Zee5's Mrs. Undercover review: It's so ignorant that can’t even see what’s wrong with itself!

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Sakshi Sharma
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Zee5's Mrs. Undercover review


Zee5's Mrs. Undercover review: This film is a masterclass at a bad attempt to pay tribute to housewives while being preachy!

How often does it happen that the entire house is upside down when housewives leave home for a while? One too many times in every house, right? Because without any of us realizing it from morning till night she's running around for random chores which seem so small but are so important and she doesn't even get a thank you in return. But she definitely gets 'she's just a housewife' introduction in the outside world. This is the exact philosophy on which Mrs. Undercover wants to work upon! As important as this topic is, it doesn't need to be preached to the audience while also treating them like toddlers who can't comprehend much.

A housewife, Durga (Radhika Apte), lives in Kolkata with her kid, husband, and his parents. Her day includes taking care of everyone from the first hour of the sun till the moon shines. This housewife, who falls off from the bed while dreaming that she is James Bond gets an opportunity from the chief of special forces (Rakesh Sharma) to go on an undercover mission even if it's 18 years too late. Her mission is to catch the common man (Summet Vyas) who is on a spree of murdering women who are an embodiment of women's empowerment in order to teach them a lesson. In order to catch him and stop him from his mission, Durga joins a women empowerment course in a girl's college and ends up empowering herself. Or at least that's what the film aims to do!

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The comedy genre approach is done well! Both Radhika Apte and Rakesh Sharma's comic timing and their relationship with each other will make you laugh all through the film. The only amazing part about the film is these two and the background score that accompanies them. This approach also somehow works in presenting a biased metaphor for a person who is probably living under a rock! After all, how can a woman who slips while watering plants, forgets to put the lid on the mixer while grinding, takes her husband with her on the mission because she is scared of nighttime, doesn't know how to drive, has to take care of her son's unit tests and many more other household chores, be an undercover agent? That's the exact myth the film tries to break! But even for benefit of the doubt, I give into the childhood escapism cum superhero approach because which child's fantasy doesn't include being a superhero? And so does Durga as well, who wants to be a latex-wearing spy who catches bad guys, and ends up fulfilling it, even though in sarees. But is this so-called macho heroism something we really need in 2023 to talk about feminism, especially when it's about housewives?

The crime mystery thriller approach that is taken for the film is too bleak, bland, unconvincing, and irritating at best. As the psychopathic killer 'common man' that is supposed to bring in the terror and the so-called misogynistic, sexist ideology seems too caricaturist. Add Sumeet Vyas' soft face and the fact that he doesn't have much to work with to this and it looks like a waste of an opportunity and frankly, a disappointment because the idea of man-hating empowered women and setting up organizations for killing them all works on the same principle as when men start #mentoo groups at the same time when there is #metoo. If only this was done with intelligence and understanding! Durga's husband Deb played by Shaheb Chattopadhyay is more effective and believable as a chauvinist husband who thinks women are baby-producing machines who need permission from their husbands to go out and do something while a bold-independent-empowered woman is good to hang out with but not make a housewife out of.

Written and directed by Anushree Mehta, the film is clueless in terms of what it wants to do and has too many loose threads, random things happening with a dramatic and cliche climax. While there are some appreciative parts for instance dialogues like "Mard ki jaan jaaye to jaaye par ye male ego na jaaye" and some stunt scenes, but overall, Zee5's Mrs. Undercover doesn't pack an impactful punch even though its intention is right. Though Radhika Apte, who carries this stupid film entirely on her shoulders, is a treat to watch!

This film left me with this thought! While I get that in order to make most people understand the value of housewives, Durga has to become a James Bond but why is this trope necessary? Why does she have to be something outrightly different when she can be basic yet special at the same time? And she definitely doesn't need this tone-deaf film at all to make her feel special whose monologues about housewives include stuff like "Durga with ten hands" which sounds even worse than some social media rants. This film needs a course in itself in feminism and women empowerment before talking about it!

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