He walks with a fake swagger, wears T-shirts meant for twelve-year-olds, has carefully disheveled hair and a haversack flung on the shoulders. Mickey Arora (Manish Paul), it’s hard to believe, is the country’s best hacker. Even he doesn’t know it as most of the time, he’s doing things like hacking into college websites to delay exam results.
So when ACP Siddhant (Manish Chaudhary), considers him for a police job, he is warned against it. He’s looking for a "hacking ki duniya ka Sehwag” but Mickey’s friend calls him a virus, who is a “waste of his own time”. Siddhant sees something in him, and is patient with his laziness and his ‘too-smart-for-my-boots’ attitude.
Mickey is given a makeshift office in the police station. The aim is to reach a deadly hacker gang that has already committed two murders.
Armed with just a website he has to hack into, with the police breathing down his neck, Mickey with his friends – Floppy, Chutney and Pancho—need to find their way out of this ‘panga’. Sadly the mess gets messier, with yet another murder.
The premise is unique and very interesting. The film builds up steadily and goes into thriller base in the second half. The director is as astute with the chases and suspense, as he is with comedy. It’s a great debut for writer-director Saurabh Varma.
Playing on Delhi’s clichés has been done to death, but the razor-sharp writing will make you laugh at terms like "ye le bete", “syaapa”, “aalsi nandan” spoken by our young characters as they chomp down roadside chowmein. You’ll be laughing most of the times, whether it’s the cheeky song ‘Love China ka maal hai, no guarantee, no warrantee’ or dialogue like Mickey ruing, ‘Bhagwaan ne merei zuban mein backspace kyun nahin diya’ when he uses an awful line on a girl. The outtakes are really funny too.
Cinematography (Anshuman Mahaley) and sound design (Subhash Sahu) are competent. The editing (Archit D Rastogi) makes sure you’re riveted throughout.
The characterization is interesting. As the hero of the film, Mickey makes you root for him. And you smile at his slyness. It’s a grey character with a good heart, but he’s also slippery. We’ve mostly liked debut actor Manish Paul as the host of a popular reality show. He proves to be a superb performer as well, especially playing this character that needs comedic ability.
Cops Varun Badola and Manish Chaudhary are great fun. Pooja Gupta, Raghav Kakkar and Vikesh Kumar are excellent as Mickey’s gang of friends. As the romantic interest Kamayani’s character (Elli Avram) is half-baked and averagely performed.
The twist towards the end is highly improbable, and raises several questions that the film doesn’t justify. Again, Mickey’s reaction at seeing someone close to him die (zero emotion) is also a bit of a stretch. The film leaves us with the hint of a sequel, and we don’t mind at all.
For the crisp writing, humour and Manish Paul’s antics this one’s worth your time.
Rating: Three stars