Mayank Shekhar's review: Murder 2

murder2poster.jpg

By Hindustan Times

Director: Mohit Suri
Actors: Emraan Hashmi, Prashant Narayanan
Rating: *

"Bheege hoth tere. Pyaasa dil mera…" That's a popular Kunal Ganjawala song, most would know, from the commercial success Murder (2004). This is its supposed sequel. So the villain has the same track for his cellphone ring-tone, he sings it too, ending the stanza with, "Kitna mazaa aaya. Tere tukde karoon chaar (How much fun it'd be, if I chop you into four pieces)."

Besides, Murder (based on Adrian Lyne's Unfaithful) was an aesthetically lit, coherently structured, semi-erotic flick about a bored, married Bangkok mom, in an adulterous affair with her ex (Emraan Hashmi). Sure enough, there was a murder in it.

There are more than a few in this loud picture, about a deranged, scary-looking serial killer who derives mysterious pleasures from hacking up prostitutes in haunted Goa, while a former cop (Emraan Hashmi) tries to hunt him down.

Purr. Dad (to quote from my favourite radio comic skit, Actor Calling Actor), "Iska merre problem se kyaa connection hai?" What does this second part have to do with the first part of this movie? Nothing. Whatsoever. If this is sequel, then effectively every picture with the same hero (Hashmi) and producer (Mahesh-Mukesh Bhatt) is second part of their last film together. You see? Delhi Belly was Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na Part II.

Finding suitable connections to this movie itself seem easier still. Bhatts have apparently dubbed it closer to their Taxi Driver brainwave Sadak (1991). Eh? Okay. It's set around brothels all right. And there's a eunuch in here, like Sadashiv Amrapurkar, from the Sanjay Dutt starrer. That it's also inspired by the shocking Nathari killings? Nay.

The psychotic anti-hero here (Prashant Narayanan) is pretty much rehashed from the one in the Bhatts' Silence of the Lambs reconstruct Sangarsh (1999). He dresses up as a woman, in red lipstick, is guided by a strange cosmic urge to kill, even shares the last name, Pandey.

A seedy private detective (Hashmi) has a night left to nail this Jack the rip-off. Or so a natty lawyer tells him. Which is strange. Kung-fu Pandey's already in the lock-up, has admitted to being a serial killer to a top cop, no less. His parents have verbally testified. So has an old victim, another prostitute. Cell number of the current prey's been traced…. Yet, there's a scary movie to carry on with, or to be imported from Seoul.

South Korean films, those in the know will tell you, have of late seriously rewritten the grammar of blood, gore and hammer 'n' sickle violence at the cinemas. This one takes its direct inspiration from there, specifically Hong-jin Na's The Chaser (the premise's practically the same).

Pandey finally walks in with various implements to attack prostitutes, bundle them into garbage bags for Murder 2. You shudder. For a bit. But chuck that. I know what most would prefer to know. Yeah. There's homo-erectus Hashmi, and his frisky heroine. That's what really made the first one a huge, hot hit. The leading couple make out. For no apparent reason. A lot. It's stone cold still. But you never know. Junta will flock. I guess. Even on Youtube, the most viewed, and the publicly best-rated flicks, are rarely the same. Go figure.

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