Raaz3 3-D: Special effects save the day

MUMBAI: The Raaz legacy continues even after a decade. But when it comes to most Hindi films, sequels usually don?t have anything to do with the predecessor except cashing in on the title of a successful film. Raaz3 3-D, like earlier films, is also a supernatural thriller. The story having little new to offer, the film?s draw is the brand equity of the title, Emraan Hashmi and special effects in 3-D format.

It is a film awards ceremony and the one who has worshipped all the gods, kept all the mannats and tied all sorts of sacred threads, Bipasha Basu, rises to collect the award for the best actress even before any name is announced. When the name of the winner is announced, it is not her but a relative newcomer, Esha Gupta. Shattered Basu loses all her faith in God and takes to a totally anti-God route, that of the world of the dead, to help her dethrone Gupta and reclaim her top position in the film world.

Hashmi is a successful film director. He is the prot?g? of Basu, the number one heroine who has taken him from a spot boy and an assistant to the position of the topmost director. She has also been having an affair with him for some years away from the media glare. But while Hashmi is now on top, Basu is losing her ground gradually as Gupta takes over her place. Basu is fanatic about her status and at no cost would she let Gupta take it away. There is a reason beyond professional jealousy: Gupta is her half-sister, being the daughter of her father?s paramour. Basu feels that Gupta has deprived her of all things that she could have got from her father, things that were rightfully hers. Her view is that Gupta not only took away her father and her benefits but is now also taking away her career.

Basu is advised that her gods have failed her and the only way she can get at Gupta is through the world of the dead. To execute her revenge with Gupta, she ropes in Hashmi as her accomplice. He is totally under her spell and madly in love with her. She wants Hashmi to cast Gupta in his next film and use the opportunity to serve her water from an evil soul. Every time Gupta is fed that water, she is subjected to bad dreams, hallucinations and other horrific experiences that drive her mad. This is Basu?s ultimate objective: to convince the world that Gupta is insane so that her producers back out.

Gupta starts losing grip on her life and is driven to the point where, at one party, she imagines a horde of cockroaches attacking her while she is in the loo. Exasperated, she streaks across the floor, making a dash for the open arena full of invitees; a just case for everyone to brand her as mad. Hashmi sees her plight but he is guilty of being a party to this treatment of Gupta. The inevitable happens and he falls for the vulnerable Gupta, something that Basu had not counted on.

The story is predictable so it is for the 3-D and special effects to make the difference in this film. And, though Raaz 3 is not really scary, it does manage to give the viewer a jolt a few times thanks to its well-executed special effects. In fact, Raaz3 is a 3-D film with finesse thanks to Prasad and the supervision by the Weta experts. Photography is very good. While the background score by Raju Singh is effective, one can?t say much about the songs, which have limited appeal. Vikram Bhatt has handled the film well despite having few characters to play with. The film offers the best role to Basu and she emerges tops despite playing a negative role. Hashmi is his usual self. Gupta does a satisfactory job.

Raaz3 3-D has opened to a very good response at multiplexes and should continue to hold its own to end the weekend on a happy note.

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