Free Press Journal

Movie Review: Fredrick – A low-brow genre thriller

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Cast: Prashantt Narayanan , Tulna Butalia, Avinash Dhyani

Director: Rajesh Butalia

Rating: * * ½


Runtime: 129 mins

The film opens with a prologue which acts as a set-up for the psychological thrills to follow. Manav and Fredrick are illicit gay teen lovers who have to face extreme, explosive retaliation from Manav’s abusive father. Fredrick is accidently killed in the vicious physical attack launched by Manav’s Dad and Manav in turn kills him. Jump-cut to a few decades later and Vikram (Avinash Dhyani) a suspended IB officer and his wife Amruta (Tulna Butalia) are in search of his missing sister who supposedly went to Mussorie with her friends and disappeared thereafter.

Vikram is not permitted to leave his home state because of his suspension so Amruta takes on the onus of leading the investigation and ends up playing fall guy. What unravels thereafter is a sinister network of human trafficking led by Fredrick (Prashant Narayanan). At first no one knows who Fredrick is as Manav (Prashant Narayanan) is the front man along with a cop who goes by the name Rana. While Vikram is in hot pursuit , he encounters a series of henchmen who make his task of getting to his sister and wife in time , more difficult. The set-up is arranged in such a way as to make the degree of difficulty greater as the narrative progresses. Unfortunately the intent doesn’t translate well enough into action. Vikram comes across as weepy and less skilled than his wife.

The film is quite intriguing despite it’s B grade pretentiousness. The actors look fresh and perform believably enough. The script though fails to make the going striking. It’s a little too convoluted and long in the tooth. Also the incessant rings of coterie sent to restrict Vikram looks quite fallacious. The gay angle of the story isn’t woked in well enough. Prashant Narayanan as the psychotic human trafficker/ killer/ gay lover does his best to make his sketchy role look sharp but it just doesn’t work out that way. Rajesh Butalia’s direction has pace and sufficient realistic action but is lacking in narrative fluency and smarts. Despite the obvious infarctions, this one manages to keep your interest going for a fair bit.