In the hands of a more experienced director ‘Murder 3’, an adaptation of the 2011 Columbian thriller ‘La Cara Oculta’ (The Hidden Face), might have actually been a good suspense thriller. The plot, twists and twists within the twists are rather good. Even the Bollywood-isation (namely the inclusion) is not too obtrusive. The same cannot be said of the actors. The performances veer from prosaic to hammy.
Aditi Rao Hydari plays Roshni, the loyal to a fault, pure as porcelain girlfriend who begins to doubt Vikram’s loyalty. When she disappears one day, even the cops cannot find a clue as to her whereabouts. At his wits end and lonely, Vikram finds comfort in the readily open arms of waitress Nisha. But Nisha is conflicted about Vikram’s involvement in Roshni’s disappearance and also troubled by strange happenings in his palatial and remote colonial bungalow.
Hydari as Roshni is the most charming and effective of the actors. Her character also goes through the emotional wringer the most. However, since her character’s modus operandi is weak the denouement appears even more illogical. Sara Loren is wooden and fails to go beyond the obvious interpretation of her character Nisha. Hooda (in a very disturbing and distracting hairpiece) is the rich and successful photographer Vikram looking for a lost love and finding comfort with a new one. Though you miss the smouldering Hooda of ‘Jism 2’, he does manage to find bite in this shallow part and keep you guessing about his involvement. Mostly the lead actors just give each other intense looks. It’s the supporting actors Rajesh Shringarpure, Shekhar Shukla and Bugs Bhargava who simply overdo it.
After a laboured set up, the second half is at least engaging. There are the mandatory banging windows, creaking pipes and sudden power outages. Does the house have any more secrets that Nisha is yet to discover? All this against the backdrop of a missing girlfriend heightens the suspense and builds to an entertaining climax.
It’s not as harrowing or bloody as ‘Murder 2’, not as sensuous as ‘Murder’. ‘Murder 3’ is rather about relationships, the dangers of suspicion and the possible consequences of infidelity.