Murder 3 Movie Review by Taran Adarsh

The premier production house, Vishesh Films, has the maximum number of film franchisees to its credit. The super success of RAAZ, MURDER and JANNAT spurred the Bhatts — Mahesh and Mukesh — to make hi-concept movies that merged erotica and thrill dexterously. The defining success of MURDER [Anurag Basu; 2004] and MURDER 2 [Mohit Suri; 2011], therefore, has led to monumental expectations from MURDER 3. But unlike the first two parts, which had a high quotient of erotica, the focus is less on erotica, more on emotions in MURDER 3. Yes, you read it right! Vishesh Bhatt, who makes his directorial debut with MURDER 3, reinvents the brand ‘Murder’, focusing more on the emotional drama. Also, the spotlight is on the two women protagonists this time.

Over the past few years, the Bhatts were often accused of sidetracking the emotional quotient — the USP of their previous movies — in their recent endeavors. The success of their new films notwithstanding, the emotional quotient had descended to an all-time low, the skeptics felt. I am sure, the Bhatts would’ve taken the criticism on their chin, for MURDER 3 is akin to a resurgence, a new beginning for the Bhatts, who have adapted to the changing times proficiently. In fact, post RAAZ 3, MURDER 2 and JANNAT 2, any other production house would’ve felt the vacuum, but not the Bhatts. With MURDER 3, they transform themselves into a new persona, rediscover their strengths [emotional quotient], but at the same time, garnish the proceedings with the tried and tested ingredient [erotica] to create a scrumptious dish that’s delectable and delightful.

A quick clarification before I proceed further! MURDER 3 is the *official adaptation* of the Spanish thriller THE HIDDEN FACE [LA CARA OCULTA], but the Bhatts are known for their strong ingenious sensibilities when it comes to adapting foreign films for the pan-Indian market. Vishesh, the scion of Vishesh Films, seems to have imbibed this thought. For, as the reels of MURDER 3 unfold, you realize, MURDER 3 may have sourced from the Spanish movie, but Vishesh has Indianized it so damn well. It is *not* a cut and paste job!

A hot-shot fashion and wildlife photographer Vikram [Randeep Hooda] gets into a relationship with a waitress from a lounge, Nisha [Sara Loren]. She moves in with him in his palatial house outside the city. The old world house, made decades ago, is stunning as well as terrifying. It holds a vital secret which Nisha soon unearths: The mysterious disappearance of his former girlfriend Roshni [Aditi Rao Hydari].

One is uncertain about the genre of MURDER 3 in the first hour. There are spooky moments and you question yourself, is it about a haunted house? Is it a horror movie? Is there a ghost staring at the new woman in the house? Also, the plot relies on the usual twists in this hour… a lovey-dovey couple shifts to an isolated location outside the metropolis, the girl goes missing under mysterious circumstances, the guy is heart-broken, the cops suspect the guy, the guy falls in love with a new woman and gets her home… Just when you’re about to give up, the variation happens at the onset of the second hour as the chunks begin to fall into place skillfully. What starts off as a ghost story that flaunts the depleted clichés soon transforms into an exhilarating fare, with several nail-biting and claustrophobic moments and a stunning conclusion that leaves you spellbound. The real twist comes to the fore towards the middle of the second hour, while the culmination leaves scope for carrying the franchise forward.

MURDER 3 is a thriller that offers thrills and chills aplenty. The beauty of the film lies in the fact that it’s so damn unpredictable, so unforeseeable in its second hour. It’s nothing like you’ve seen in a Hindi movie thus far. Also, it’s a plot-driven movie, with Vishesh not borrowing anything from the previous two MURDERs. It goes without saying that MURDER 3 stands tall for its substance and most significantly, for the sparkling implementation of the written material [Mahesh Bhatt]. Like I pointed out earlier, Vishesh and the Sr. Bhatt metabolize the source completely to create a product that’s nothing short of brilliant.

A film-maker is only as good as the story he tells and Vishesh seems to have done his homework well. What he creates in MURDER 3 is creditable, contemporary, besides working on the look and sound of the film as much as its content. It rides on the new energy of a young mind and the level of maturity in his very first endeavor surprises you completely. There’s no stopping this guy. Music [Pritam, Roxen band] has always been an integral part of Vishesh Films and the soundtrack of MURDER 3 does boast of a couple of lilting tracks that fit so well in the narrative. I’d like to make a special mention of Raju Singh’s background score, which is of international standards. There are several silent moments in the narrative and the background score elevates those sequences to an extraordinary altitude altogether. Sunil Patel’s cinematography is top notch. He captures the stunning locales of South Africa with finesse. Sanjay Masoomm’s dialogue are natural and fit beautifully into the narrative.

Randeep does complete justice to the character he illustrates. Sure, one does miss Emraan Hashmi initially, but once the narrative seizes your attention, Randeep brings alive his character and you don’t draw parallels subsequently. Both Aditi and Sara are show-stoppers and deliver knockout performances. Aditi excels in the post-interval portions, while Sara gets a platform to prove her talent in several sequences. Both score and how!

Rajesh Shringarpure makes his presence felt. Shekhar Shukla is decent. Bugs Bhargava is efficient.

On the whole, MURDER 3 is one of the finest thrillers to come out of Vishesh Films. An outstanding story narrated with ferocious enthusiasm. Vishesh Bhatt hits a boundary in his very first attempt!

