Mickey Arora (Manish Paul) is a hacker from Delhi who gets unwittingly roped into a whole lot of drama when the police approach him to crack a criminal case involving hackers. Along the way, he runs into Kamayani (Elli Avram), a girl who looks eerily like Kung Fu Chameli, an online anime character that Mickey created (and therefore can’t help but be attracted to in real life).
It has to be said: Mickey Virus has a distinctly Vicky Donor feel about it for several reasons, but the real question is, will it also prove to be the kind of hit that Vicky Donor was? Here’s what we thought.
The first thing that strikes you about the film is that it seems to be trying too hard. Since it’s based on hacking, there’s a very obvious attempt to create that setting and make techie jokes. The characters have been given names like Floppy, and of course there’s a “floppy diks” joke thrown in for good measure. For the computer graphics, the makers go for the exaggerated variety – such as those colourful ‘Access Denied’ popups that no one actually sees in real life. And then there’s a bunch of beeping and whirring technology noises thrown in just to make it all seem authentic, except that the entire thing comes off as artificial.
It’s also not exactly a comedy film, even though that’s the first vibe you get. While there are some amusing moments – like when a character is spotted wearing a Jab Tak Hai Trojan tshirt – for the most part, the laughs are not that many. It is more of a suspense film, and the story kicks into gear in the second half with a whodunnit style mystery. That’s when things look up, because it is an interesting story that will keep you fairly engaged until the end.
Unfortunately, though, the actual climax is a bit of a let down. In an attempt to surprise, the makers turn the ending into a tangled, somewhat ludicrous mess. Plausibility takes a back seat to the need to shock, and that’s never a good thing. A simpler ending would’ve tied things up nicely.
Still, though, Mickey Virus remains watchable, and the sincerity with which it was made is obvious. Manish is great as the lazy, unambitious Delhi boy, and there’s something very appealing about his screen presence, mostly because it doesn’t look like he’s trying too hard. Elli ends up being nothing more than a prop, since she’s been given very few significant scenes. Out of the supporting cast, Varun Badola as Inspector Bhalla stands out the most – he’s excellent, and has been given some good lines.
Mickey Virus could have been better, but as it stands, it’s a decent, one-time watch.
With inputs from Amruta Khatavkar.