Mumbai: If you are a fan of thrills and shock, Bhatt camp's 'Murder 3' is bound to baffle you at many stages and not just for the lack of any edge of the seat drama, which is a shame, since the original film it's inspired from is a fine whodunit.
If you haven't watched the film yet, do come back to the article later. It contains spoilers.
Given how the popular franchise is named, the third instalment vaguely hints at a murder that may or may not have taken place in the life of photographer. Roshni (Aditi Rao Hydari), the girlfriend of photographer Vikram (Randeep Hooda) walks out of the house they had been sharing suspecting him of infidelity. After days of waiting for her to come back, Vikram decides to move on. He eventually meets Nisha (Sara Loren) who after a period of courtship moves in with him at his palatial but empty house.
I have a bone to pick here. They should have just called the film 'The Sceret Room' or 'The Test'. You will know why after you see the film. But these plot points left me confused as to what the director intended to make of the film.
Point 1: Hydari is an insecure girlfriend who does not have issues with her boyfriend shooting photos of semi naked models to earn money but gets intensely jealous of the hairstylist who works with him. Does she confront Vikram? Oh no sir.
Point 2: Sara Loren plays a waitress in a swanky restaurant in Mumbai who checks out drunk customers (in this case, Hooda). She readily agrees to drop him to his place since he is in an inebriated state. When the drunk stranger fails to give proper directions to his house, Nisha decides to let him sleep over at her flat, in one fell swoop ignoring all advice mother had given her about letting strangers into your house. This, assuming rapes, murders and abductions never happen to women on celluloid.
Point 3: We all know that property rates are scorching in Mumbai. One has to burn one's pocket to get a decent place to live in the city. But not in Bhatt camps films. New to the city, Vikram and Roshni find a sprawling bungalow with garden and swimming pool to live in in the outskirts of Mumbai. Mind you, Vikram is a rookie photographer and Roshni, an architect, is out of job.
Point 4: People here are obsessed with the mirror. Which in this case happens to be a two-way mirror and we know why it's crucial to the plot. But even then not every conversation, action, even sex need to happen in front of it. A bit of subtlety would have been nice here to understate the importance of that mirror.
Point 5: Vikram can afford a huge house, an expensive car and even a servant, but the house does not have an inverter and power cuts are a constant feature of day and night. Of course, if he had the inverter/generator, the new girlfriend would not be able scream all the time.
Point 6: A woman trapped in a room is seen surviving for weeks without any proper light, air or water or food. And yet when she comes out, she seems fine, bit weak but otherwise fine. Hydari is clearly made of sterner stuff.
Point 7: This is how a murder investigation should not be done. While Roshni does leave him a message that she is leaving him - Vikram reports the matter to the police and informs them of a videotaped message from her. As police in India are prone to do, they promptly ignore the tape, do not even call it in as evidence and dig up the backyard of the house looking for a body.
Point 8: A creepy servant roams around the house doing odd jobs but doesn't notice a huge Victorian style key lying around on the bedroom floor for weeks. Especially after the owner of the house has been reported missing. Have to look up what Bollywood's Creepy Servants' Rulebook says about this dereliction of duty.