One of the biggest surprise hits of 2019 was the suspense thriller BADLA, starring Amitabh Bachchan and Taapsee Pannu. It was a remake of the 2017 Spanish film THE INVISIBLE GUEST, directed by Orol Paulo. Now a remake of this master director’s film, The Body, has been made and the same title has also been produced. So does the Hindi remake of The Body serve as a catch and shock to the audience like the original version? Or does it fail to attach? Let us analyze.
The Body is the story of a corpse that vanishes from a morgue under mysterious circumstances. Ajay Puri (Emraan Hashmi) is married to a wealthy businessman Maya Verma (Shobhita Dhulipalia) and both live in Port Louis, Mauritius. Ajay is married to Maya for her wealth. Also he is fed up with the way he is sick. Ajay runs his own pharmaceutical business and is also a visiting professor. During a lecture, he is introduced to a student, Ritu (Vedhika Kumar). Soon they begin a romantic relationship. Ajay knows that if he seeks divorce from Maya, all the wealth will be taken away from him. So he decides to assassinate her and formulates a great plan. Maya is unperturbed while taking the flight. The day she was about to return from Los Angeles on a long flight, Ajay added a small amount of poison to her liquor. It produces the same symptoms that occur during a heart attack. So the doctor would conclude that he had this attack due to anxiety about flying. According to the plan, Maya consumes poisonous liquor and dies in the evening. His body was taken to the morgue for autopsy. There is trouble when the body disappears from the morgue. Caretaker Tara Singh claims that she saw the dead Maya coming out herself! SP Jairaj Rawal (Rishi Kapoor) has been brought to investigate the case. Jayaraj himself has not recovered from personal tragedy. What happens next makes the rest of the film.
The original story of Orol Paulo has loose ends, but can be made for a great suspense thriller. The optimized screenplay is faulty and very weak. The film needed some really nail biting scenes. Instead the author added cliché and run of the mill scenes that constrain the effect. The dialogues are nothing exciting.
Jethu Joseph’s direction is quite disappointing. It is shocking that the original version of DRISHYAM produced by the director has given this blow. The execution sounds amateurish and really fails to captivate the audience. Despite a run-time of 103 minutes, the film is paired with 4 songs which further adds to the disappointment. Instead of impressing the audience, the shocking climax would also shock them, as the whole idea of a body disappearing from the morgue seems far-fetched and unnecessary as to what was intended.
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The body has a non-linear narrative and maintains interest to an extent. However the first 10 minutes prove that execution is not up to the mark. The film has some interesting moments, but is not well-heeled. Some sequences that stand with Ajay are being interrogated by Jayaraj. The timeout draws attention as a horror angle. After Interval, the film remains dry for a few moments after being affected here and there. The ending is unexpected but not very logical.
Emraan Hashmi is fine, but could have done better. His best scenes are with Rishi Kapoor and especially when he is irritated by the investigation. Rishi Kapoor is a bit dramatic which was not a requirement of the character. He finds the satire a bit correct. Shobhita Dhulipalia emerges as the best cast of the film. His role is quite poor and he does total justice. Vedika Kumar looks glamorous and is decent. Rukhsar Ahmed (Dr. Tanya) and Anupam Bhattacharya (Pawan) are passable.
The songs are a big letdown and are compelling. All songs of the film – ‘Main Janta Hoon’, ‘Khuda Hafiz’, ‘Aaina’ And ‘Whole being’ Are forgettable. ‘Jhalak Dikhla Jaa Reloaded’ Missing from film. Clinton Cerejo’s background score fails to make any impact.
The cinematography of Satish Kurup is neat. The production design of Prem Navas is rich. The costumes of Deepika Lal and Anirudh Singh are glamorous especially the clothes worn by Sobhita Dhulipalia and Vedhika Kumar. Ayub Khan’s editing is nothing special.
Overall, The Body is a dry and boring thriller. It will flop at the box office.