Technology is on a new high, and new gadgets and contraptions are, more often than not, inexplicable to the common mind. And therefore scary, fathomless, cryptic, creepy to an extent, and definitely enigmatic. Stories woven around hidden secrets of the virtual world make for perfect science fiction horrors, or, in the case of Sheersak Anand and Shantanu Ray Chibber (writers of Aa Dekhen Zara
), a supernatural thriller.
Turning directors with 3G - The Killer Connection, the writer duo informs us, at the beginning of the movie, that "phantom calls" (all those blank calls that we receive on our cells) are actually attempts by the spirits of those dead and gone to contact us. That bit of information is spooky enough to make you shift uncomfortably in your seat. The title montage then takes off, and that is the most innovative, creative and entertaining part of the movie (although it can be further fine-tuned - fonts can be better, for example).
So there is Sheena (Sonal Chauhan), who is waiting in Fiji for her boyfriend Sam (Neil Nitin Mukesh), even as she emerges from the sea in slow motion in her bikini. She sulks because he cannot seem to get away from work, but when he finally lands up, she runs into his arms with reckless abandon, knocking his phone into the deep blue. Sam then buys a second-hand 3G-enabled mobile phone.
The couple romances and makes out, and after a song-and-dance and various shots of Fiji, and one sequence where Sheena tries to scare Sam, they both fall asleep. The new phone then rings in the dead of the night, and Sam finds himself in a video call with a strange woman (Mrinalini Sharma). Absurdly, he says nothing to Sheena.
And slowly, he is possessed. He lines his eyes with kohl, wears ear-rings and leather jackets, and behaves strangely. Sheena, too busy posing against the seascape in her long, flowing dresses at regular intervals, does not seem to notice the change in her beau. Till he gets really violent. Then he confesses that there is a problem with the phone. Her solution? Get rid of the damn thing!
Of course, life is not that easy. No matter how many times he throws away the phone, or beats it to pulp, it keeps coming back to him. Sheena, meanwhile, continues to pose against the sea (reminiscent of the book cover of most editions of The French Lieutenant's Woman). Then she has a sunstroke of genius - she suggests they find out whom the phone belonged to earlier.
As the couple move from clue to clue, they come across some bizarre people (who seem even scarier because they are not really actors). This is where you lose the plot. The end is not related to the means in any case.
The writers of the movie had a strong premise, and they decided to fool around with it. The movie could have been a great sci-fi horror, but they brought in extraordinary circumstances that are so far-fetched that after a point, you stop being scared and begin to concentrate on the lack of logic. Why does Sheena not move
from where the couple are staying, to seek practical help? How are they allowed to interact so freely with a patient who is in solitary confinement in a psychiatric asylum? What is the point of shooting the huge accident in high speed? Why is there a fight sequence?
And where on earth is their luggage (considering they never repeat a costume)?
The story moves from one excuse of a plot to another, and Sam gets whacko a little too often (almost predictable and funny after a while). Sheena's inaction is laughable, too - love is fine for normal people, but Sam has serious
issues! The scares and thrills are not unexpected because the background music makes it a point to announce them well in advance, very loudly. And the dialogues are monotonous and clichéd, with not much information.
Neil Nitin Mukesh growls and gives you intense stares. He is effective as the good guy who goes evil. He does overdo it at times, but he is sincere, and it shows. The same cannot be said of Sonal Chauhan. She is, for lack of a better word, wooden. Even when she is in engrossed in heavy duty lovemaking (unlike her co-star, who seems quite into it). Her dialogue delivery lacks conviction.
Fiji is a beautiful place, and cinematographer Keiko Nakahara (of The Jane Austen Book Club and Broken Kingdom fame) does justice to the frames. The colours are naturally enhanced, and if you ignore the two lead actors, this could have been a wonderful audio-visual presentation of Fiji.
Production design is average - certain props and sets are too
filmy. Costume design is decent, and despite her lack of skills, Sonal Chauhan looks good in the solid colours and pastel shades that she dons.
The songs are hummable, and apparently, Sonal Chauhan has even sung one of the songs.
3G is yet another movie that could have done so much better had the writers concentrated on the execution of a screenplay. The only reason you should watch this is if you want to cuddle up with your date even as the badly made-up rotting faces and the ear-splitting background score make you gasp. Or wait for Vikram Bhatt's next presentation.