The Bhatt brother’s banner Vishesh films is back with the third installment of Raaz directed by one of their favourite director, Vikram Bhatt. Incidentally Vikram also directed the first Raaz. It also brings back Bipasha Basu to the horror series along with Bhatt camp’s favourite serial kisser Emraan Hashmi. Interestingly, Emraan entered Bollywood in the 2002 release Raaz as an assistant director.
A fading actress, Shanaya (Bipasha Basu) who refuses to see her stardom crumbling is jealous of the up- coming actress Sanjana (Esha Gupta). So typical of the Bollywood, Sanjana also happens to be Shanaya’s haf-sister out of a different mother. Prompted by her deep hatred for Sanjana and the inability to accept the fact that her stardom is waning, she takes route to black magic to negate Sanjana’s career. For that she utilizes her boyfriend-director, Aditya (Emraan Hashmi), who complies to her devious plan initially but falls in love with Sanjana later. With Shanaya playing into the hands of Shaitan what happens to Sanjana and the love triangle between the three makes the movie along with the regular diet of sleaze, few moments of chillness and passionate kisses with Emraan getting to kiss both the ladies in the movie!
The hero of the movie is undoubtedly Bipasha Basu who overshadows Emraan. Though she gets copious screen space for skin show, its her acting as insecure, frustrated and scheming actress that scores the brownie points while Esha Gupta is just average in her role.
Shagufta Rafique’s story manages to pull off the first half of the movie rather well but the second half falters and the climax? well it reminds of Vikram Bhatt’s other horror flick Haunted and has a lame end to the devil’s ploy. With Ganesh chaturthi round the corner, Vikram has chosen Him as the saviour this time. As far the horror show in itself, the shaitan looks draped in some cheap Halloween costume, no wonder the camera refrains from showing the closeup of the devil. On horror quotient as expected there are few chilling moments that can race your heartbeats.
On a final note, Raaz 3 works good on the first half with its own chill moments and the story weaving into the frustration of a fading star in spite of the script’s inherent weakness but the second half? Well it spirals into an eclectic mixture of shrill, unintended laughter, ridiculous tantra mantra and ends in a dud climax.
Should you watch it or not? Expect the expected from the Bhatt camp, the movie follows their now predictable film cottage industry formula of sequels and Indian horror. You can sit through comfortably in the first half and in the second you can visit the loo or the cafeteria and sail through.