This post is the unedited, slightly edited, copy of my review of Murder 3, published 20th February 2013 at Dawn.com
Entertainment Page Blurb:
Murder 3, staring Randeep Hooda, Sara Loren and Aditi Rao Hyderi is a lot of things, except good.
Murder 3; Or as the Bard Never Said: “What Has Love Got to Do With It?”
By Mohammad Kamran Jawaid
Murder 3, is a case of sloppy seconds – literally and figuratively.
Mona Liza — oops — Sara Loren’s characters first dialogues in Murder 3 go like this: "Mujhay akaylay aur tanha aadmiyon ki aankhon mai aansoon acchay nahin lagtay?" (Literally translated: I don’t like tears in the eyes of alone, and lonely men).
Tells you a lot about the movie doesn’t it?
Murder 3, a bland, borderline comatose, “official” adaptation of the Columbian thriller La Cara Oculta (The Hidden Face) flaunts the stock elements from Vishesh Films – gratuitous sensuality, lip-locking and bad dialogues – with wonted candor; And that is perhaps the best reason to skip the ticket line at the cinema (unless you’re into what Vishesh Films are selling).
First thing first though: the only thing murdered in Murder 3 is one’s endurance; and perhaps The Hidden Face’s originality.
Opening in South Africa, Vikram (Randeep Hooda), a struggling photographer, gets a job prospect and flies to Mumbai with his understanding girlfriend Roshni (the nasally, monotone Aditi Rao Hyderi), a prospering architect. Vikram, however, has a problem with fidelity, and soon Roshni disappears, leaving behind a video-message on a SLR camera.
Truly hurt, Vikram resorts to a metropolitan man’s best-friend in these circumstances: alcohol.
Drunk as a skunk, Vikram’s intoxicated charm lands Ms. Loren’s Nisha, a waitress with a thing for the bummed out.
They click, and shift into Vikram and Roshni’s out-of-city house, tailor made for haunting (there’s Color-coded furniture, finely placed light sources, a haunted bathroom) – and as if you haven’t guessed, Roshni’s still there.
Ms. Loren, who once had a flourishing television career in Pakistan and now a so-so reception in Bollywood-land, is haunted by the bathtub, the showers and the bathroom sink.
While it may sound more like “Raaz 4” than Murder, the film is in fact neither. What it is, is bad.
Actually, make that abysmal – and that goes for the film’s soundtrack and its thread-bare side plot about Ms. Loren’s past romance and a routine (read: unnecessary) police investigation.
Debutant Vishesh Bhatt, though of a directing-lineage (he is Mukesh Bhatt’s son), has a lot of catching up to do. His actors are base sketches of what their characters ought to be.
Mr. Hooda, often good, is emphatic and shifty without reason. He walks, delivers his lines, shoots pictures of models in bondage and lingerie, and takes his women to bed with the zealousness of a stunned buffalo.
Ms. Rao-Hyderi sways between adequate to amateurish, while Ms. Loren, a picture of perpetual pout, walks around like Sunny Leone’s character from Jism 2: half-zoned out and perceptible to self-pity (at one point, she starts jumping on the bed like a 10 year old, breaking her character’s mold).
There is a twist that saves Murder 3 from a bad ending, but since this is a copy-paste adaptation of someone else’s original idea, the points go to them.
All Mr. Bhatt gets points for is botching up the execution. Placing cameras, lighting sets, importing horror doesn’t make a good film; but then again, that’s just me.
Directed by Vishesh Bhatt; Written by Mahesh Bhatt, with additional screenplay by Amit Masurkar; Music by Pritam and Roxen (band); Cinematography, Sunil Patel; Editing, Devendra Murdeshwar; Produced by Mahesh Bhatt and Mukesh Bhatt; Associate Producer Sakshi Bhatt; Executive Produced by Cristian Conti, Kumkum Saigal.
Starring: Randeep Hooda, Aditi Rao Hydari, Sara Loren, Rajesh Shringarpure, Shekhar Shukla and Bugs Bhargava.
Released by Fox Star Studios, Murder 3 is rated A for skimpy clothes, implied sex and who-goes-there horror. Parents strongly cautioned: children, especially adolescent boys and those into the dating game, will hoodwink you to watch this one.
The Review is published here, in edited form: http://dawn.com/2013/02/20/movie-review-murder-3/