A GENEROUS display of skin and kissing always sells. Coupled with horror scenes, it’s no wonder Raaz 3 stormed the Indian box office when it opened over the weekend. But whether the momentum will last is anybody’s guess. It was released in 3D over there but we only get the 2D version here.
All those steamy posters have helped pre-sell the movie. And there were also the interviews that the story had adapted bits of history of Bipasha Basu (facing the onslaught of new, young actresses) and the real-life love story between the director Vikram Bhatt and former top actress Amisha Patel to pique the interest of cinemagoers. The kissing scenes have been snipped off by our censors. But the scenes of Bipasha wooing Emraan to bed and the use of black magic by movie stars will further draw viewers.
Who has not heard of actresses resorting to the black arts to safeguard their beauty and position in the highly challenging cinema world? All actresses have a shelf life.
You will be awestruck that an actress like Bipasha agreed to do such a daring role. She has to display lots of skin and act in bedroom scenes. She even dares to sleep with a demon covered in worms to achieve her aims. It is an outstanding performance.
Raaz 3 has nothing to do with the previous two Raaz movies. It’s about a top actress Shanaya (Bipasha) who loses the best actress award to her rival, Sanjana (Esha Gupta). Her lover and leading director Aditya (Emraan Hashmi) is under her spell and helps her “poison” Sanjana with a magic potion Shanaya has obtained from a black magic practitioner (Manish Chaudhury).
Soon enough, the cinema world begins to despise Sanjana for behaving weirdly and she is admitted to a hospital. By then, Aditya has fallen in love with Sanjana and decides to fight Shanaya’s evil ways.
The horror scenes jolt you from your seat. Be prepared for a hand to suddenly come out of nowhere to strangle the characters. There is a scene where the character is attacked by thousands of cockroaches in the bathroom before she runs out naked, and another of a maid being slashed by an evil force.
The background music and effects are convincing enough. But it is the star cast that will keep you engrossed.
Emraan, who has been billed as a “serial kisser” in Bollywood, goes to bed with both leading women. His brooding appearance doesn’t seem to vary much but seems suited for the confusing situation he is caught in.
Former Femina Miss India Esha Gupta (seen earlier with Emraan in her debut movie, Jannat 2) looks elegant and sexy.
The songs, composed by Jeet Gannguli, are well spaced out.
Raaz 3 may not be as imaginative as some of the Thai, Korean and Japanese horror flicks we have seen but people will still go to see it because of the Bollywood stars they fancy. Remember that this same director’s Haunted 3D, released in May last year, went on to become the highest grossing Hindi horror film of all time.
RAAZ 3 (Hindi)
Directed by Vikram Bhatt
Starring Emraan Hashmi, Bipasha Basu, Esha Gupta, Manish Chaudhury
Duration 120 minutes