<Review by: Sailesh Ghelani>

Directed by Vishesh Bhatt. Starring Randeep Hooda, Aditi Rao Hydari, Sara Loren

Yes it’s a remake and in true Bollywood style it’s probably a very bad one, despite having a relatively intriguing premise, which comes all too late in a film that is poorly produced and directed. The acting save for one or two parts isn’t that great either.

Colombian thriller The Hidden Face is the ‘inspiration’ for this Vishesh Films story. I don’t know if the original had as many background songs or montages as Murder 3 has; I seriously doubt it because this is just a precursor to a bad film or a film that needs to sell lots of music CDs. The first half of Murder 3 is so utterly flawed, cheesy and predictable that my teenage co-viewers in the theatre were chuckling away at Randeep Hooda’s horrendous dialogue delivery, the implausible situations and were even foreseeing what came next. They were right on every count, which doesn’t say much for whoever adapted this screenplay.

Our dearest Aditi Rao Hydari plays Roshni who is smitten by her boyfriend Vikram (Randeep Hooda), so much so that she willingly relinquishes the much prettier South Africa and her job to be with him in his new career in India (which is kind of strange later on when she says to a confidante that she left with just one word from him). In the homeland, Vikram goes from shooting wild animals to wild people in lingerie (how this film receives a U/A certificate and Zero Dark Thirty, with no nudity gets an A certificate I will never understand). Vikram is rich and famous and schmoozes with the upper crust and some leggy ladies, much to Roshni’s chagrin. So she decides to test his faithfulness, which unfortunately leads to some complications.

With conversation like: Randeep: “Mein akela hoon (I don’t have anyone in my life)”, new girlfriend Nisha (Sara Loren): “Mein bhi”, what on earth can you do but wince or laugh. Which is precisely what I heard most of the audience do. Ah so Nisha is this restaurant hostess who falls for Vikram who is grieving over his runaway girlfriend. So Nisha takes the drunk and out Vikram to her house. “Aise kaise le ja sakti hai? (How can she just take this stranger home?),” asked one of the theatre patrons sitting next to me. Anyway, Sara Loren’s skimpy outfits and sultry bedroom scenes with Randeep serve their purpose and for those expecting her to actually act, I’d say, ‘Hey, look at the character, and you’ll understand why she’s perfectly cast for the role.’

Is it a haunted house or isn’t it, ask the viewers… well you’ll have to find out I guess but my whole thing was why on earth was this woman Nisha – who was scared of the house and probably should have been petrified of the psychotic Vikram – still in this situation? Or is more than just the house big.

Aditi, Aditi, where are you Aditi? Saving the best for last, Aditi reappears in the second half as Vikram and the police are desperately in search of the girl who voluntarily got up and left Vikram. But lover boy was worried so he went to the police. But someone in the equation eventually finds out where poor Roshni has been hiding. Aditi Rao Hydari does her best to keep some of the tension high in the interesting second half, and I’d even say Sara Loren does a better job than Randeep. Alas, there’s not enough of that second half and one wishes Aditi Rao got better opportunities to push herself and show us some of the magic we’ve seen from her in a film like Yeh Saali Zindagi.

Murder 3 looks dated and poorly directed and scripted, which is what makes a wonderfully promising premise a relative blunder. In the hands of even a novice Hollywood director, this film would have walked on velvet.


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