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The Tattoo Murders, Lowbrow Thrills



Tha Tattoo Murders(Disney-Hotstar, 7 Episodes)

Starring Meera Chopra,  Tanuj Virwani

Directed by Shravan  Kumar Tiwari

Rating: **

One * star for the solid effort put in  by the two main actors to make this sleazy potpourri of sex and murder  more palatable than it would have been otherwise. Both Meera  Chopra  and  Tanuj Virwani playing cop and  criminal inject a sense  of  urgency to the  plot which scampers all over the place like  an inebriated rat looking for a  place to  get some sleep.

Restless and  sleazy,The Tattoo Murders(earlier titled Kamathipura) is  a pulpy puzzle and finally a  mindless mess. The  atmosphere  created in this series is  so sleazy  I wondered who  the target-audience  for the 7 episodes of  mayhem and  sleaze  was. I believe  lowbrow crime  and campy sex have  a  younger  non-metropolitan  audience.This  series feels  like those  softcover  pulp novels that used to be  available on railways  stations  and pavement book stalls.

 There is a disquieting lack of sophistication  in the  presentation, with  sex workers  getting killed  brutally one after another.Not that there  is  any graphic violence in the  presentation. I don’t think this  series could afford to stage elaborate  violence. The  budgetry constraints are evident everywhere.

 Not all the violence is gratuitous  and  not all the writing is  clumsy.  I  am  sure there is  a solid  cat-and-mouse  tale  waiting to pounce out  of  the  turgid plot. What we  get is  woefully inept. While Virwani  and Chopra as  cop and killer  struggle to keep the  topheavy plot  afloat, it is  rueful to see  seasoned actors like Kulbhushan  Kharbanda(as  Meera’s dad) and Anang Desai (as  her boss) cast in uni-dimensional  roles  that  demand strictly functional  noises from them.

If only the  writing was sharper and the  marginal characters  were not a  blur and a  blob  in the  bloodied  plot, this  tale  about what an abusive childhood could do your life would have amounted to something  more than just a titillating timepasser.

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