Movie review: Mr X a heavy-handed action fantasy
Director: Vikram Bhatt
Cast: Emraan Hashmi, Amyra Dastur, Arunoday Singh
The hero of Vikram Bhatt’s Mr X is an invisible vengeance-seeker who is on a dual mission.
While he is out to settle scores with the nasty men who have wronged him, he is also committed to winning back the trust of his lady love who has been led to believe that he is a killer.
But the film is not half as riveting as its plot might sound. Mr X is sci-fi thriller that gets neither its science nor its fiction right.
The pivotal plot premise is too feeble and heavy-handed to hold the laboured action fantasy together.
For lead actor Emraan Hashmi, Mr X offers yet another off-the-beaten-track role. He plunges into it with apparent vigour, but for want of a credible screenplay, he is unable to translate his effort into something substantial.
The only point of interest for an audience that is already aware what the film is about hinges on how the male protagonist, an anti-terror agent betrayed by his own men, acquires the power of invisibility.
The sequence that reveals the process is laughable, to say the least: a severely burnt protagonist is administered a dose of an untested anti-radiation medicine in a laboratory. It sparks off total cell regeneration within his badly scalded body and the man turns invisible, which gives him the power to strike at will at the betrayers.
All this transpires only a day before the officer is due to marry his sweetheart (Amyra Datur).
The latter is also a crack bomb disposal expert who believes that law enforcers have no right to take the law in their hands, which explains why she is determined to erase the hero’s memories.
The invisible Mr X kills one of his tormentors before the girl’s eyes. She figures out that the killer is the man she had given up for dead. She now resolves to stop him from causing more damage.
In keeping with films from the Bhatt camp, Mr X has its share of divine interventions and dramatic conflicts between science and religion.
The film draws an analogy between Krishna and Arjun and God and Mr X.
In the Mahabharata, the hero declares, it was Krishna who came to Arjun’s aid. It is now my turn to lend a helping hand to God, he says before he sets out on his chosen revenge mission.
Amyra Dastur, who is clearly not a finished article yet but is promising enough, has a substantial role and she makes the most of it.
Arunoday Singh plays the principal antagonist, an ambitious senior police officer who thinks nothing of breaking the rules to get ahead in life.
The character of the corrupt cop isn’t fully etched out, and so his motivations remain far too hazy to be convincing.
That is the problem with Mr X as a whole. It is overly contrived, flouts logic at crucial junctures of the narrative, and fails to be gripping. And that is the least that a sci-fi drama should be.