In the late 80s and the early 90s, many filmmakers of repute started making feature length films for Doordarshan. These films featured prominent actors and technicians from the film world and after being telecast on a Sunday afternoon, they would be played intermittently on the channel in the next couple of months. Later, privately owned and controlled TV networks like Zee and Star followed suit and got a couple of films produced exclusively for television. This trend, for various reasons, did not last for long. In the recent past, with the advent of digital streaming platforms, a lot of films started being showcased directly on these platforms.
‘Footfairy’, the new investigative thriller featuring a cast headlined by Gulshan Devaiah, will get a direct-to-TV release on &Pictures. Despite the internet boom, TV continues to be a medium that enjoys widespread popularity and is consumed much more than any other medium of entertainment in the country. Thus, releasing the film on TV is a good step towards determining whether this medium is as effective as the streaming platforms to put out on smaller films.
Vivaan Deshmukh (Gulshan Devaiah) is one of the most competent officers working in the CBI. As one can gauge from the various newspaper clippings at his residence, he is a man who has a reputation for solving the most complex cases. This time, Vivaan and his team are troubled with the emergence of a serial killer whom the media addresses to call the ‘Footfairy’. The reason behind this unidentified person being named so is the fact that he chops off the feet of the women whom he murders.
The first murder (on-screen) takes place just two minutes after the film has commenced; even before the opening credits roll. As a viewer, you are instantly hooked and as Gulshan Devaiah makes his entry, you expect the proceedings to get more interesting. The prospective of building a narrative around a serial killer who has a foot fetish is very interesting. In the first hour, there are couple of thrilling sequences that keep you invested in the film as a viewer. However, many of the twists which come across are predictable or the kind which one has come across is several films in this genre. The screenplay leads the viewer on certain tracks in a bid to make him a little confused but even an average viewer would know where he is being led to. Having said that, a couple of turns in the pre-intermission portion do take you by surprise.
After a few bumps in the first half, the film manages to recover lost ground in the second half. A key character (Kunaal Roy Kapur) is introduced who ends up becoming the prime suspect. Vivaan is convinced he is the man behind all the killings but does not have the requisite evidence to back his claim. Is Vivaan’s instinct leading him in the right direction or has the killer gone way beyond his reach? With the kind of energies a viewer would invest in guessing the identity of the killer, the culmination might leave you with mixed feelings. Some discerning viewers might not have much of an issue with it though.
‘Footfairy’ rests on the shoulders of its leading man who, as always, is in a fine form. It is a fairly well-made thriller that takes the kind of approach very few films in this genre do. If the idea of an inconclusive mystery interests you, you would not mind giving two hours of your life to this film.