4 Very Good

Most of the film stars have a limited shelf life. They cause a stir in the initial phase of their careers, turn out to be the next big thing and few years and couple of bad films later, they are suddenly not the next big thing anymore. Someone else (and someone younger) arrives and takes away that tag. Most of such stars come to terms and move on. They either hung their boots or get into direction, production or delve into another field altogether. Few refuse to accept that their time is over. They keep on signing films, hoping that one of them will click and bring back the glory of the days gone by. Meanwhile, their PR machinery keeps coming up with ridiculous but eyeball-grabbing stories. We all are aware of such instances and hence the connect in Raaz 3 happens instantly as soon as Bipasha’s career is introduced. Moreover, the horror scenes, the intimacy and not to forget, the 3D ensures viewers get their money’s worth! Worth a watch!

The story of the movie: Shanaya (Bipasha Basu) was once a reigning actress in Bollywood. However, now Sanjana (Esha Gupta) has taken over the throne. Shanaya turns to God but that doesn’t help. Finally, she resorts to black magic to bring back her stardom. She uses her boyfriend, popular film director Aditya Arora (Emraan Hashmi) to devastate Sanjana. Problem arises when Aditya falls for Sanjana and decides to save her from the evil Shanaya. Will he succeed?

Vikram Bhatt wowed audiences with Haunted last year. The film was ridiculed for its illogic and so-called absurdity by critics. But viewers flocked in large numbers and made it a huge hit. Raaz 3 seems to be going the same way. Before venturing out for the film, audiences should ask themselves – what are they expecting from a film like Raaz 3? Something on the lines or of the level of The Exorcist or The Omen? Then sorry, boss! You’ll be in for a disappointment! Raaz 3 is purely desi! The film deals with kaala jadoo, jadoo tona, kaali vidya et al…and gives a déjà vu of Haunted, Raaz and yes, the Ramsay films to an extent! There’s an audience for films like these and if all this is your cup of tea, then Raaz 3 will be a treat!

Raaz 3 grips from the very first scene and keeps one hooked till the very end. Aditya agreeing to help Shanaya in the beginning portions didn’t seem convincing. Also, Sanjana having no friend and turning to Aditya for help and nobody else was slightly hard to digest. Thankfully, these are minor blemishes. Raaz 3 has loads of plusses. As aforementioned, Shanaya’s character seems very relatable and so does her predicament. Fun begins when Shanaya’s kala jadoo starts working on Sanjana and wrecks havoc in her life. The intermission comes at a brilliant juncture. The second half is entertaining and one of the most impactful scenes has to be the one involving flying cockroaches. The 3D works and how! This reminds me – watch the film in 3D to feel the scare! The climax is exciting and nail-biting. However, the manner in which the finale culminated was formulaic and could have been better. But nevertheless, the film had its moments, and that too lots of them!

Emraan Hashmi gives a worthy performance but seemed restraint, possibly because of his character. But he does get to do some herogiri in the end. Raaz 3 has emerged as Emraan’s biggest opener. The actor has proved his worth with films like Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai, Gangster, The Dirty Picture, Shanghai etc and is today one of the biggest stars of Bollywood. Raaz 3 might not be his best act but is definitely another feather in his cap. Great going Emmy and keep rocking!

Bipasha Basu delivers a powerful performance. The actor must have felt a connection with the character since just like Shanaya, Bipasha too is going through a tough phase and is feeling threatened with the younger lot of actresses. However, with Raaz 3, Bipasha proves she’s here to stay. Esha Gupta too gives a bravura performance and looks beautiful throughout the film. The actor would be seen next month itself in Prakash Jha’s Chakravyuh. Manish Chaudhari (as the evil spirit) does great and has become a regular in Bhatt films. Mohan Kapur as usual was good. The actors who played the priest does fine as well.

Rashid Khan and Jeet Ganguly’s music is strictly okay. Pretty shocking, since Emraan-Bhatt combo always come up with some fine music. Deewana Kar Raha Hai is the only memorable track. There are almost 6 songs in the film but all of them are well-placed, well-shot and doesn’t halt the narrative. Special mention should be made of Kya Raaz Hai/Marhaba Marhaba. Brilliantly shot!

Background score is loud but works. VFX is tacky at places but praiseworthy overall. Shagufta Rafique pens a fine story that neatly comprises sex and horror. Director Vikram Bhatt is a master storyteller when it comes to horror films. He faltered with Dangerous Ishhq, which wasn’t horror but dealt with past-life regression. But with Raaz 3, he’s back on track. He effectively uses 3D this time, even better than what he did in Haunted. The brick-flying 3D scene seems to have become a trademark shot of Vikram and is nicely incorporated in this film as well. Check out the scene where a horrifying and terrifying sequence beautifully gives way to love, romance and the song Deewana Kar Raha and one realizes that Vikram is a pro! Viewers might have reservations with the loud scenes and too much of kaala jaadu, God and such stuff. But that has been the mainstay of Bhatt’s horror films since years and Raaz 3 is no different. A great effort and hope he comes up with many such films!

On the whole, Raaz 3 is a marvelous entertainer. The horror and lovemaking scenes come out brilliantly in 3D. Songs are mediocre but the picturisation and execution compensates for it. The film has all the ingredients that Vikram Bhatt effectively used in Haunted, 1920 and Raaz and if such films don’t suit you, please avoid and save your time. And if such films do give you thrill and scare, this one’s for you! Grab your 3D glasses and experience FEAR like never before!