No matter what, if people are asked to point out the most striking feature of Vikram Bhatt’s ‘Raaz 3’, they would undoubtedly put their fingers on Shanaya Shekhar. Bipasha Basu performs the character with a finesse that one might – I admit – only hope to replicate, and perhaps succeed. But the woman sweeps you off your feet. Whether with her devilish laughter ringing in the ears long after one leaves the theatre or with the bloodshot eyes where all the raaz resides, Basu casts a spell with her Shanaya.
Shanaya Shekhar is the actress every producer dreams of roping in and every director aims at directing. In the film industry, Shanaya is the reigning star. Till Sanjana Krishna (Esha Gupta) forays into it. Three years after the entry of Sanjana, Shanaya becomes a producer’s choice – only if Sanjana denies signing a film. Aditya Arora (Emraan Hashmi) is a director who rises to fame, thanks to Shanaya (or so thinks the latter). Shanaya’s desire to ruin Sanjana makes her resort to black magic, and what ensues is ‘Raaz 3’.
The film stands out more for the acting of its cast than its other aspects, I daresay. Emraan Hashmi, by now, has been able to strike a chord with his audience. After a not-so-acclaimed Sonu Dilli KKC in ‘Jannat 2’ and an extremely well-received Joginder Parmar in ‘Shanghai’, Hashmi has managed to prove his detractors wrong. His acting skills are way more convincing now, and he manages to perform the Director-in-dilemma well enough – both when he is kissing and when he is not.
Esha Gupta has taken her performance several notches higher, but at times is overshadowed by the others. The fact that she is just one film old in the industry might work to her benefit, but her acting requires polishing. As the coy, shy, lovelorn Sanjana, Gupta is charming. Comparisons with the film’s predecessors are inevitable given that it is the third in the franchise. Esha performs way better than what Kangna did in ‘Raaz 2’, but Bipasha in the first one is undoubtedly the one who shines steadily among the trio of the damsels in distress.
The film’s technical aspects are commendable. Vikram Bhatt is the man who brought 3D horror films to the country, and in his third rendezvous with the technique, he has performed really well. After ‘Haunted 3D’ and ‘Dangerous Ishq’, the third film from the director is actually brilliant as far as the 3D is concerned. Several scenes stand out among the plethora of enlarged insects and objects flying towards the audience; and the one where Sanjana is attacked by innumerable cockroaches deserves a special mention. I’m not very scared of cockroaches as such, but henceforth when a cockroach flies at me, I might have to scream out loud.
Vishesh Films and the Bhatts have a way with the music in their films. Songs like ‘Rafta Rafta’ and ‘Deewana Kar Raha Hain’ will be hummed, sung and whistled by many people and for a long time to come. Bipasha in the title track is hot enough to fire your brains out.
For a person who isn’t scared easily, ‘Raaz 3’ wouldn’t be able to do much. However, it doesn’t have the used-and-abused clichés of blood running out of water taps and windows incessantly banging in the wind – and thank god for that. The film somewhere seems lacking something as far as the element of horror is concerned. Ample usage of the technology of 3D might have been able to make up for it at places, but sending chills down the spine all through is not what the film does.
Watch ‘Raaz 3’ for Bipasha and its 3D factor. The sheen of Shanaya wouldn’t disappoint you. And like Shanaya so confidently claims in the film, Bipasha too “was a star, is a star, and will always remain a star”.