I have enjoyed many Vikram Bhatt-horror films : Raaz, pulmonologist 1920, side effects Haunted to name a few. But this one is very average, stomatology and certainly looks made hurriedly on a tight budget, and sadly with very few spooks.
What takes away the film’s entire charm is the tacky manner in which ‘the film industry’ is shown, or rather not shown at all. It looks like the props of a school play. So you imagine that all those silly extras are ‘top stars’ and ‘big directors’ and that shoddy award ‘is the Filmfare’ one. Seriously. Some more bucks and thoughts could have been spent there.
Because of this, one never really knows what Shanaya (Bipasha Basu) is craving for , or what she is loosing to the new girl Sanjana (Esha Gupta) – Yeah, the same name Sanjana as in the first Raaz! And the same way her name is eerily whispered by the spirit ( perhaps in a bid to maintain some continuity in the franchise).
Add to this, the silly background story about their childhood, which looks like an after-thought to give some more weightage to Shanaya’s ills. Sorrry, again, it doesn’t work.
It’s also hard to believe that such a ‘top star’ has no entourage or staff at all. The film ‘shoot’ scenes again resemble a school kid’s rehearsals. The artificiality continues in the hospital scenes as Mohan Kapoor’s doctor act is a big ham served cold & raw!
But even keeping that aside, Raaz-3 fails on one more front – the spooks are few and far between, spaced out to accommodate the supposedly ‘human interest’ story between the two rivals, and of course some semi-Sufi songs as Emran Hashmi goes about his business smooching the heroines!
The story is narrated linearly so there is no ‘twist’ as such, or any back story that gets revealed. The script is simple and sparse, which makes the entire film pretty light-weight. As I said earlier, looks more like a rush job than any deep effort.
The dialogues are ok, but again I was reminded of the brilliant stuff from the first Raaz especially the ones that Malini (the other woman) languorously drawls out. ( The second Raaz was a complete washout).
It’s not that the film is wholly bad or boring, but then it doesn’t have enough meat to make it memorable or to go back to it again. It’s not also only about the ‘spook’ scenes, but the overall ambience and atmosphere – a bit of mystery, a bit of suspense – that is required. And Vikram has done it earlier in Raaz, 1920, Haunted – wonder why he couldn’t recreate it here.
Now coming to the scarce good parts – The ‘cockroach’ scene is the film’s highlight, the scary bits whenever they appear do raise a few hairs. The 3D adds to those portions. (And overall also its fun to watch in 3 dimensional!)
And Bipasha Basu is in top form. She does portray the jealousy, the greed, the sheer moral fall well, despite the script /scenario leaving her disastrously loose & unanchored.
On the music front, not a patch on the first Raaz, though ‘Rafta rafta ho gayi’ is a good number.