My Mentor the Serial Killer: Tony Movie Review

Written by Joel Harley

Released by TMAA Releasing


Written and directed by Vipul K. Rawal
2019, 124 minutes, Not Yet Rated
Released on 25th March 2020

Yashodhan Rana as Tony
Akshay Verma as Inspector Sameer Dighe
Manoj Chandila as Sub Inspector Vilas Mote
Mahesh Jilowa as Ashish


Hoping to juice up their studies, four psychology students plant a video camera inside a confessional booth. They get more than they bargained for when the footage unearths serial killer Tony, who they decide to follow and make a case study out of. Tony himself, surprisingly, is pretty open to the idea, and takes the four under his wing. It's not long at all before his four proteges are not only implicated but actively joining in on his crimes.

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When the nervous, sweaty Ashish is caught at a police roadblock with an unregistered firearm, the whole bloody story begins to unravel. Writer and director Vipul K. Rawal's psychological crime thriller tells the tale of Tony in a series of flashbacks, using Ashish's bizarre confession as its framing device. As a result, Tony takes a while to get going, and is not the lurid slasher flick viewers may have expected from the poster and synopsis. What it is, however, is arguably more interesting than that.

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Rather than another variation on Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, or Behind the Mask, Rawal's film plays out slowly and deliberately, prioritising plot over thrills and spills. Running at two hours, its story grates on the nerves after a while, especially during the setup. Compelling as it is, Tony could have used a trim, either at the script or editing stage. Visually, it sometimes lacks the tautness of its peers too. While the scenes set at the police station are authentically dark and grimy, it struggles during the daytime, being too bright and overlit.

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Regardless, Tony is an impressive achievement; a procedural thriller with drive and ambition. Its story is clever and unpredictable, Tony himself an enthralling cinematic serial killer (suavely played by Yashodhan Rana). If it had managed some sharper visuals and a halfway decent score, this could have been the Indian answer to a David Fincher flick or Korean crime thriller.

As it is, Tony is a solid genre movie, very well put together. A higher budget and snippier runtime would have done wonders, but it's well worth the investment nevertheless. 


Movie: 2.5 Star Rating Cover

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Joel Harley
Staff Reviewer
Haribo fiend, Nicolas Cage scholar and frequently functioning alcoholic. These are just some of the words which can be used to describe Joel Harley. The rest, he uses to write film criticism for Horror DNA and a variety of websites and magazines. Sometimes he manages to do so without swearing.
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