‘My Client’s Wife’ Movie Review: An ambitious psychological thriller that suffers from multiple disorders
Prabhakar Meena Bhaskar Pant
Ujjwal Virendra Deepak, Shankar Ram Iyer, Rajeev Singh, Bhasker Tiwari, Rojita Tiwari
Anjali Patil, Sharib Hashmi, Gireesh Sahedev, Vishal Om Prakash, Abhimanyu Singh
Bollywood Bubble Rating
Hindi cinema is not the one that can boast of many psychological thrillers that suck the viewer in with the effect of a vacuum with their riveting stories and structures. Barring an above-average Karthik Calling Karthik (2009), an average Talaash (2012), an underrated Phobia (2016) and the superbly crafted Game Over (2019); it’s a lost cause for Hindi cinema when it comes to this genre. And the recently released Sharib Hashmi starrer My Client’s Wife doesn’t seem to provide any aid.
Set in Chattisgarh’s capital Raipur, My Client’s Wife is an indie film which is too ambitious when it comes to telling a story but, it misses the point by miles. Directed by Prabhakar Meena Bhaskar Pant, who is also the writer, the film opens with a wide shot of an ambulance raging on the empty streets of Raipur in the midst of the night and takes too much time to establish the point that it’s trying to make. The film boasts of an amazing cast: Sharib Hashmi, Abhimanyu Singh and Anjali Patil. But, it’s painful to see this amazing array of artists being criminally wasted as the director fails to extract strong performances from its lead actors. Sharib’s dialogue delivery in many key scenes throws it off the hook, majorly because the dialogues were very juvenile and undercooked; same is the case with Anjali Patil, an actress par excellence who weaved magic in Newton. Abhimanyu Singh is the only saving grace here.
In addition, My Client’s Wife fails miserably in all technical departments. The cinematography consists of textbook shots having zero innovation; the predictable Dutch angles, clichés with no variations and long takes that take a toll on your mind. Cinematography is the most deadly weapon when it comes to psychological thrillers because it can make the protagonist’s mind stand out as a character with unique perspectives. But, sadly the cinematography here lacks all three: perspective, depth and the will to do something out of the box. The editing is loose and seems in perfect sync with the cinematography. However, the bigger surprise is the background, of course not in a good way. Sanchit Balhara, who’s one of Bollywood’s most amazing score designers, fails to impress. The score reeks of laziness. The man who gave memorable scores like Bajirao Mastani, Padmavat, Kalank and War disappoints here big time. While the sound designing is inept and seems rushed, the DI, too, doesn’t offer much to look into, such films generally deploy high contrast images to highlight the dichotomy or varying shades of its characters but here, the images seem too bright with low contrast.
The director tried a lot of things when it came to narrative and instead of adding layers to the screenplay, it backfired badly. There’s also a bit of Rashomon effect that doesn’t really help the cause and the only reason behind it is that it hasn’t been used the right way otherwise it could have worked wonders. The film starts working towards the end but, the Shutter Island-esque twist acts as the final nail. The problem here again is the treatment and the way it has been executed. Prabhakar Meena Bhaskar Pant’s vision couldn’t match his execution.
This film could have been better, everyone involved in it could have been better. If done right My Client’s Wife would have been an amazing film. But alas! It lacked the adhesive Force of direction, the key force that holds everyone and everything in place and something that makes or breaks a film.
I am going with 1.5 stars