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Mirror Game review: This psycho-drama is filled with cringeworthy moments

Release Date: 02 Jun 2017 / 01hr 53min

Cinestaan Rating

Sonal Pandya

The thriller, written and directed by Vijit Sharma, is laughably absurd.

Set entirely in New Jersey, United States, writer-director Vijit Sharma tries to put forward a complex story of a troubled marriage, a wife’s disappearance and her husband, a psychology professor, the prime suspect in the case. Starring Parvin Dabas, Dhruv Bali, Sneha Ramachander, Omi Vaidya and Pooja Batra, the thriller fails miserably in trying to raise the stakes in a psychological tale of cat and mouse.

Dabas plays Jay Verma, a professor of psychology at Valley State University, who is barely surviving in an unhappy marriage and has an unremarkable life. He suspects his wife Tanya (Shanti Akkineni) is having an affair behind his back.

One day, a student walks in his office, asking for help with his research paper. Ronnie Bhanot, a transfer student, needs his mentorship when it comes to disapproving the link between genetics and psychological disorders.

Jay agrees to help after reading his paper and calls the young man to his house. There, out of nowhere, he tells Ronnie that he will help him only if he helps him get rid of his wife. Jay refuses to grant a divorce to his wife, but can’t stand the thought of another man winning. Therefore, this is his only solution.

Initially, Ronnie is aghast but reluctantly comes on board with the plan. Thereafter, Jay’s life gets completely out of hand — as he comes home to find Tanya missing and he’s the top on the list of suspects. The detective assigned to Jay’s case is Sara Shenoy (Ramachander), a no-nonsense investigator is in the midst of a divorce, who believes the professor is hiding something.

As Jay tries to pin the crime on Ronnie, it comes to his attention that no such person existed, or did they? He has to race against time to figure out who is behind it all as his own psychological demons come to the fore.

The only good thing about Mirror Game is its merciful short running time and the fact that the viewers aren’t subjected to any songs. Much of director Sharma’s story is confusing and the so-called ‘twists’ can be seen a mile away. The high stakes plot points of kidnapping and murder have absolutely no tension. The film’s pace moves on tediously without any urgency.

The entire action is stagey and it feels as if one is witnessing a bad school production. Jay Verma is an Indian who lives in the US and miraculously everyone he comes in contact with happens to speak Hindi from his assistant to the police detective to the psychologist who the police bring in to evaluate his mental health.

The cast features many NRI actors from Bali to Ramachander. Their Hindi is passable but their acting is not. Unfortunately, Ramachander’s character is also saddled with the sexist notion that a woman can’t have both a career and a life — she must choose one over the other.

Vaidya and Batra actually have special appearances in the film; it is Dabas who is carrying the whole film and he seems to be the only one trying.

Mirror Game also falls prey to what late film critic Roger Ebert called the ‘Fallacy of the Talking Killer’ often found in most James Bond films when the villain explains his/her entire actions to the audience, allowing the hero to figure a way out of the situation. The film’s finale was actually cringeworthy as this occurred.

This psychological thriller is quite predictable and has little appeal, I’d suggest giving this game a miss.

Reviewed by Sonal Pandya