By Sneha Jaiswal (Twitter | Instagram)

Gulshan Devaiah plays CBI inspector Vivan Deshmukh, who heads the investigation into a string of peculiar serial-killings in Mumbai in the 2020 crime-drama ‘Footfairy’. An ingenious killer murders women around railway stations, cuts off their feet and leaves the bodies for the police to find. Without a trace of evidence.

Directed by Kanishk Verma, the plot about a bunch of cops trying to nab a serial-killer with a foot-fetish is definitely intriguing. However, for those who’ve lived in Mumbai, it’s hard to believe that a sparsely populated Bandra station can exist at 11 pm on any given day, or that roads can be deserted along local rail lines in a city that barely sleeps. But for the sake of enjoying a fictional murder mystery, we can let those details slide by. However, despite a riveting story, the banter and dialogues between the cops and characters in general are very dry and boring. There are a few clever or funny liners in between, but not enough to keep a two hour long film engaging.

The characters oftentimes over-explain situations, so the script feels patronizing; maybe the intention was to make things simpler for those who aren’t used to watching crime dramas or are unfamiliar with fetishes. However, in a bid to befriend those new to the genre, the makers alienate seasoned crime fans. Any episode of the Indian series ‘Crime Patrol’ is a lot more entertaining than ‘Footfairy’, in-fact Verma and team even borrow a dialogue or two from Crime Patrol officers; like a line that goes “kundali nikaalo iski”, metaphor for doing a thorough background check.

There’s a small romantic sub-plot involving Vivan Deskhmukh and a pediatrician called Devika (Sagarika Ghatge in a very awkward cameo) which is tied to the primary plot but could’ve been completely avoided. It does nothing but slow the story down and there’s zero chemistry between the two actors. Devaiah has better onscreen partnership with all the actors playing his colleagues.

An open-ended climax was the most disappointing aspect of this film, viewers are left to make their own calculations and for all you know, maybe the real murderer was never shown in the story. Had this been a franchise, say like a Sherlock Holmes, where amid multiple stories there is one case left unsolved, it might’ve been okay, but for a new standalone film with a slow-burn investigation, the ‘go figure’ ending was exceedingly frustrating.

It’s a 5/10 from me. You can stream the film on Netflix.

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