The Bhatts have, most of the times, opted for subjects that are in sharp contrast to the products churned out in Bollywood. In MURDER, their latest endeavour, Mahesh and Mukesh Bhatt look at extra-marital relationships from a realistic point of view.
But first things first!
Yes, it's inspired by Adrian Lyne's UNFAITHFUL [2002; starring Richard Gere, Diane Lane, Oliver Martinez], with alterations in the story to suit Indian sensibilities, but not DOUBLE INDEMNITY .
Yes, the film does have its share of skin-show, but those scenes have been filmed aesthetically. The outcome is not in the least vulgar!
Yes, to a large extent!
Sudhir [Ashmit Patel], his wife Simran [Mallika Sherawat] and their son Kabir are settled in Bangkok. Engrossed in business and chasing his dreams, Sudhir ignores Simran, who feels the vacuum in her life. The cracks in their relationship begin to show.
On a rainy day, Simran bumps into an old buddy, Sunny [Emraan Hashmi]. This brings back memories of the past: Sunny and Simran had been in love before they got married. But destiny had something else in store for them.
Back to the present: Sudhir and Simran's loneliness brings them together and ignites the passion. Subsequently, they cross all limits, getting obsessed and addicted to each other in the process.
Sudhir begins to pick up on clues that his wife is hiding something. He even hires a detective to keep track of her activities. And his doubts come true when the detective gives him proof of her infidelity. Sudhir's world is shaken with the reality of Simran's affair.
On learning the truth, Sudhir decides to confront Sunny. And this very meeting leads to devastating results for all.
MURDER has several factors going in its favour -
Director Anurag Basu opens the cards at this stage, making it clear that this is not the beginning of a relationship, but the first step towards catastrophe.
But MURDER is not without its share of downers -
MURDER is impeccably filmed and sexually charged, but had director Anurag Basu concentrated on the loose ends in the screenplay, it would've taken the graph of the film to a different level altogether.
Anu Malik's music is an asset. Both 'Kaho Na Kaho' and 'Bheege Hont Tere' are gems in terms of composition. Their picturisation of the latter is quite erotic. 'Dil Ko Hazaar Baar' [Kashmira Shah sporting a 1950s get-up] is another excellent number with rich lyrical value that comes up at the most appropriate time.
Cinematography is first-rate. Seldom have the eye-catching locales of Bangkok been exploited so effectively in a Bollywood flick. Dialogues are alright.
MURDER stands on three performances - Mallika, Ashmit and Emraan.
Known as a glamour doll with amazing confidence to enact bold scenes, Mallika proves that she's not just a sex goddess. This performance is sure to catch the viewer unexpected. The actor has evolved tremendously since her first full-fledged role [KHWAHISH]. Free exposure of her anatomy will only multiply her fans.
Ashmit Patel may have looked awkward in his debut film [INTEHA], but he seems to have evolved this time around. Handling a complex role - expressing with eyes mainly - can prove to be a daunting task for a one-film-old, but the actor does impress you in sequences that demand dramatics.
Emraan Hashmi is fantastic in a role that seems tailormade for him. Enacting the role of an obsessive lover with flourish, there's no denying that the narrative gets a major impetus thanks to Emraan's performance.
Raj Zutshi [as the cop] does his part very well.
On the whole, MURDER is an engrossing entertainer. At the box-office, the lethal combination of an attention-grabbing title, sex in its content and aggressive promotion will ensure a safe ride for the film. Business at metros should prove to be the best.