Things get murkier and moronic in this staggeringly dumb, dull, thriller, observes Sukanya Verma.
How traumatic childhood affects adult psychology and disrupts everyday life is enough to empathise without Bollywood making it an excuse for people to act nuts. That it sees the Parsi community purely through the prism of idiosyncrasy adds to the frustration.
Shashanka Ghosh’s Freddy is an exasperating combination of both these terrible traits.
Things get murkier and moronic in this staggeringly dumb, dull, thriller.
First of all, its attempts at authenticity are laughable.
Just because people live in South Mumbai’s art deco buildings, drink raspberry soda, feed on dhansak or bear with nosey aunties inquiring about their pizza toppings and sexual orientation, they are pucca Parsi?
If this charade in the name of milieu isn’t lousy enough, there’s Kartik Aaryan in the titular role. Call him Cyrus, Rustom or Freddy, Kartik Aaryan playing Parsi is as wrong as butter chicken sushi.
His Freddy is a lonesome dentist wearing glasses, striped shirts and an HMT watch who paints planes, cracks bad jokes and pursues a bride on matrimonial websites.
He’s 28 years old but has been at it for the past five years, which means Freddy wanted to get married since he was 23.
The red flags keep showing when he recommends general anaesthesia over locals for a simple wisdom tooth attraction and converses with his dead Mumma, a la Shah Rukh Khan in Darr. If there’s some deep psychological inference to be drawn out of his habit of staring at a woman’s chest, I am relieved I don’t get it.
Doing her bit to break the monotony and trigger Freddy’s dormant stalker, arrives Kainaz Irani (Alaya F), the comely housewife of an abusive restauranteur.
Freddy wants us to feel sorry for the miraculously disappearing bruises on her face but has, clearly, never heard of the term ‘divorce’.
It must be said though, Alaya shows depth even in the face of farce. She deserves better than such rubbish.
Consequences of fatal attraction have found abundant expression in the devious twists of Jism and Fida, but none as stupidly as Ghosh’s hodgepodge of dentist meets damsel-in-distress, scripted by Parveez Sheikh.
When things escalate to the point of murder and betrayal, a grisly game of tit for tat follows and even pets — one’s tortoise, another’s himbo — become fair game.
Crime is treated as a cakewalk what with conveniently located farmhouses nobody knows of or looks into, thunderstorms appearing at the snap of a finger for drama and cops too busy drowning their samosas and suspicions in sweet chutney.
If you’re the squeamish kind, brace yourself for scenes of spit-stirred milkshakes and oral torture.
It’s still slightly less agonising than Kartik Aaryan’s awfully mannered depiction of socially awkward. Or that bungling sidekick with sideswept hair latching on to Alaya in every second frame.
Any time this pet himbo opens his mouth to do anything, it’s a travesty.
That one star below is for when someone finally yells, ‘Chup re, protein shake,’ in his direction.
Freddy streams on Disney+Hotstar.
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