Bollywood and culture in an emerging India
Murder 3: Doesn’t go in for the kill
“Murder 3” is a Bhatt franchise, so the title hardly matters. All movies associated with them have pretty much the same structure and tone, a little bit of skin show, some nasal, high-pitch songs and the mystery element that forms the major chunk of the film.
Debutant director Vishesh Bhatt makes an “official” remake of the Colombian film “The Hidden Face” and doesn’t veer from the original story line at all.
Randeep Hooda plays Vikram, a photographer who shoots everything from calendars to wildlife (one of the opening shots shows Hooda shooting ostriches and zebras grazing peacefully near leopards in a meadow).
He moves to India with his architect girlfriend Roshni (Aditi Rao Hydari) on a lucrative contract and the two move in to a palatial house.
Their domestic bliss is interrupted when Roshni disappears, and the police suspect Vikram of having something to do with it, but find no conclusive proof. Meanwhile, tired of pining after his girlfriend, Vikram takes to drinking and falls in love with a waitress (Sara Loren).
She soon moves in with him, but is spooked by the strange happenings in the house. There are voices coming out of a tap, water draining out mysteriously and of course, the staple of horror film-makers – lights going off.
The first half is sluggish, but the pace picks up immediately in the second half, when the twist is revealed. Bhatt manages to create a few thrilling moments, but they are momentary and the film never quite completely manages to engage you.
A large part of this can be attributed to lazy scripting and directing, and the acting never seems to convey the desperation and emotions the characters should be going through.
Songs interrupt a few crucial scenes and Bhatt doesn’t quite manage to wrap it all up together in the end. The end is meant to be mysterious, but instead, seems hurried.
This is a harmless film, one that is neither good nor bad. It might have been better if the director had managed to bring in a potent psychological angle to it, but that never happens.