the help of his friends, Chutney alias Shalu Sharma (Puja Gupta), Floppy alias Manjot Gill (Raghav Kakkar) and Pancho alias Palwinder (Vikesh Kumar). Also aiding Mickey is his teacher (Nitesh Pandey).

What happens in the end? Who has murdered Kamayani? Why had Kamayani asked Mickey to transfer funds by hacking? Who had committed the earlier two murders? Is Mickey able to help the police? Does Mickey succeed in preventing the huge transfer of funds by reversing his act of online transfer?

The suspense thriller, scripted by Saurabh Varma, is taut and keeps the audience engrossed. The story is interesting but, by its very nature, it is also very technical. Since a lot of computer jargon is used in the drama, it would keep the computer-illiterate population away from the cinemas. The screenplay is fast-paced, and writer Saurabh Varma has taken care to simplify matters to a large extent. The several turns and twists in the film, especially after interval, keep the audience involved throughout. Having said that, it must be added that the drama runs on a single track because of which the usual ingredients of a mass entertainer are relegated to the background. For instance, although there is a romantic track, it is half-baked. The humour element is woven into the plot and several of the jokes do entertain but it must also be added that the comedy is more class-appealing than mass-appealing, which is also what the film is. Besides, the hacker’s job is shown to be too easy to be true. To people who don’t understand computers and also to those who do, it would appear that a hacker can do just about anything with the aid of a computer. This is probably the feeling the viewer gets when Mickey achieves just about anything by hacking and also when Floppy helps Mickey chase Babloo merely by locating Babloo’s whereabouts, on the Internet. This is, perhaps, the biggest drawback of the screenplay and drama. Dialog­ues are very well-written and the humour element comes across through them.

All in all, debut-making writer Saurabh Varma has written an engaging script even though it is uni-dimensional, class-appealing and very simplistic.

Manish Paul makes a promising debut and impressively flirts with the camera, making himself endearing. His free acting gives the impression that he understands the medium of cinema and knows the craft of acting. He is a welcome addition to the list of heroes. Elli Avram makes a fair debut and acts confidently. She has looked slightly older than required. Manish Chaudhari is very efficient in the role of ACP Siddhant Chauhan. As his assistant, Varun Badola is pretty effective and endearing too. Nitesh Pandey lends good support as Mickey’s teacher. Puja Gupta leaves a fine mark in the role of Chutney. As Flop­py, Raghav Kakkar shines. Vikesh Kumar is quite nice as Pancho. Rohit Pathak (as ‘security guard’ Babloo), Ashish Verma (as Sankatmochan), Bachchan Pachera (as the building security guard), Jagdish Rajpurohit (as Mickey’s boss), Amit Vashisht (as Antoo Bhaiya), Raghav Gupta, Gaurav Verma, Ranjan Kumar and Hemant Kumar Dixit (all four as software sellers), Sharmila (as the bank receptionist), Devender Chaudhary (as Dinesh Jakhar) and Naresh Gosain (as the Haryanvi taxi driver) lend able support. Dean Alexandrou (as the first hacker), Ashish Ranglani (as the failed hacker in the police station), Neeraj (as truck driver) and the rest are alright.

Saurabh Varma does a fine job of the narration in his debut attempt at direction. Hanif Shaikh’s music and lyrics are alright. However, the absence of a hit song or two is felt. His background music is quite nice. Jazmin Oza and Mansi Aggarwal’s choreography goes well with the film’s mood but there’s nothing which stands out. Action scenes, choreographed by Pradyumna Kumar Swain and Javed-Aejaz (climax scenes), are fair. Anshuman Mahaley’s cinematography is very nice. Suman Roy Mahapatra’s art direction makes the film look real. Archit D. Rastogi’s editing is sharp.

On the whole, Mickey Virus is a good entertainer but very very simplistic. Hence, a section of the computer-literate world will not appreciate the over-simplification of the job of a hacker; as for the computer-illiterate audience, the drama, in any case, would be Latin and Greek for them and, so, incomprehensible. Besides, the extremely dull pre-Diwali period will take its toll on the film. Commerially, it will not be able to do much at the box-office.

Released on 25-10-’13 at Regal (daily 3 shows), Eros (daily 4 shows), New Excelsior (daily 2 shows) and other cinemas of Bombay by Dar Film Distributors Pvt. Ltd. Publicity: good. Opening: dull. …….Also released all over. Opening was weak everywhere.