MURDER 3. Director: Vishesh Bhatt. Players: Ranjeet Hooda, Aditi Rao Hydari, Sara Loren. Music: Pritam Chakraborty. Theatrical release: Fox Star.
Some films deserve to be seen in a theater, the silver screen illuminating every inflection of the actors’ expressions, highlighting the mastery of the wizards who create a fictional world to which we can escape. This film is not one of them. No, I’m not suggesting that you see this film when it is available on DVD. I am suggesting that you not see this film at all, unless you are unusually masochistic or are writing an article titled “Ten Worst Movies of the Year.”Is there anything else left to say?And since it has been established that you will not be wasting your time and money on this film, the spoilers can flow, free and unfettered.The writer is Mahesh Bhatt. A cursory examination of the plot reveals several male fantasies at play. All the women are sexy and somewhat empty-headed. They appear to be irresistibly drawn to to Vikram (Ranjeet Hoodia) despite his marked lack of any obvious attractive qualities. The narrative involves Man, Woman #1, Woman #2, and Woman #3. The Man is a photographer who lives in a creepy mansion with a creepy manservant (bluebeard like). Is there a room in this creepy mansion with a secret? The large Victorian key must open something, but what? Woman #1, Roshni (Aditi Rao Hydari), is a sexy architect who is a bit like the mad wife in the attic in Jane Eyre, except that Woman #1 is not mad. However, she does get quite mad when she can’t help noticing that her man is romancing a rival, Woman #2, Nisha (Sara Loren). What both of them do not realize is that the man has been secretly trysting with Woman #3. (Again, the question emerges about what all these women actually see in the Man) This should cause Woman #1 and Woman #2 to bond. Instead, the narrative takes an unusual twist. Woman #2 is a sexy and gullible waitress who, apparently, has never heard of stranger danger, date rape or Jack the Ripper. When the Man is too inebriated to drive home, she takes him to her own apartment, even though it is clearly a dim-witted move on her part. The next morning, while wearing the least possible amount of fabric imaginable, she serves him hot chai. (Beware: male fantasies at work.) She then moves into his creepy palatial home, and is served by his creepy manservant.It is becoming clear to me that this film was made by men, and clearly plays out several male fantasies. Let’s go through the list.The formula of sexy girl(s) wearing hot outfits. Check. Multiple sexy girls wearing multiple hot outfits. Multiple checks.Exotic locales (South Africa qualifies, right?) Check.Love triange.
Check. Love quadrilateral. Check. Love pentagon (no, not you, General Petraeus).
Check.Catfight over the Man. Check.Twist in plot. Check.Cop as incompetent bumbler.
Check. Cop as lapsed love interest? OK, whatever. Check.Unrealistic lifestyle on meager salary. Check.Dangerous symbolic animals and reptiles. Check.Enough.Can I have the check, please?
Geetika Pathania Jain is a Bay Area resident. She is currently teaching at DeAnza College.