The sequels of JANNAT, MURDER and RAAZ have proved flourishing propositions for the Bhatts. As a matter of fact, Vishesh Films seems to have come into view as a sequel making outfit lately.
A lot many actors and celebs become prisoners of fame and eminence, after attaining recognition. The adulation and the frenzy they incite in a public space is enough to award them with an elevated, superior feeling. Sadly, when you attain the much desired celebrity status, you also fear losing it all. It's well known that a vicious rivalry exists amidst movie stars and their aspiration to stay on top can make them resort to anything spiteful. Crossing all limits is one thing. But practicing black magic is blasphemous. Quite a few names from the era gone by have been accused of indulging in it [let me add, it's all unfounded information, there's no tangible substantiation of it]. That's precisely the theme of RAAZ 3.
Reportedly, RAAZ 3 is a blend of some authentic life incidents. Since black magic and voodoo are practiced even in the present day, it can be effortlessly explicated through a movie. But RAAZ 3 is not just a horror movie that has its share of chills and scares. It is not only about the envy and politics of Bollywood. A coherent human drama runs concurrently.
Vikram Bhatt has mastered the art of sending a shudder down your vertebrae. The horror quotient in RAAZ 3 is sure to make you break into a cold sweat at times, but what really catches your attention is the human element. In fact, RAAZ 3 takes the negativity factor in women to an altogether different altitude. Writer Shagufta Rafique amalgamates vendetta, jealousy, conflict, drama and sexuality to create a chilling saga.
One expects Vikram to tell a riveting story and that's what the franchise delivers. Also, unlike DANGEROUS ISHHQ, which received tremendous flak for its 3D, Vikram ensures that everything comes flying towards the audience in RAAZ 3. But 3D is last on the list for me. This time around, 3D is used more as a prettification or an embellishment. I'd rate the human story first, followed by the horror quotient and then 3D.
RAAZ 3 narrates the story of a top movie star, Shanaya [Bipasha Basu], whose domination is smashed to smithereens by the invasion of a younger actress, Sanjana [Esha Gupta]. Shanaya resorts to black magic to devastate Sanjana, who is depriving her of her roles and trophies. Shanaya uses her director-boyfriend Aditya [Emraan Hashmi] as a pawn, but, as luck would have it, Aditya falls in love with Sanjana.
The unwritten rule for horror films is uncomplicated: They ought to jolt you at the right places and also, the conclusion ought to be the paramount part of the narrative. RAAZ 3 thrives in giving you those joggles at several junctures [there are some indisputably unnerving scenes] and the culmination to the fiction, although a bit lengthy, keeps you caught up in the proceedings.
Vikram Bhatt, who helmed the blockbuster hit RAAZ in 2002, is back with the third installment. He pursues the journey of a fading superstar's vengeance against a rising star adroitly. RAAZ 3 is suitably atmospheric, full of character and sensibly spine-chilling. The film relies less on shock value and more on a well-told tale, leading to a stimulating finale. Besides, Vikram has mastered this genre by now. He knows exactly how to make a scene sinister without making it appear ludicrous. The Bhatts are known for presenting sex and passion aesthetically and this one is no different. The lovemaking scene between Emraan and Bipasha in particular is way too titillating.
Blemish? Yes, the music is not at par with the first two parts. Hummable tunes, yes, but chartbusters, nope. In fact, the soundtrack of RAAZ 3 is nowhere close to the haunting tracks of the first part specifically. Cinematography [Pravin Bhatt] is top notch and forms one of the high points of this enterprise.
It's very infrequent that a Hindi film heroine gets to illustrate such a commanding character and Bipasha seizes the opportunity with both her hands, coming up with a bravura act. Her audacious scenes, unabashed approach and oozing sex appeal set the screen aflame. Enacting the role of an actress whose career is on a downslide, Bipasha gets the character accurate. RAAZ was a turning point in her career and RAAZ 3 should mark the commencement of a fresh phase for this gifted actress.
Emraan surrenders to the director's judgment absolutely, shedding all inhibitions and delivering a restrained and an authoritative presentation. Undeniably, Bipasha has an even more challenging role, but Emraan's fans won't be disappointed either. Esha Gupta appears awkward and self-conscious in the initial portions, but holds a few sequences graciously in the subsequent hour. I'd like to single out a scene when she has delusions of cockroaches attacking her. Her act in that particular scene is super.
Manish Chaudhuri is excellent. Mohan Kapur is natural.
On the whole, RAAZ 3 is a story of staunch Indian beliefs and convictions in conjunction with a lethal combo of sex and horror in 3D, competent performances, an engaging human drama and most significantly, there's a gigantic brand value attached to it, which has worked extraordinarily well with the masses in the past. With this film, Vikram Bhatt raises the bar for horror films formulated on the home turf. If you are an enthusiast of supernatural thrillers/horror movies, RAAZ 3 should be on your list of 'things to do and watch' this weekend. Go, get ready to be spooked!