Feature Name: Footfairy
Cast: Gulshan, Sagarika Ghatge, Kunaal Roy Kapur, Ashish Pathode
Directed By: Kanishk Verma
Runtime: 120 mins
Footfairy, as the title suggests, revolves around a serial killer, a full-blown psychopath by the same moniker, who preys on (not-so-random) women at different railway stations around Mumbai.
It cuts their feet as souvenirs, leaving lead investigator, Vivaan Deshmukh Gulshan Devaiah, Associate Director of the CBI, and his team, at their wits’ end.
Footfairy is an extremely well-researched movie about both serial killers and police procedures. Additionally, it boasts a watertight script and taut direction by Kanishk Verma, embellished by pinpoint performances from Gulshan Devaiah, Sagarika Ghatge, Kunaal Roy Kapur, Ashish Pathode and the rest of the cast, even those essaying bit parts.
The script, narration and performances draw you in, drop clues, demand attention, keep you guessing and leave you hunched over your seat till the very last frame, when the big revelation appears.
The references to the likes of David Fincher (which Gulshan also mentioned in my interview) as also certain elements of the best Korean thrillers are done with an aim to homage rather than imitate.
The fact that Kanishk leaves his own mark while making a film that’s supremely engaging for even the most hardcore of Indian viewers proves how well he understands the pulse of his product and that of his audience. Other highlights include Jeet Gannguli’s unsettling background score, Sumit Purohit’s tight editing and Pratik Deora’s seedy camerawork.
Footfairy takes 15-20 mins to properly get into its groove, and that could act as a deterrent to those not blessed with much patience. Also, as good as every actor is, you wish that one or two of their roles (citing the characters would give away too much) had more meaning other than be present solely to play a guessing game with the audience. Moreover, the final twist, as earth-shattering as it is, does create a minor plot-hole.