The Body Movie Review: Unaccomplished, rather shoddy remake

Published: Dec 13, 2019, 17:05 IST | Johnson Thomas | Mumbai

The Body's narrative is slow and fails to set your imagination on fire. The camerawork, unlike that of the Spanish original, is stodgy and workmanlike. There's nothing dark, eerie or inveigling in this telling.

A still from The Body
A still from The Body

The Body
U/A; Mystery, Thriller
Director: Jeethu Joseph
Cast: Rishi Kapoor, Emraan Hashmi, Vedika Kumar, Sobhita Dhulipala, Rukhsar Rehman
Rating: Rating

Oriol Paulo's 2012 Spanish mystery thriller The Body gets officially rehashed by Jeethu Joseph of Malayalam film Drishyam fame. One would think that after that intriguing attempt he would have found this one all too easy to floor the audience with. But that was not to be.

The story, which seems all-too-familiar (and not only because of the spanish film, it's Tamil-Kannada remake Game or the Korean remake The Vanished), plays out like an episode in a TV crime series. A body -- that of Maya (Sobhita Dhulipala), a millionaire married to a lowly Professor Ajay (Emraan Hashmi), disappears from the mortuary of a hospital and the investigation that stretches for 8 hours and remains largely within the confines of that space unravels the mystery behind that odd disappearance. Of course, Jairaj (Rishi Kapoor), the investigator is sure it's a cut and dried case. But in the course of the investigation, fingers start pointing to the adulterous husband and his paramour, a student, Ritu (Vedika Kumar). So what's the truth? Whodunit?

In Paulo's film, the mystery was built-up piece by piece. When the husband is called in for questioning he starts receiving messages from beyond the grave, apparently. That film was both original and kept the mystery going right to the very end. Joseph's remake has to contend with an audience that is already well-versed with who the killer is or why the body disappeared. As a result, the mystery remains only for those who haven't seen the earlier films. Despite having Paulo's film (which kept the viewer guessing for most of its runtime) to draw inspiration from, Joseph and team fail to develop either tempo, intensity or ensuing mystery behind the disappearance.

Watch the trailer of The Body below:

The narrative is slow and fails to set your imagination on fire. The camerawork, unlike that of the Spanish original, is stodgy and workmanlike. There's nothing dark, eerie or inveigling in this telling. The editing is rather sloppy and the background score tries hard to make the mystery all-enveloping. The actors, other than Rishi Kapoor (who essays his role with all earnestness) fail to rise to the occasion and the direction is particularly sloppy for a remake. This is a narrative that needed note-perfect actors and baffled expressions. But that's not what we get here.

The incompetent performances lay the narrative bare and what could have been a hundred possibilities narrows down to just one. The twists and turns seem belabored and the slack pacing and uneven tempo fails to drum up tension. Paulo's film was rather cerebral, Joseph's remake is mostly incidental. There's no climate of suspense or thrill in the mystery here.

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