‘Mrs Undercover’ Review: Someone Please Get Radhika Apte Out Of The Trenches | DMT

Radhika Apte is one of the most talented artists working in various national and international industries. She has shown that she can master all genres, be it horror, drama, mystery, thriller, or comedy. At one point, she even became a meme due to her ongoing professional relationship with Netflix, as people alleged that the streaming platform only hired her to star in her movies and shows. But Apte, her agents, or her Netflix took that prank too seriously, and the actress began venturing into projects for Zee5, Prime Video, and Disney Plus Hotstar, which were disappointing to varying degrees. Fortunately, her appearance in “Monica, oh my love” and his first theatrical outing after a three-year hiatus in “Vikram Veda” showed that he has not lost a step. Instead of continuing that streak, though, Apte kicked off 2023 with the awful “Mrs Undercover.”

Durga is married to Deb and they have a child named Joy. Although Durga dreams of being a “special forces agent”, she wastes her life taking care of her husband, her son and her in-laws. In another part of Kolkata, a serial killer calling himself the “Common Man” is directly murdering women who are empowered or on their way to breaking the patriarchal norms imposed by society. After killing a special forces agent, he becomes the organization’s number one priority. But due to the dwindling resources of him, Chief Rangeela is forced to bring Durga out of retirement from him and help them arrest Ajay (Common Man). Initially, she refuses because she has too much going on in her personal life. That said, when she finds out that the threat is imminent and she’s almost around the corner, she decides to split her time between her family and the special forces.

As can be clearly deduced from that synopsis, Abir Sengupta and Anushree Mehta’s writing in “Mrs Undercover” has no subtext at all. They want to talk about how men who walk through the crowd at the local market, meet you for a date after a short chat on a dating app, or host feminist meetups can end up being the most sexist, misogynistic, and dangerous beings to your face. . of this planet. So, the villain of the film is called the “Common Man”, who is accessible during the day and a murderer at night. The writers want to portray women as people who can be goddesses, housewives, and trained super-spies if they choose. So, the heroine of the film is named Durga, who can perform all kinds of martial arts, attend to her “family” of hers, and then perform a dance number whose lyrics underscore everything her character stands for. It’s forceful to an unnecessary extent. Sengupta and Mehta probably thought the audience wasn’t going to “get it,” but a little nuance would have benefited this interesting twist on “The Family Man” trope.

The inconsistent tone in Anushree Mehta’s direction is incredibly apparent. It’s never clear if we’re supposed to take this movie seriously or if we’re supposed to perceive it as a parody of serious special agent movies and shows. The way the “special forces” operate is similar to something from Abbas-Mustan’s “Baadshah”. They wear obvious disguises and appear out of nowhere in temples, taxis and trams. His “headquarters” looks so fake because of the lighting and overall production design that you’ll start to wonder if the entire movie is set inside the mind of Durga’s son Joy. And there’s virtually no difference between the editing and choreography of the action sequences in Durga’s dreams and those that apparently take place in real life. So when the movie wants to deliver a message about modern feminism, it all falls apart. On top of that, “Mrs Undercover” has no sense of rhythm. The first 50 minutes don’t advance the plot or do anything fun with the premise. There are multiple minor altercations that go on forever. Why weren’t they just left on the cutting room floor? Well, that is a mystery that even Durga cannot solve.

Radhika Apte is the only saving grace here. She’s clearly fighting for the life of her to attract the audience. She never hesitates when she has to make a fool of herself. When she has to look intimidating and channel all the rage that bubbles up inside her, she does it with immense confidence. When she needs to break down and cry because her character feels lost, her sadness is palpable. From what I can tell, she’s done a lot of the stunts for her, which is commendable. So, you can criticize the way those scenes have been presented, but Apte has given his all to this role. Sumeet Vyas doesn’t seem to want to be in this movie. There is not a second in which he feels “villainous”. Even when he says or does something technically egregious, he looks and sounds bored. There is not a single instance where Rajesh Sharma, as usual, is firing on all cylinders to make Chief Rangeela as memorable as possible. As for the rest of the cast, they are all fine. They did exactly what they were asked to do, hopefully they cashed their check and moved on to the next project. Nothing too memorable, nothing too irritating.

At the end of “Mrs Undercover”, Abir Sengupta and Anushree Mehta make the biggest mistake one can make after taking viewers through one of the worst audiovisual experiences of all time, that is, teasing a sequel. I can’t even begin to imagine what goes through the minds of the filmmakers to promise another movie with the titular special agent after fumbling with his first screen assignment. Perhaps they are relying on Zee5 viewers to watch and rewatch so much that the streaming platform and producers have no choice but to greenlight “Mrs Undercover 2”. And if that happens, I really hope they spend more time in the writers room, find a consistent tone, and gain some sort of experience in terms of visual storytelling because Radhika Apte deserves better than this crap. I don’t know where things are going wrong, but I hope she fixes things and stars in movies and shows that properly utilize her talents. In the meantime, feel free to check out this so-called “franchise starter” for Radhika Apte, form your own opinion of her, and let us know what she thinks about it.

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