Cast: Neil Nitin Mukesh, Sonal Chauhan, Mrinalini Sharma
Directors: Sheershak Anand, Shantanu Ray Chhibber
The line between a psychological thriller and a horror film is not thin, so if you set the basic premise as the former then the sudden transition to the latter would look like an abrupt decision to wrap up the story within a limited time period. The directors lose the grip on the narrative the moment they decide to switch over to the darker side, and this happens despite establishing a believable backdrop.
The characters break into a song when they are required the least, it obstructs the story from touching heights.
The basic storyline has Sam Arora (Neil Nitin Mukesh) and Sheena (Sonal Chauhan) at the helm of affairs who decide to spend their vacation in Fiji. There, Sam buys a second hand phone with 3G facilities but that phone doesn't prove to be lucky for him as he starts seeing unknown people (Don't remember 'The Sixth Sense').
Things become more complicated when Sam begins to show the symptoms of split personality disorder. As expected, the couple moves out of their cosy hotel room to find out the truth behind the phone. They get to a point where they will encounter the most shocking revelation of their lifetime. Well, you can always ask why they didn't go the police or the psychiatrist.
Doesn't the story sound familiar? Yes, we have seen films based on similar themes in the past, and that experience has given us the strength to predict the movement and the structure of the story. So, unless and until the audience finds the secretive element mesmerising, he is not going to keep the film in his sub-conscious for long.
On the outset, '3G' has all the basic ingredients of a 'masala' film, exotic locations, good looking people and an imaginative cinematographer, but they lack the adhesive of acting when amalgamated together.
The casting is not bad as Neil Nitin Mukesh looks like a well to do urban professional, similarly Sonal Chauhan suits the requirements of a typical heroine but their reactions are questionable in the moments of tension.
Such films do rely on the shocking value of the background score but an overdose of it has hampered the fluidity. This penchant for giving shocks on part of the directors has led to another interesting situation. Neil Nitin Mukesh and Sonal Chauhan don't face each other even during the intimate moments, ok this can be accepted but he or she invariably looks towards the other person's face once the dialogue is over, which means after one point of time the viewer starts to anticipate their exact reaction time and moment. This seems funny when the heroine waits to give out the scared expressions.
The chemistry between Neil and Sonal is visible in the songs but Sonal doesn't match up to the expectations in other scenes, her dialogue delivery with a flat face is a let down.
It is Neil Nitin who keeps the story from completely falling apart. He has tried his best to do justice to his character but there are things that the directors needed to explain. The swift alterations of Neil's mood should have been backed up by proper logic, at least when the back-stories are at play. The secondary characters make it more difficult with their highly dramatic third person narrations. You see, mouthing dialogues with extra pauses is not always necessary to create suspense.
Mrinalini Sharma and Ashish are not bad but the lack of depth in their characterisation restricts them from excelling. The parallel cutting towards the end could have been a face saver if the makers could have given solid reasoning behind the proceedings.
The writer has done one smart thing by concentrating the entire film around Neil's character as he is in his elements (those who have seen the film would remember the scene for a long time where he personifies the crucified Jesus), but he couldn't do anything in absence of support from the fellow actors.
Mithoon has composed some melodious tunes for '3G', 'Kaise bataoon' and 'Khalbali' need special mentions, but they have not been used judiciously. The characters break into a song when they are required the least, it obstructs the story from touching the correct heights.
The images are glossy and the audiences are spared some uselessly distorted faces but it's not like the fear of unknown. A desperate attempt in the end to give some 'meaning' to the film doesn't go down well with the story either.
Overall, '3G' is about a failed prop which was supposed to clutch the sequences. And, there is a limit to ogling at postcard images, so the talks of it being one of the better horror films of recent times are not wise. Watch it at your own risk or for Neil Nitin Mukesh.
Rating: 2 out of 5.
'Birdman' review: The film has a delicious script, and characters bring the acidic dialogue to life
'Rahasya' review: Movie's implausible script quickly ditches real events
'Hawaizaada' review: The film is jingoistic, melodramatic, naive, and often illogical