Writer-director Saurabh Varma sets up a farce in his debut film Mickey Virus. We meet Mickey Arora, known in his gang of Delhi hackers as Mickey Virus (Manish Paul)—and in cyberspace as Kung Fu Chameli—inside a den filled with gadgets resembling China-made children’s toys. There is absolutely nothing cool about these gadgets, crucial in taking the story forward. The lazy protagonist has a swagger, although his T-shirts have more wit than he does. His hacking companions, Chutney (Puja Gupta), Floppy (Raghav Kakkar) and Pancho (Vikesh Kumar), are nerds who could fit into an Austin Powers bubble, except here they are humourless and have to fight the Delhi police and carry out an embezzlement of Rs.100 crore.
The film’s first half is intended to be comic, but except for Varun Badola who plays a police inspector who does not know the difference between ‘hawker’ and ‘hacker’, none of the actors including lead Paul have any inventiveness as comic characters. The humour has no edge and the performances are awkwardly exaggerated.
The second half of the film changes tone. It goes into whodunnit territory, with a plot as ludicrous as the manoeuvres of the hackers.
Quite evidently, it is a film made on the premise that the hacker has novelty in Bollywood. It may be, for the technologically-challenged or the IQ-challenged. Without any authentic ring to it, and with artless performances and a predictable story, the last thing I could do, while sitting through its more than 2 hours of running time, was suspend disbelief.
Mickey Virus released in theatres on Friday.