Bhatts are back and they are Bhattier than ever. Shortly after giving the world Sunny Leone’s
mainstream-ish debut, India’s sensationalistic filmmaking family has returned
with the first Bollywood horror movie to receive an R rating from the
MPAA. Not to worry, it is almost entirely
for scenes of supernatural terror. There
is plenty of uncanny skullduggery afoot in Vikram Bhatt’s thematic stand-alone sequel
Raaz 3 (trailer here), which opens
today in New York.
Shekhar used to be the hottest thing going in Bollywood, but she got ever so
slightly older. Now, it is the younger,
cuter Sanjana Krishnan who gets all the plum parts and awards. That does not sit well with Shekhar, who also
carries a deeper grudge against the oblivious starlet, for reasons which will
be revealed in good time. Not exactly a
model of emotional stability, Shekhar is ripe for the enticement of the dark side.
demonic Taradutt is always willing to make a deal and Shekhar is definitely
someone he can do business with. Her
goals are simple: to preserve her celebrity status and make Krishnan suffer.
Taradutt is happy to oblige with some black magic. However, her rival will need frequent doses
of his soul enslaving potion. The
Mickey-slipping job will fall to Aditya Arora, Shekhar’s indebted lover who
happens to be directing Krishnan’s next picture. Though guilt-wracked, Arora complies, only to
find himself falling for Krishnan as she succumbs to Taradutt’s evil influence.
you are going to see a Bhatt-helmed film, go to one of Vikram’s supernatural forays
rather than Pooja’s naughty melodramas. As
far as horror-paranormal romance crossovers go, Raaz 3 has its moments. The
scenes involving Hindu deities and demons work rather well, making a nice
change of pace from typically materialistic horror films. Since its characters work in Bollywood, the
film can also sneak in dance numbers in ways that do not sacrifice
verisimilitude. Still, the cast is stuck
with some absolute howlers in Shagufta Rafique’s script and nobody’s
performance is exactly subtle in the first place.
her credit though, Bipasha Basu vamps it up something fierce as Shekhar, always
in cleavage emphasizing wardrobe that must have restricted the poor woman’s
breathing. Anything for art. At least she gets it. Emraan Hashmi just lacks presence as
Arora. Instead of a tortured brooder, he
just looks somewhat nauseous. In the
innocent victim role, Esha Gupta’s Krishnan is sorely underwritten, but she is
aces in her big dance number.
Pravin Bhatt gets the dark and stormy atmospherics right, but the CGI is of sub-Hollywood
standards. Frankly, the 3D is also completely
unnecessary here. The only instances
where it really works are during the musical interludes. Most of the time, it is more of a distraction
than an enhancement. For Bollywood fans,
the songs are palatable, but not distinctive.
Bipasha Basu’s demon-loving diva could go
toe-to-toe with Eva Green’s Angelique Bouchard in Burton’s Dark Shadows reboot. They are
the real reasons to see both films, which is definitely something in either
case. Recommended for those who enjoy a
campy, larger-than-life star-turn rather than for likely to be disappointed horror
genre fans, Raaz 3 opens today in New
York, with the 2D version playing at the Big Cinemas Manhattan 1 and the 3D
running at the AMC Empire. It also opens
in the Bay Area, with 3D screenings at the AMC Mercado and Cinemark Union City,
with the 2D showing at the Fremont Big Cities 7.
Labels: Bipasha Basu, Bollywood, Horror Movies, Vikram Bhatt