The first thing that strikes you about Mickey Virus is the overt use of what is supposedly "cool" language. From facebook and twitter to use of words like backspace and escape in regular dialogue, Mickey Virus goes overboard just to make an impact, to squeeze a laugh out of you. Unfortunately, it is also the big picture that you walk out of the theater with. It is a shame then that Mickey Virus has enough material in its cute, albeit illogical story to have made a good comic thriller.
From the slogan t-shirt to the one-liners, the film seems like its writing department's only aim was to impress with its wit in every single line - at least in the first half. The adrenaline rush seems to settle down post-interval, which is when the relentless onslaught of absolutely ridiculous computer jargon begins. Wires, USB sticks, random computer screens take over with a vengeance.
More unfortunately than fortunately, Mickey Virus does have a decent story hiding behind all this mumbo-jumbo. Our man, Mickey (Manish Paul), a rockstar, computer hacker is roped in by the police to solve a cyber crime. He gets himself into a very tight spot around interval. By then, you have warmed up to his personality and you really want him to come out unscathed and want to know how he does it too.
Alas, the weave gets so messy that you lose interest. It almost feels like its written by a 16-year old who is trying his hand at a story for the first time. In that sense, the movie is a good first attempt. But ultimately, it is pretty juvenile. This is besides the mind-numbing number of loopholes in the details.
Thankfully though, the lead performance is pretty mature. It does require talent to portray a believable, charming, good-for-nothing buffoon. This, Manish Paul manages pretty well. Soon enough, he has to go into a serious, scared mode which he makes you believe too.
The rest of the cast ain't bad either. In comedies like these, I am just thankful they aren't too loud. That relative restraint itself is applaud-worthy. How I wish some of that restraint was shown in filling the film up with romantic numbers that do not belong. Well I know, that is always too much to ask for.
Having had a decent broad story and a good lead actor on board, Mickey Virus ought to have dived a little deeper to make for a thriller we could laugh with. It's as if the makers were either too lazy or too scared to fill in the details with smart content. They opt for stuff that is so out there that no one will take the film seriously. This too would've been fine, if it were done in moderation.
Mickey Virus does come across as a film that the makers weren't entirely comfortable with. There are sparks that indicate they would've rather made it an all-out thriller. The comedy bits seem like an outer cover, an after thought, even. Yet, it is great to see a comic thriller being attempted. A brainless comedy with some direction is better than one that hams aimlessly, any day.
- meetu, a part of the audience
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