The Tattoo Murders review: With pulpy writing, unnatural dialogues, this cop thriller is all tell and no show
Tighter editing, chopping out of B-roll and pointless conversations, might have imbued The Tattoo Murders, with a missing sense of urgency.
Aditi Acharya is an inspector in the Kamathipura chowki. As efficient as she is at work, her personal life is crumbling due to her hallucinations of scorpions. At work, she is assigned a murder case. The victim is a sex worker, and she’s branded with a scorpion tattoo. She’s not the only one. It appears to be a case involving a serial killer, except that the killer and his actual victim are not who you might suspect.
In spite of hallucinations and dizzy spells, Aditi (Meera Chopra) perseveres with the case, enlisting the help of a local don called Prahar Pratap (Tanuj Virwani). He guides her to the suspects and seems to know a little too much about Aditi. She takes his stalker behaviour in her elegant stride. Chopra has the same reaction to a cup of coffee as she does to a bloody dead body or the discovery of the truth behind her fear of scorpions. Pratap’s character mostly sits around giving commands. It’s a role that requires a limited range from Virwani.
Each episode is given a title –‘Scorpion Mystery’, ‘Scorpion Identified’, ‘Catching a Scorpion’ etc. This seven-episode series (previously titled Kamathipura) is two episodes too long. Tighter editing, chopping out of B-roll, as well as pointless conversations, might have imbued the thriller about a cop, a criminal, several crimes and a dark past, with a missing sense of urgency.
The dialogues are laboured and unnatural and the script takes great liberties with the police procedure.
The cops examine bodies and murder weapons with bare hands and broadly declare that a case is solved. Plus there’s the irritation of watching an on-duty inspector with perfectly manicured nails that are sometimes painted chocolate brown and occasionally blue in colour. In another scene, a psychiatrist loses her cool and shouts at Aditi, “Go from here or I will call the police!” But isn’t Aditi the police?
The Tattoo Murders is stung by pulpy writing, amateurish supporting actors and storytelling that relies on upon tell rather than show.
The Tattoo Murders is currently streaming on Disney+ Hotstar.
Rating - 2/5
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