FILM REVIEW: TONY (MY MENTOR THE SERIAL KILLER TONY)
Alright, so I don’t know the last time you sat down and watched an Indian horror film but for me it was never. I watched the screener of TONY (MY MENTOR THE SERIAL KILLER TONY) with an open mind and ready for whatever the film would throw at me. Between the tone, pacing, overall plot, music choices and the little feel good plot twist at then end, I was pleased. I don’t know how director, Vipul K. Rawal pulled off the gore, hate and murder and tied it all together with a bow of justice and comfort, but he did. I can confidently say the ending gave me the payoff I needed to call this project a success.
This crime thriller is based on the idea that four impressionable students studying psychology embark on a group assignment that focuses on understanding the mind of a serial killer, “Tony”. They score one on one interactions within Tony’s everyday life. They get a peek into the dynamics of Tony’s valued relationships and how/why he tortures and murders people on a daily basis. Not too sure how smart of a move it would be to perform a psychoanalysis on a serial killer who isn’t in handcuffs or behind bars but they figure, high risk high reward (smh). Main character, Ashish (Mahesh Jilowa) is the only one streetwise enough to realize this is a horrible plan and tries to stop the madness but the students proceed. Unfortunately, well fortunately for the sake of it being a horror film, the innocent turn out to be not so innocent. The shift in the characters actions and thoughts was the excruciatingly terrifying part. People are horrifically unpredictable. I know it’s just a movie but it also serves as a good reminder that anyone is capable of anything, at the end of the day. You have horror films that are creepy but in real life, could and would never happen. We appreciate those, no doubt. But it’s the realities of mental health, corrupt government officials and fucked up family dynamics that freak me out the most. It’s these aspects that made this movie completely unforgettable for me.
The film is broken up into two different groups that will leave you anxious to see how it all plays out. You have the cops who are nearly as abusive as Tony and his new allies. Then you have the journey the students and Tony are on which will leave you terrified. There is a lot going on in this movie, though. You need to pay close attention and read the subtitles carefully to fully understand each relationship and twist. If you look away for a minute, you will be lost. There are different associations and information detailing the character’s pasts that you will need to fully understand in order for the ending to make sense, so beware of that.
This movie is dark. The characters are devious and frankly psychotic. You end up genuinely hating the heinous murderers in the film which ultimately leads you to HAVE to make sure the innocent characters prevail. That’s what kept me intrigued. Like I said before, the payoff at the end was cute (somehow) and after all the gruesome, bloody, freak show murders, you walk away smiling and thinking, “ahhh sweet justice once and for all.”
“Director Vipul K. Rawal pulled off the gore, hate and murder and somehow tied it together with a bow of justice and comfort.”
3 1/2 Tombstones out of 5…