The trailer for Murder 3 poses the question: “How well do you know the person you love?” The film’s conclusion is a depressing: “Not very well.” Nevertheless, Murder 3 does evoke some fun chills along the way.
Randeep Hooda plays hot-shot fashion photographer Vikram. The movie begins with Vikram watching a “Dear John” video recording of his girlfriend, Roshni (Aditi Rao Hydari), telling him that she’s leaving because she feels she doesn’t know him any more. Vikram heads to a bar to drown his sorrows, and a pretty hostess named Nisha (Sara Loren) takes pity on him, even though he acts like an ungrateful, drunken bastard.
They hook up the very next night at his beautiful but creepy mansion outside of the city. The next morning, the police, including Nisha’s ex-boyfriend, Kabir (Rajesh Shringarpore), show up with a report on their ongoing investigation into Roshni’s disappearance. Kabir makes it clear that he thinks that Vikram made Roshni disappear, and Vikram’s relationship with Nisha adds urgency to his search for the truth.
Vikram’s eagerness to start a relationship with Nisha would make sense if Roshni had left him a long time ago, but he tells the police that the two of them had only moved into the mansion a few weeks ago. So Roshni — his great lady-love who he’s shown romancing in South Africa via flashbacks — has been gone a matter of days, and he’s suddenly in love with Nisha?
All of this — the police investigation, Vikram’s apparent fickleness, and the fact that his bathroom appears to be haunted — should make Nisha run for the hills. She doesn’t because she is a total moron. It’s hard to think of another movie character so oblivious and ditzy who wasn’t specifically written to be so.
The best example of Nisha’s bubble-headedness is the morning after her she has sex with Vikram. Nisha walks into Vikram’s bathroom and sees two toothbrushes sitting in a glass. Even though Vikram claims to be single, this would seem to indicate that someone else lives with Vikram and shares his master bathroom with him.
Had Nisha been smart enough to connect the dots, she would’ve realized Vikram lied to her, gotten her stuff, and left for good. What does Nisha the Moron do instead? She uses one of the toothbrushes to brush her teeth!
The movie would’ve been in real trouble had Nisha the Moron been the main character throughout the whole film, but fortunately the second half of the movie deals with the truth of what happened to Roshni. It’s riveting and tense, pulling at the audience’s emotions more than the mild jump scares of the first half of the movie.
Aditi Rao Hydari is terrific as Roshni. She’s excellent in both flashbacks to happier times and in the wrenching scenes when her world goes to hell.
Hooda is also good showcasing the two sides of Vikram. He’s super creepy in the present-day scenes, and perhaps too much so. Any woman with half a brain would peg this guy as trouble, so he could’ve dialed it back a notch.
Loren is not totally at fault for playing Nisha as such a dimwit. If writer Mahesh Bhatt and director Vishesh Bhatt didn’t want Nisha to seem so dumb, they should’ve added some backstory to explain whatever crippling self-esteem problems or daddy issues drove her into the arms of a nut like Vikram.
If one can get past Nisha’s frustrating vapidness, there are some decent thrills to be found in the second half of Murder 3. But if you’re looking for sweet, romantic Valentine’s Day fare, look elsewhere.