Mickey Virus is yet another example of Bollywood’s increasing fascination for Delhi stories. Taking a turn from Old Delhi, this one takes us to Nehru Place, the centre of computer whiz kids. In the beginning, it seems like a few youngsters, inspired by Vicky Donor, have come together to make a film on a hacker with the street smart Delhi lingo as its USP, but as the narrative unfolds, we realise director Saurabh Varma’s film has more than nippy one-liners. Mickey (Manish Paul) is a master hacker who, like most creative people, is lazy. He is part of a group of hackers, with interesting names like Chutney, Floppy and Professor, frequenting shady internet cafes.

When two foreign hackers are killed in the city, ACP Siddhant (Manish Chaudhry) tries to rope Mickey into the investigation. Though he refuses initially, Mickey gets into the trap because his heart is in the way of his mind. As his romantic dalliance with the exotic Kamayani (Elli Avram) deepens, Varma weaves a trap around Mickey. Soon we realise that our fleet-footed specialist is not the smartest guy around and that he is being framed in a murder case. However, after flashes of brilliance, first-timer Varma fails to provide a taut thriller. Like the ambience he is dealing with, there are loose wires hanging out of the screenplay. The romantic angle fails to touch the heart, largely because Elli doesn’t sound credible. Before Mickey realises, we can guess what our hacker is getting into and this is not good news for any thriller writer. And when it comes to matters of the mind, Varma disappoints by bringing too much brawn into play. Despite being able to hold on to the killer’s identity till the very end, things never come to the edge because the writing is not consistent unlike Anshuman Mahaley’s cinematography.

More than the turn of events, it is Manish’s performance that keeps you hooked. Like in his stint as a television host, Manish anchors a loose script rather well. He is hilarious as the slacker, who knows more than a thing or two about the cyberworld, but even when things get serious he manages to hold on to his own. One would love to see him in a meatier role. Varma has chosen his support cast with care. Mickey’s gang, particularly Puja Gupta as Chutney, is convincing. Manish Chaudhry is repeating himself as the police officer, but one doesn’t mind it. Varun Badola returns after a while and is the surprise element in the film as he cracks Delhi’s rustic twang as the junior police officer who is more than what he appears to be. Mickey is no Vicky but still a virus that can give you a mild infection.

Genre: Comedy/ Thriller

Director: Saurabh Varma

Cast: Manish Paul, Manish Chaudhry, Varun Badola, Eli Avram, Puja Gupta

Storyline: A hacker joins a police investigation not realising that he is going to become the target of enquiry.

Bottomline: Uneven writing doesn’t allow the infectious charm of Manish to spread.