The Vampire Bat has never been the fan of the original movie, Murder – but he was forced to change that one opinion to think about following the series with Murder 2. That made sure that this was going to be a series which has the worst in the beginning itself. It doesn’t matter how good people might think it was, it was never a good copy from Hollywood. The second was more close to glory as Prashant Narayanan came up with one of the best performances witnessed for such a long time. It was both gruesome and awesome at the same time. Then, the question would be about Murder 3 right now and the answer might be somewhere in between the first and the second of the series. It could never rise upto the second, but still creates a better impact than the first. It is supposed to be the remake of the Colombian thriller The Hidden Face, but at no point does it gives a feeling that it does not belong to this part of the world, for it has been changed well enough. It might still seem to defy logic, but that is something which is to be forgiven to attain the maximum effect of the needed horror.
Any disappointment about the movie has to be left to the first half, which is a little strange – it has a photographer who has turned alcholic after losing his girlfriend, along with his new girlfriend. He is a young man who just lost his future wife and has brought another one out of nowhere; not really inappropriate for the Murder series, but still something which tells the viewer a little about the protagonist, the new-age Icarus whose interests are as unlimited as his ambitions. He has his wings, but the question might be about the path through which he is flying, and also about his other interests while moving so close to that fire-starter who can burn more than just a few things of wax. He might have to think again about all these, and it is doubtful when he will have the opportunity to do so. Meanwhile, his first girlfriend is more of the one who sacrifices her own interests. Now that would make the question of her leaving him obsolete. That is a fact which would keep the cops on his tail, investigating about his hands in her disappearance. But knowing them as a loving couple, not many would doubt his involvement in her absence.
His second girlfriend is more of a Lady Icarus, from one angle, even as she is shown more as a sympathizer in the first half. There is no point where one can be sure about this one character though. She is not really a static character, but still not someone whos progress can be easily traced. There are events happening all around, indicating the presence of some supernatural force and a mystery that surrounds the protagonist. Most of it just seem to happen just for the sake of frightening, until most of the twists and further explanations are done in the second half of the movie. It brings light to what lies inside the shadows of a world which looks too simple from outside. It brings two worlds and combine them into one; there is one inside the mirror and the other outside; both human, one free and the other imprisoned – but the souls of both might be in their own prison. One of them is not seen and the other is there for everyone to see. A reversal of roles is a possibility which is attempted soon enough, what lies beneath the depths of the hearts of two women and one man is difficult to know.
The whole story revolves around the three people and the love triangle. While the first half almost made a mess of it with a kind of “romantic horror” or “horror romance” which was neither here nor there, the relations get intense and further explained in the second half. It suddenly surprises and even shocks the viewer out of nowhere, at a moment when it seemed to be running out of everything. It starts climbing from there, towards a good, justified climax and a fine finish. That wouldn’t make the first half bad though, as it never really failed in a collateral manner even in the beginning stages as some might have thought it to be. There are shades of what might happen in the second half right from the beginning itself. The essence of mystery never leaves the little world of this movie. It leaves some scratches for the audience to be in the hunt for the mystery. The creepy house and the strange surroundings are supported by a bath tub, bathroom sink and the shower acting in a supernatural way.
The most exciting question of the movie would be if there is a murder which would justify the title? The second movie had lots of bloody murders, but this one is more of a psychological murder. There is the murder of faith and trust, and there is the possiblity of one or two murders which might have happened in the end – that is an ambiguity, an ending which could be interpreted in more than one way. It might be an end with the death of two, death of one and the imprisonment of the other, or with nothing too bad happening in the mansion. Love continues to be a matter of life, death, horror, mental disorder and everything else, and its role is above the supernatural yet again. It might reach even bigger heights of the mind in a possible Murder 4. What we see in the movie is that redemption is attained by the ones who has taken them out of the attention of fake, carnal love. The rest are left to feel the heat. Well, there is beauty to the heat, and gorgeousness to the horror – not one, but two; for there is no way to deny that.
Sara Loren and Aditi Rao Hydari has made this one more of a movie centred on two women, almost entirely different, but still has their lives centred on one man. The former keeps the first half running with her stunning looks while the latter runs the second half. The female characters run from sympathy to seduction and possessiveness to torment, a journey which is independent from one another, but not entirely separated in the sequence of events. Both of them begin as simple victims to an infatuation which drives them to one man and the creepy mansion. It is only a matter time before the love-birds would be no less than the vultures of selfishness. As it continues to bring more and more questions into the heads of the viewers, the more successful it becomes. But still, there are the missing parts, for the movie has its own low points where its horror becomes kind of laughable. But that is something worth forgiving for the total effect, especially for the minutes towards the end of the movie.
Thinking about the most talked-about side of the movie, this is not exactly the erotic thriller. There is sensousness and the scarcity in the department of clothing could be taken into account. But this actually takes the elements of relationships and mental status to the new heights instead of the physical relationships. This time, it gets closer to the emotions even if the skinshow never loses its role in the movie. The philosophy might be mostly hidden, but the absence of a true villain or a true hero is the evidence of the fact that this is more open to the discussions than ever, unlike the previous two movies of the series. That adds to the absence of Emraan Hashmi as a new thing to the series. In simple words, what Murder 3 has done is that it has provided some proof that there is hope around here for the horror genre even without ghosts and serial killers; there is future in many forms, and this future is more than just stunning.
Release date: 15th February 2013
Running time: 120 minutes
Directed by: Vishesh Bhatt
Starring: Randeep Hooda, Aditi Rao Hydari, Sara Loren, Rajesh Shringarpure, Shekhar Shukla
@ Cemetery Watch
✠The Vampire Bat.