The queen of the erotic thriller returns with an offering that is neither erotic nor thrilling. Bipasha Basu has a very small patch to rule over in the MX Player series Dangerous. She is Neha, a detective with the London Police Service whose latest case involves her ex-husband. He has a grand name befitting his wealth – Aditya Dhanraj – and a new wife who is an embarrassment.

Diya (Sonali Raut) pushes drugs and cheats on Aditya (Karan Singh Grover). She has gone missing. A man with a hoarse voice says he has kidnapped Diya. A big ransom is demanded. Neha and her assistant (Nitin Arora), both blessed with excellent clothing and hair styling allowances, step in to investigate.

Aditya uses the moment to rekindle his affections for Neha, from whom he split for reasons as flimsy as the story. An unusually glam housekeeper stands by waiting to take her turn in the plot. The cast list is so small that the kidnapper turns out to be somebody we have already met. As Neha hares around with Aditya in tow trying to rescue Diya, the movie struggles for meaning and relevance.

Vikram Bhatt’s barebones screenplay, directed by Bhushan Patel, devotes more time to explaining what an ankle bracelet is than fleshing out the story. The dialogue, half of it in English, appears to have been written on the fly. Let’s play as if in a Hindi film and not try any English film stunts, the kidnapper tells Aditya. The kidnapper’s lover, dressed in a dominatrix costume, obligingly hits the sheets for the customary fully clothed lovemaking montage. You are my Greek god, she pants. So do we make love in Greek, he replies.

Dangerous was meant to be a movie, but has instead been split into a web series comprising seven episodes clocking barely 20 minutes each. Was the idea to force a second season? On the strength of whatever is on the screen in the first round, the makers will have to work very, very to come up with a credible follow-up. The pairing of real-life couple Bipasha Basu and Karan Singh Grover might have been one of the reasons to make Dangerous, but their inability to summon up frisson is as glaringly obvious as the identity of the real culprit.

Dangerous (2020).