Forensic emerges as one of the dumbest movies of the year so far, complains Sukanya Verma.
Hill station noir is fast becoming an Indian OTT staple.
Close on the heels of Aranyak and Mithya arrives Forensic, a ZEE5 original whodunit set in Mussoorie, where muddled identities and skeletons in the closet drop clues for a series of young girls gone missing and dead.
Vishal Furia's remake of the 2020 Malayalam thriller, starring Tovino Thomas, strays an incredible deal from its source to deliver an unsalvageable mess.
In its bid to refresh the premise, Forensic concocts excessively absurd twists and ambitious contrivances, which it then falls on the face justifying.
Its commitment to baffle and hoodwink the viewer over relentless red herrings by way of no-context preludes and creating an air of insincere suspicion where the camera lingers on certain characters in a forcibly sinister way, the sloppiness is unending.
Forensic begins with a kid’s physical abuse at the hands of his father.
The scene then cuts to focusing on a forensic specialist Johnny's (Vikrant Massey) oddball genius.
For some inexplicable reason, he wears a demented grin on his face while reciting the Johnny Johnny nursery rhyme around corpses he is collecting data from.
Nobody complains as long as his unconventional 'killer ke dimaag mein ghusna' approach solves cases in a jiffy.
Good enough reason for the Mussoorie police to rope him in and investigate the little girl serial killer along with Inspector Megha (Radhika Apte).
The two have a past.
Working together on a case is a scenario they always envisioned but not in the estranged circumstances as now.
Megha's sister was married to Johnny's big brother (Ronit Bose Roy) before they tragically lost her and one of their twin daughters.
The surviving daughter, a pre-teen disposed to making faces on other children's birthdays, sees a therapist (Prachi Desai) and lives with her aunt who has broken all ties with her brother-in-law and family.
Johnny's dramatic, grisly, methods don't impress the hyper, quick-tempered Megha.
Their tension and temperaments clash as they squabble over the case and each other's modus operandi.
Meanwhile, more and more girls keep getting bumped off on their birthday and the suspect keeps shifting from a 'dwarf' to a 'delinquent'.
That the gizmos and forensic technique doesn't look too sophisticated would still be alright if its menace and intrigue bore some heft.
But Forensic's embarrassing understanding of gender transitioning, juvenile offence and basic psychology turns a serious crime tale into a Jaani Dushman brand of lunacy that even talents like Vikrant Massey, Radhika Apte and Prachi Desai cannot rescue.
Flat execution of an otherwise shocking premise ensures the two hour thriller feels so much longer than its running time.
Over a course of one false alarm after another, until the film runs out of suspects and has nothing but the stupidest explanation as motivation to offer, Forensic emerges as one of the dumbest movies of the year so far.
Forensic streams on ZEE5.