Film: “Fredrick”; Director: Rajesh Butalia; Cast: Prashant Narayanan, Avinash Dhyani and Tulna Butalia; Rating: *
With a title like “Fredrick” and touted to be a psychological thriller, the film seems enticing. Alas, it is not!
The narrative begins with an interesting prologue in which, as a teenager, Fredrick is killed by his lover, Manav’s father (Rajesh Khera). Manav leaves home to lead an independent life away from his family and those who bind him.
Nineteen years later, a suspended Intelligence Bureau officer, Vikram Dixit (Avinash Dhyani) lands up in Mussoorie to search for his missing sister Shikha, who had gone there with her boyfriend. He soon realises that his sister had been abducted by a mysterious criminal called “Fredrick”, and he tries to track him down.
He is not alone in his endeavour. His wife Amrita (Tulna Butalia) who happens to be his colleague, too accompanies him on this mission.
Director Rajesh Butalia’s directorial debut “Fredrick” is an interesting mystery thriller narrated in the most convoluted manner, making the viewing experience complex. The scenes in the plot run in loops with actuality, dreams and versions totally confusing and boring the audience.
While the director has invested his energy in plotting the narrative, he has overlooked characterisation. The poorly etched characters are all one-dimensional and shallow living in their undefinable universe. Apart from writing, the direction too is amateurish.
On the performance front, Prashant Narayanan as Manav aka Fredrick is intriguing. He has a deep voice and a strong onscreen persona, but unfortunately, he delivers his lines unenthusiastically. He also lacks the energy required for the character.
Avinash Dhyani in his debut performance as Vikram is realistic, he delivers what is required of him but he lacks the sheen of a lead performer.
With limited screen time and an off-beat character to boot, Tulna Butalia as Amrita makes her presence felt as an agile action-oriented heroine.
The action sequences which include fisticuffs and shoot-outs seem real but are a tad sub-standard.
The songs seamlessly merge into the narration and the background score is loud and racy, befitting the thriller genre.
With moderately decent production values, the locales and setting make for a decent small time film. Apart from the few impressive shots that capture the snowy terrain in Mussoorie, the overall camera work is unimpressive.
Over all, “Fredrick” which begins on a promising note, finishes on a disappointing one.