Ratings: 4 Stars.

  1. Syed imran 11 years ago

    Hmmm… Sounds interesting.. Though i dont trust taran adarsh reviews, vl b watching fr sure tomoro in uae… Was yearning to c a psychotic thriller fr a long tym.. Hope it meets upto the xpectatns…

  2. Author
    aryan 11 years ago

    Review by Komal Nahta

    Fox Star Studios Pvt. Ltd. and Vishesh Films Pvt. Ltd.’s Murder 3 (UA) is the third in the Murder series. Vikram (Randeep Hooda), a fashion photographer, loves girlfriend Roshni (Aditi Rao Hydari) who gives up her job in Cape Town to relocate with him in India where he has a brilliant job offer. Vikram buys a bungalow in a secluded place where he and Roshni live together. On more occasions than one, Roshni sees that Vikram is getting too close to Naomi (Tonishaa Pawar) who works with him as a hair-stylist. One day, Vikram is shocked to see a video recording where Roshni tells him that she is walking out of his life. Roshni disappears from Vikram’s life. Vikram complains to the police which starts investigating into the case of Roshni’s disappearance.

    Within no time, Vikram hooks up with Nisha (Sara Loren) who starts living in with him in the same bungalow. One of the two investigating police officers, Kabir (Rajesh Shringarpure), is known to Nisha and warns her to be careful of Vikram, adding that he is their main suspect in Rosh­ni’s case. Nisha, however, does not take Kabir’s warning seriously.

    Nisha starts hearing strange voices in the bathroom of Vikram’s bungalow and also sees strange things happening around her. So what is exactly happening? Where has Roshni disappeared? Has Vikram murdered her? Has she committed suicide? Will the mystery ever be solved? Does Roshni get to know of Nisha’s presence in Vikram’s life? Does Nisha ever meet Roshni?

    The film is a remake of the Spanish film, La Cara Occulta. The story is quite different from the regular films which are made, because of an unusual twist in the tale. Although the twist is a little difficult to believe, the audience gets taken in by the proceedings be­cause the drama after the twist moves at a fast pace and doesn’t give them time to think and also because the reason given for the twist seems a bit believable. Mahesh Bhatt and Amit Masurkar’s screenplay is quite engaging and keeps the audience involved and en­grossed. The first half is very ordinary but the drama picks up pace immediately after interval and then keeps the viewers hooked right till the end. The screenplay weaves a couple of ladies’ sentiments in the second half. What seems difficult to digest is that in spite of not being comfortable in the bungalow, Nisha chooses to ignore the warnings given by Kabir. The climax is unpredictable.

    What the film lacks in is comedy. It could have done with a number of light moments, especially in the first half. Also, the sequence in which Nisha sets out to solve the mystery of the strange happenings in Vikram’s bungalow seems like a convenient and contriv­ed twist in the story. However, it must be mentioned to the credit of the screenplay writers that the goings-on in the entire second half are fast-paced. Sanjay Masoom’s dialogues are good.

    Randeep Hooda does well but he could’ve done better had his character had more layers. His wig is terrible and makes him look a bit weird. Also, his casting in the main role is a minus point as the audience has come to associate the Murder brand with the very popular Em­raan Hashmi who was the hero in both the earlier Murder films. Aditi Rao Hydari does a lovely job and proves her mettle as a dependable actress. She approaches her role with perfect understanding. Debutante Sara Loren shows promise. She acts ably and also looks nice. Rajesh Shringarpure leaves a mark but gets very little scope. Bugs Bhargava Krishna is hardly funny as D.K. Bose. Shekhar Shukla, as Kabir’s senior investigating officer, Amble, is quite nice. Tonishaa Pawar (as Naomi) is ordinary. Karla Singh (in the role of the foreigner) and Shraddha Jaiswal (as Nisha’s friend, Sheena) lend the required support.

    Vishesh Bhatt has chosen a rather difficult and unusual subject to debut as director and although he has handled the subject with maturity, he has made a very serious film without much comedy. Also, his casting of Randeep Hooda is improper. Music, scored by Pritam Chakraborty, Anu­pam Amod and Roxen Band, is very good but has not become popular. ‘Mat aazma re’ and ‘Teri jhuki nazar’ are appealing songs but their lack of popularity could have a lot to do with leading man Randeep Hooda’s non-dancing and non-hero image. Saeed Quadri’s lyrics are meaningful. Song picturisations (Raju Khan and Rajeev Surti) should’ve been much better. Raju Singh’s background music is effective and enhances the drama. Sunil Patel’s cinematography is lovely. Costumes, by Shivangi Suresh Bohra, are colourful and modern. Rajat Poddar’s sets are neat. Editing (Deven Murdeshwar) is sharp. Production and technical values are appropriate.

    On the whole, Murder 3 is a fair entertainer but its business will suffer on account of the absence of Emraan Hashmi in the cast. It has taken a dull start almost everywhere and this will come in the way of territorial distributors making profits. As far as the pro­ducers are concerned, they’ve already recovered around 75-80% of their in­vestment from sale of satellite and audio rights. Recovery of the balance investment (from territorial theatrical business of the remaining cir­cuits, rights of which are held by themselves) should not be much of a problem for them.

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