Subhash K Jha feels that The Body directed by Jeethu Joseph has to be the worst whodunit stories of all time. Read it.

Review of The Body: Is the worst film Of Rishi Kapoor’s career

The Body

Starring Rishi Kapoor, Emraan Hashmi, Sobhita Dhulipala

Directed by Jeethu Joseph

Rating: *(1 star)

In what could be considered a significant step up in her career, Sobhita Dhulipala (so watchable in the webseries Made in Heaven) gets to play the title role.Yipee!

Yes, she is the eponymous Body, and well qualified to play the role. And among all the heroines that Emraan Hashmi has kissed on screen, this one has the most  eligible lips. In fact Ms Dhulipala’s lips have a life of their own, quite independent of the rest of her. We could write a thesis on her lips alone.

She plays a very spoilt heiress, the kind who thinks she has a great sense of humour and no one corrects her because of her wealth (Iny wealth mean,  the bank account, not  the  lips because those are  priceless). So at her wedding mandap she turns to her husband-in-waiting Emraan Hashmi and says with a poker face that she doesn’t want to marry him as she knows he wants to marry her for her wealth.

While Hashmi (the only actor in this film who takes his role seriously) chokes over the joke (what else can he do?) the presiding pundit looks like he could do with a peg. Or maybe just jump into the havan fire.

In dire need of a peg is this unhinged story of a Body that disappears from the morgue. Well, whose laash is it anyway? The entire proceedings of this puerile  joke of  a plot, with twists and turns that would  boggle even the most probing mind, unravel in a morgue/police station where Rishi Kapoor is the cop in duty  who , we are told, takes his cases personally. Whatever that means.

To get Hashmi to confess to his wife’s murder, Rishi looks as gruff and talks in  the language that he uses in real life. For all practical purposes Rishi Kapoor is playing Rishi Kapoor, impatient, arrogant and sarcastic and rude. Somewhere we are told he is grieving for his dead wife Nancy (I remember her name because she  is the only character who does the right thing in this  plot: dies before the film begins). If you have seen the same Spanish director Oriol Paulo’s desi adaptations of The Invisible Guest (Evaru in Telugu and Badlaa in Hindi) you would know that a ghastly road accident is at the core of  the conflict.

Unlike the previous Paulo remakes in Telugu and Hindi, The Body never reaches the realm of credibility. It is constantly in a state of etherized numbness with a dead woman walking, and the other two protagonists just talking talking talking  without making much sense to themselves, let alone the audience.

By the time the mystery is solved we are way beyond caring, our minds numbed by the volley of the dumb. And if you care, the solution offered is so ridiculous as to make you think about the faith in the power of the whodunit to shock.

Without a doubt The Body is the worst film of  Rishi Kapoor’s career. And I include such classics of fetid kitsch from his career as Rangeela Ratan, Naya Daur, Aan Aur Shaan, Naseeb Apna Apna and Sheshnag. Serving as an impertinent and unwanted  counterpart  to the recent Knives  Out,  The Body is simply one of the most asinine whodunits I have ever seen.

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