Director: Vishesh Bhatt
Star: * 1/2
Can a long telephoto lens be a phallic symbol? As far as Bollywood goes, and that’s not too far, that’s a rhetorical question. Randeep Hooda replaces Emran Hashmi, who played the male lead in the first two instalments, and emerges the single biggest attraction of ‘Murder 3’. Which isn’t saying much even if Hooda strips better than Hashmi. He is also given a long, long lens to wield, and surrounded by scantily-clad, swooning females. If the Bhatts had given Hooda more able leading ladies to riff off, ‘Murder 3’ might have been something to look at. What we get instead is two of the most impact-less female lead parts I’ve seen in a while, packaged in an overlong series of ill-written, ill-acted sequences.
The smitten Roshni ( Rao Hydari) wastes no time in chucking up a job in sunny South Africa, in order to move to Mumbai and live forever in domestic bliss with fashion photographer Vikram ( Hooda). All is hunky-dory till a long legged lass starts making up to the lensman. Jealousy strikes. Tempers flare. Roshni hits upon an innovative idea to ‘test’ her lover. And then things start to unravel, especially when a bar hostess ( Loren) shows up, with a shapely, sympathetic shoulder.
The Bhatts have always known how to do steam things up. And the `Murder’ franchise, like the more obviously-named `Jism’, has delivered the mix in strong doses : toned, gleaming bodies, full-blown adult passions, tangled bed-sheets, all wrapped up in a couple of sufi strains. This third ‘Murder’, an official remake of South American thriller ‘The Hidden Face’, has all the Vishesh ingredients, but they’ve been ordered clumsily : just one mildly spooky moment, and lines that are fall-down-funny, belying what’s meant to be a tense build-up. Rao Hydari has shown spark in her earlier films ; here she is buried in bad-make and silliness. We are left to wonder exactly why Loren is in the film; at the very least, she needed a serious voice coach.
It is left to Hottie Hooda to hold the fort. But there’s not much he can do with a plotline like this, especially when the make-up department has decreed that he wears his hair in an unfortunate side-part. He ends up baring his teeth in an evil grin, his torso as he lowers the ladies onto the bed, and not much else.