My Wife's Murder
My Wife’s Murder is a no-frills, tense thriller about an ordinary man thrown into an extraordinary situation of his own making.
The most surprising aspect of the film is how much it manages to mine from so very little. At its heart is a murder but it is not a whodunit, a whydunit or even a howdunit. All these are revealed to us when the murder happens. The story is fairly straightforward and doesn’t throw up any unexpected twists. And though it involves a murder investigation, the investigation is plain and thorough rather than being spectacular (i.e. it does not involve the police drawing clever conclusions from a string of clues). But inspite of these, the movie brings us to the edge of the seat.
The film's biggest success is that it makes us 'understand' the protagonist. His moves are dictated by desperation rather than calculated logic and this makes us sympathise with him. So there is genuine tension as the police draw closer to him. But the cops aren't the bad guys either. They are just doing their job. Their investigation is simple and precise and there are no bright guesses or leaps of intuition. Their steps are based on old-fashioned policework every step of the way.
After a brilliant first half the pace does drop off a little in the second half. And the scene where Anil Kapoor steals a truck affects the realism that the movie had built up so effectively until then. But it does recover nicely in the climax.
Anil Kapoor is a good fit for the protagonist’s role. He doesn’t have the ‘superstar’ halo and convincingly portrays an everyman on the run. But top acting honors go(again) to Boman Irani. He is superb as the food-loving policeman who follows his instincts and tracks the bad guy with single-minded devotion. Nandana Sen seems quite stiff initially but comes into her own as the movie proceeds while Suchitra Krishnamoorthy earns our irritation in the short time she is onscreen.
The first half takes place almost entirely indoors. The poor lighting and shadows very effectively create a claustrophobic atmosphere and a couple of scenes are actually a bit creepy. The background score also enhances the effect.