The Vampire Bat’s desire for horror has been getting stronger and stronger every day. The procedure of watching Murder 3 actually accelerated it to the maximum and therefore 3G was not to be missed. Silent Hill: Revelation 3D, The Cabin in the Woods, House at the End of the Street or The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia never came to the theatres here. There was no question of The Woman in Black. For Paranormal Activity 4, they might have had an early heart attack. But unfortunately, Piranha 3DD did arrive as pseudo-horror. The only hope was to adjust with the Resident Evil and the Underworld series as horror even as they could no longer fit into that category. This ridiculous attitude towards horror might be the worst thing about the theatres and malls around here, as they don’t really mind the local language horror movies, not checking if they are any good. At least 3G made it to most of the theatres around here, even if it is no material of Silent Hill quality. The silence of depression which every horror fan faces around here needs to be treated, and therefore, this review is going to be quite lenient – there will be no hard measures taken on this movie and it will be given a free pass in many departments.
“Wherever you go i am there: Gadha Jam” said Mohanlal in the 1989 Malayalam movie Vandanam. Here, it is a mobile phone which says the same. It is an advanced phone for a spirit to try and infect, with touch screen and 3G facility. The movie begins with a guy murdering his girlfriend stabbing her through the right eye right after proposing to her in an abandoned area. Then the screen shifts to a stylish opening credits shown in a very innovative way in the beginning. There is the mention of the billions of phone users in the world. It also talks about the large number of phantom calls which are received worldwide which cannot be traced. Here, these calls are related to spirits of the other world trying to connect to this world. That did sound a little overreaching for me, but that also gave a push both to the expectations and the skepticism. This is the beginning of an ambitious plot and we might be talking more about its ambiguity later, but for now lets get on with it.
The 3rd generation of mobile telecommunications technology makes way for Sheena (Sonal Chauhan) who comes out of the saline water of Fiji in a red bikini; and that much talked-about scene ends with a not-so-happy conversation with her lover Sam (Neil Nitin Mukesh). But all the minute problems are solved as he comes to Fiji to be with her, losing his mobile in the process and initiating the “Kaise Bataaoon” song. There are surely in love, but are always interrupted, first by Sam’s own hallucinations which makes him see demonic faces not only on others, but also as a ghost – something which interferes with their relationship. The second stage makes him near-possessed and almost makes him strangle Sheena in her bath tub and also to take his own life by hanging. Then the spirit seems to take over him completely. To add to it, there is a video of a girl getting murdered inside the phone while strange sights and voices happen on the outside. The attempt to get rid of the phone has already failed, as it came back from being deposited in the sea as well as being broken into pieces. That should have been expected when there are dead people involved.
Neil’s territory is divided into two, one of a passionate lover and the other of the possessed. His performance as the former is never under doubt and the as the latter is incredible at times and okay on the other occasions. One of those moments is when he is seen possessed over the bath tub of his lover and the other when he asks a priest, “Have you forgiven yourself?”. The moments are strange, but effective enough. There is also a scene of bloody murder which is strange, but still powered by his thrilling performance. Sonal has the supporting role, looking gorgeous and playing the character who hesitates to leave her lover despite of the haunting that happens around him and inside his mind. She never looks less than stunning throughout the movie. Her presence here only does the movie good, even though it is surely not for giving a big performance that she is there. I wouldn’t guess that people were expecting something else around here.
This movie is less of a thriller and more of a horror flick, and in that case, this one is far ahead of any of the movies in Bollywood. I would not deny that Murder 2 and Murder 3 were better in wholeness, but the fact remains that 3G better in parts. But, the problem is that this lack of wholeness makes this one inferior to the other two I mentioned. Still, the advantages of 3G includes its ability and its use of that ability to successfully generate the visual and audible fear supported by good use of sound effects & camera, in a much spookier way compared to its predecessors. The creepy environment is successfully created even in the presence of two of the best looking people on the screen, and the attention successfully shifts more to the horror elements than them. The fact that things get kind of absurd and fails to make much sense as a movie with its weaker logic still makes it good in parts. 3G certainly has its moments of horror glory, but there also those of extreme stupidity creating moments of unintentional comedy. This is more of a minor oasis in the desert of romantic comedies and mindless action for the starving horror fans in India.
There was a lot of scope for this movie, but the ghost who tries to be Miss India and a grown-up version of The Ring girl at the same time, along with the fluctuations in the story has left the audience with more to ask for. There is a certain absence of intellect as well as the presence of ambiguity throughout the movie, even as the first half rarely explains anything. The best not-so-hot, not-so-intimate scene in the movie still came in the first half, when our hero is playing a game of car race in a taxi in the mobile and with a crash in the game comes a car crash in real life, as they land in the hospital with the spirit mobile which is left unscratched. Well, watch it for Neil Nitin Mukesh’s depiction of two personalities, the possessed and the unpossessed, the dazzling beauty that is Sonal Chauhan and the interesting concept of horror which hasn’t been tried this effectively in Indian movies. There is also a message against porn in the movie, and the presence of a hidden message against the effect of technology in our lives, especially that of the mobile phones. I hope you can recollect that much remembered scene from The Ring when Samara crawls from the tv and kills Noah with fear. Nobody crawls out of the mobile though, as the ghost is both inside and outside; but keep that in mind.
The need for horror has reached its highest point right now. Unless, the multiplexes and regular theatres do not hesitate to show the bloody movies of International horror standards, there will be no satisfaction for the common horror fan. The movies like 3G, Murder 3 and Table No.21 might serve as satisfactory thrillers or sources of horror which might give a small, but certain amount of relief. If one thinks about Dracula 2012 3D in Malayalam, no lets just leave the literary works alone; for they are to be more classics than just horror and the vampire life would just be like a random Twilight unless the soul of the work makes it way to the screen. Well, how can you reach the heart even when you cut incredibly deep if there is none? How can you influence the brain if it is already frozen and unavailable? 3G doesn’t really appeal to the brain, but for the heart, it is another story. It won’t really matter how this one would turn out to be, but there will be no stopping the horror genre. If the best horror movies are brought to the theatres, that would be incredibly satisfying, or otherwise there is 3G.
Release date: 15th March 2013
Running time: 120 minutes (estimate)
Directed by: Sheershak Anand-Shantanu Ray Chibber
Starring: Neil Nitin Mukesh, Sonal Chauhan, Mrinalini Sharma, Asheesh Kapur
@ Cemetery Watch
✠The Vampire Bat.