Raaz 3: Review
Cast: Emraan Hashmi, Bipasha Basu, Esha Gupta
Director: Vikram Bhatt
Indian Express Rating: **
Do you know the best way to grind a rival into dust? Hard work? No. Perseverance? No. Staying at it? Don't be naïve. All that is for losers. The fool-proof way to make sure you stay on top is, cue appropriate ghostly sound effects, 'kaala jaadu'.
Or at least that's what the desperate Shanaya (Basu) believes, when new heroine-on-the-block Sanjana (Gupta) starts to get ahead. Nothing that friend and lover and director of her films Aditya (Hashmi) can do is enough to console her. Shanaya wants Sanjana out of her way at any cost. And she finds an answer in 'black magic'.
Bhatt's an old hand at horror, going back and forth in time, doing Victorian and contemporary, and, on occasion, medieval. Here, he sticks to the here and now, making Bollywood the backdrop : the film industry, going by scores of unpublished, ear-scorching accounts, is the place where anything can happen. So we are quite prepared to believe that Shanaya's bitterness and envy has caused her to come unhinged, and her passes at the guy who hands her the tools for Sanjana's destruction, lead to a couple of shivery moments in the first half.
The second half goes just the way so many films do : down the chute. Or, in the instance of 'Raaz 3', in that 'in between place which are inhabited by pret-aatmas'. Right there, the little bit of frisson that the film managed to garner vanishes, maybe in that self-same place. Out come all the 'sadhus' and 'babas' with their 'mantras', and the `bhagwaan ki moorti', and it all boils down to the same old battle against good and evil, borrowing from older horror tropes from here and there.
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