Monday, June 4, 2012

Mid Night Murder (2007)

Nothing beats a good old erotic thriller from India - without the eroticism of course! The closest Mid Night Murder (that's how it spells everywhere, on the cover art and in the movie) comes to sex is very vague cuddling and two characters hiding under a blanket - and we all know what's going on there! Sinners! Deviants! Perverts! I didn't expect anything else, we're talking a Bollywood thriller here - from 2007, and it looks like 1992 or something similar. It's cheap, ugly and badly acted, but surprisingly entertaining and with, I think, a world record when it comes to twists and red herrings!

Forget the trendy, hot, muscular heroes in recent Indian cinema - here we have my favourite sort: the chubby, unshaven and tired-looking ordinary-guy married to a sexy wife. He's a musician, a master flutist and composer specialized in movie scores. He lives a happy life with his wife, but their little heaven is disturbed by the freaky female neighbour who seems to be very interested in our chubby hero. One night his wife disappears and soon they find her dead body dumped in a lake - murdered! Who's the killer? And why? The suspects are many...

I almost expected a slasher after seeing the cover but Mid Night Murder is closer to the erotic thrillers of the nineties, without being slick or good-looking in anyway. It's also close to a typical detective story, a whodunit, with a cop trying to find the killer and an innocent man trying to save himself. But what's really interesting with this movie is that it's very hard to figure out how it's gonna end, until the last ten minutes or so. I've never seen so many twists and red herrings in one and the same movie. It's close to parody when one suspect after another is introduced, characters makes sudden confessions about things that MIGHT have to do with the murder. It's even more confusing, at least from the beginning, that there's a lot of flashbacks, individual flashbacks told from each persons viewpoint - and everyone has a different agenda.

The sex-theme is also so innocent, which is extra funny because this has the lable "mature" in some shops. In a fantastic scene one character sees a little bit of skin on the side of a woman - and moments later her cleavage - and instantly tries to rape her. In another scene it's the opposite, a woman can't stop herself when our chubby, hairy, tired-looking hero comes into her house and she throws herself on him, trying some kind of rape. But you see absolutely nothing of course - and we all should be thankful for that!

All actors are slightly amateurish, but still makes it work. I think the quality of the acting mostly has to do with the stiff dialogue (the only thing stiff in the whole movie) and TV-esque directing. Weirdly, it's still works and Mid Night Murder is entertaining in a trashy and unexpected way and it's always nice to see what new twist they will come up with every ten minutes. Maybe a movie mostly for us trash-aficionados and for those that have a lot of patience with cheap production values.

I liked it anyway, and that what counts in this case :)


Anonymous said...

"Nothing beats a good old erotic thriller from India - without the eroticism of course!"

So India has now equivalent to Hong Kongs CATIII system..?

Too bad...if that´s the case

Ninja Dixon said...

Well, MY experience is that they never show anything anyway! :) I guess this is a bit more "mature" because of the VERY underlying sexual themes.

I doubt very few watched Indian movies for the sex and nudity, because I don't think that's a common thing. Maybe never!

Anonymous said...

"I doubt very few watched Indian movies for the sex and nudity, because I don't think that's a common thing. Maybe never!"

Well....that´s not really what I meant....but there should have been a indian film movement where more controversial topics are handled such as homosexuality, infidelity etc....and sexual explicit themes should have arised.....CAT III is more just sleazy least to me.