Mrs. Serial Killer

Dept. of Love and Monsters


If it came down to it,  if a loved one was facing a truly corrupt system and there was only one horrible way to free them, could you do it? Could you straight up murder another person, just so the authorities would think the killer was still at large? That’s the premise of Netflix’s latest Indian movie Mrs. Serial Killer and it’s a great jumping off point for all sorts of different stories, but the biggest issue with Shirish Kunder’s stylish film is that it hasn’t quite decided which one of those stories to tell.

After her husband Mrityunjoy (Manoj Bajpayee) is arrested for the horrific murders of multiple women, Sona (Jacqueline Fernandez’s) is at her wits end. The mob is out for blood, lawyers won’t take her case, and the courts are no help, thanks to evidence planted by the lead investigator Imran (Mohit Raina), who also just happens to be Sona’s ex.

The only solution, as suggested by her husband’s lawyer friend Rastogi (Darshan Jariwala), would be if the killer was to commit further murders while Mrityunjoy was in prison, thereby proving he was innocent.

Into the Unknown

This is the stage that you should be wondering what kind of film this is. A crime thriller as Sona literally tries to get away  with murder? A psychological thriller as she wrestles with her conscience over taking another’s life? A black comedy as Sona tries, and fails hilariously at multiple steps along her path to becoming a serial killer?

Mrs. Serial Killer tries to do all of these and that’s before you throw in some completely over the top action sequences as Sona’s intended victim (Zayn Marie Khan) turns out to be far more capable than she imagined as well as some Evil Dead style camerawork near the end!

As the film reaches its climax and a character name drops The Sixth Sense, things become a little more clear. It finally settles in to a specific genre and works all the better for it. Everything else was there to throw you off the scent. Unfortunately, it doesn’t quite work.

Which Genre is it Anyway?

In order for genre blending or a twist to work, the audience needs to think they are watching one type of movie, before the film shifts to another kind. This doesn’t work when the whole film seems to be shifting tone and gears every couple of scenes.

It doesn’t help that the film starts in media res, which is quickly becoming this year’s most annoying narrative technique, before switching to yet another fake-out for the audience. It’s not half as clever a the film thinks it is.

While the plotting and tone might not work that well, the whole project at least looks fantastic. A nighttime stalking scene is beautifully lit by green and purple neon, which is an alert used to contrast two conflicting character’s faces. A fight takes place in a field of flowers. Flashbacks are shown as reflections on windows and in a particular moment of great tension the walls actually close in around Sona.

But then this style is ruined by odd moments. When Sona calls a clinic and waits for them to pick up, for example, the camera stays with her for the entire time for some reason. It may only be 14 seconds but it stops the film dead in its tracks. It feels like a moment from a more comedic movie. One of many such moments scattered throughout.

There’s plenty of potential in a black comedy about a reluctant, ill fated wannabe killer, trying and failing to capture her prey with hilarious results, but they just don’t fit with the other parts of the film.

An interesting premise is let down by trying to cram in to much. For his next film Shirish Kunder, who wrote , directed, edited and scored the film, might be better off just sticking to 1, maybe 2 genres at most. 

Mrs. Serial Killer
107 minutes
Director: Shirish Kunder
Writer: Shirish Kunder
Cast: Jacqueline Fernandez, Manoj Bajpayee, Mohit Raina, Zayn Marie Khan, Darshan Jariwala, and Deepak Arora

Mrs. Serial Killer is now streaming on Netflix

Irish Film lover lost in Malaysia. Co-host of Malaysia's longest running podcast (movie related or otherwise ) McYapandFries and frequent cryer in movies. Ask me about "The Ice Pirates"

Meet the squad of Netflix's Valeria.
Previous Story


Next Story


Latest from Movie Reviews

Luca Review

Pixar's latest fish out of water tale, Luca, arrives on Disney+ to