Vishesh Films have recently found a new formula of success apart from their earlier fixed patterns of film-making, which is en-cashing the brand name of their previous hits through their so called sequels. The audiences easily relate to the ‘Title’ with their fond memories of the original and then opt for its sequel, expecting a similar kind of output from the same. And the Bhatts have easily managed to make some money from their last such ventures, even though they were all pretty weak films as per their subject and execution. But here in RAAZ 3 they surprisingly come up with at least something to watch, despite of having its usual flaws and drawbacks.
Beginning with its weaker points, the film strictly follows the decades old rule of Hindi Cinema wherein Horror Films must have some unwanted sex and songs too to provide the required relief to the viewers. So, RAAZ 3 also has many similar sequences wherein the camera starts from the legs itself, the heroine seduces the hero to commit a serious crime and the couple suddenly decides to lock their lips just after a terrifying moment, making you laugh instead of getting frightened. But what pinches you even more than these forced sex scenes are the songs which hinder the pace of the film hugely and don’t really have some listening value too, which is usually not a feature of Vishesh Films. Background score also remains screechy and loud which fails to create any kind of terror needed before all those horrifying moments on the screen. In fact, while watching it I fondly remembered the subtle and intelligent use of minimum background score by the South Asian film-makers in their brilliant Horror films such as RINGU, SHUTTER, JU-ON and many more.
In short if you edit out that one funny kissing scene and all the songs from the film, replacing its routine background score with an experimental one, then RAAZ 3 does become a watchable movie (better than many recent trashy projects) having few positive points as mentioned below.
As its very first plus point, though not anything fresh but thankfully it does have a believable storyline written around the subject of love, jealousy and competition involved in the film business itself. One may call it completely imaginary and superstitious but there have been real life unconfirmed stories of allegations made by actors on each other of using Black Magic in the past. And that only becomes the basic premise of the storyline in RAAZ 3 which was also earlier used in HO SAKTA HAI (2004) and PHOONK (2008).
Secondly, the film cannot be called only a Horror movie as it does have some human relationship angles incorporated in its script which actually help in converting it into a one- time watch. So its not the same old, ugly looking Ghost following the whole cast and killing them one by one to take his revenge. R3 has got the elements of sibling jealousy, love and hatred along with an undercurrent of GUILT running throughout the film, felt by its lead hero Emraan Hashmi. Though I wished that this guilt factor could have been used more brightly in its second half but still the director doesn’t waste it completely.
Thirdly RAAZ 3 also has few appreciable scenes like the one where Bipasha meets the Black Magic man for the first time, the climax confronting the Ghost and the Cockroach attack sequence post intermission which can easily be rated as one of the boldest suggestive scenes filmed on a lead actress in the recent times.
Regarding the performances, honestly there is nothing exceptional but still Bipasha emotes well caught in the rage of jealousy against her rival actress. However I really didn’t find her enjoying her dances at all. Esha does much better than her previous films in the role of the victimized lady and Emraan Hashmi surprisingly plays it real cool in a controlled manner which works at times. Manish Chaudhari as the Evil Spirit doesn’t get much scope but he still excels in his few scenes. The film’s cinematography together with a fine art direction (Indoor Sets) manages to take you in and out of world of spirits successfully. Hence they all work together to a certain extent, majorly because the director remains focused on his story- telling too along with the Horror genre of his film.
Moreover, unlike Vikram’s last venture (DANGEROUS ISHQ), he doesn’t rely excessively on either the 3D factor or the Special Effects used, which eventually brings in a certain kind of balance in the film resulting in a better product. That is if you watch it in 3D then you are sure going to get many things coming on to you as expected. But if you prefer watching it in 2D then also the film remains the same as it is not hugely dependent upon the technology to generate any bigger impact.
In all, RAAZ 3 may not be anything great or path-breaking but it still has its moments which might work more in the smaller centers where the sex-horror genre has certainly got a mass appeal.