Saturday, February 16, 2013

Murder 3 

Blunt Edges

It stands to reason, that if a film is titled Murder 3, then there has to be a murder, or the suspicion of one.  Vishesh Bhatt’s debut, the ‘official’ remake (the Bhatts can’t steal anymore, internet shrunk the world) of Spanish language film La Cara Oculta is an insipid Hindi version of a film that wasn’t worth remaking to begin with.

The Bhatt Family-run Vishesh Films have created their own successful factory of films that unapologetically sell sex, sleaze and sin. Now these films like Murder, Jism, Raaz and Jannat are being turned into franchises and it doesn’t seem like such a good idea unless the 2s and 3s match or surpass the originals.

The first Murder made stars out of Mallika Sherwat and Emraan Hashmi. By the time it comes to 3, and Hashmi (who was also in 2) has moved on to better cinema (walking the red carpet at Berlin, which the Bhatt camp couldn’t have pulled off for him), and been replaced by Randeep Hooda. The girls are, of course, interchangeable, since they are not required to act, just show a lot of skin.

Even by the low standards of the Bhatt formula films, Murder 3 is a disappointment. The story is pure hokum. A wildlife photographer, Vikram (Hooda) lives in a large mansion in the middle of nowhere.  His girlfriend Roshni (Hydari) disappears, and after what seems like a few hours of exasperation, he picks up Nisha (Sara Loren), a hostess in a restaurant and invites her to live with him.

Some mildly spooky stuff happens, like strange sounds from the wash basin and the bath shower turning scalding hot.  But not a single goosebump-y moment.

By the interval it is revealed what happened to the Roshni—no, not murder—but let’s not  add spoilers.  What is decidedly odd is that three women are fighting over a guy, who seems to be singularly lacking in charm.  But what totally sours the deal, is a pair of unintentionally hilarious cops, reluctantly investigating Roshni’s disappearance.  One of them has a holster strapped on his chest at all times and throws Nisha lustful looks.

Even the songs are no good—Hashmi got the best of Pritam’s oeuvre—and the performances are ho-hum.  Maybe the new Bhatt on the block should pick a better film to remake next time.


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