Eroticism and expletives are a part of a recent trend that most Indian films feel obliged to follow these days. This fad works in some cases, but can get jarring in others. After a stream of daring-to-be-different films, cringing in one's seat is no longer a natural reaction. Sex, violence, drugs, you name it - the Indian audience has seen it all, and accepted it, too.
And so, Murder 2. Mohit Suri has not hesitated to make Murder 2 as gory and erotic as possible. This movie is certainly not for the faint-hearted. The tone of the film is set with the song played during the opening credits, in which Yana Gupta makes an appearance.
Despite the title, Murder 2 is not a sequel (also read: Murder
). The only factors in common are the Bhatts, and their blue-eyed boy, Emraan Hashmi (and yes, he continues to kiss like there is no tomorrow). In fact, the Bhatts were accused of plagiarising a Korean flick called The Chaser.
The movie is definitely inspired by The Chaser, broadly, but it is no copy. The premise of some sequences seems eerily similar, but it looks like the biggest inspiration came from one of the Bhatts' own movies, Sadak. Who can forget the sinister Sadashiv Amrapurkar's menacing presence as Maharani?
Call it genius or just pure instinct, but the Bhatts have cast, as a cross-dresser/eunuch, the only person who could have been Amrapurkar's successor - Prashant Narayanan, in an understated, yet loud, role that makes his previous roles pale in comparison.
To begin at the beginning - Arjun (Emraan Hashmi) is a godless ex-cop, who is now a name to be reckoned with in the criminal world, in Goa. Emraan, despite the bad haircut, manages to pull this one off decently.
He has no attachments, but he sleeps with Priya (Jacqueline Fernandez) on a regular basis. Fernandez has a one-dimensional role, in which her character wants to know whether she is Arjun's love or need. Neither, says Arjun. She is a habit, he smirks.
And between these dialogues, Priya is either taking her clothes off, or putting skimpier shorts back on. Some daringly bold scenes between the 2 takes care of the erotic quotient, a Bhatt speciality.
In the meantime, call girls are missing, and the man who manages the prostitutes is frantic. He pays Arjun a huge sum of money to solve the mystery of the missing hookers. To lure the person responsible for the missing girls, Arjun tells the pimp to use a bait, the young Reshma (Sulagna Panigrahi), to draw him out. Things go horribly wrong, however, and Arjun is left flummoxed.
The strength of the script lies in the suspense, but it is not a conventional story. The killer is revealed early on, but his motives are unearthed as Arjun investigates the case.
Sulagna Panigrahi does a good job of playing an innocent victim, and she almost steals the show. Bikramjeet Kanwarpal, as the police commissioner, is in one of his best roles yet. Watch out for the scene where an old man slaps him. Sudhanshu Pandey has a lot of screen-time, and he is decent.
Emraan is Emraan, and Jacqueline is there for the glamour.
The star of the movie, however, is undoubtedly Prashant Narayanan. He sings, he fakes amnesia, he threatens, he carves, and he cuts and kills.
Sandeep Sikand in a cameo is fantastic, and Shweta Kawatra may have only one scene, but she is a treat for sore eyes.
Unfortunately, the music of Murder 2 is not a patch on the first movie, but given that all of Emraan Hashmi's songs eventually become hits, one will have to wait and watch.
There are flaws in the execution, sure, but trust the Bhatts to offer, again, a movie that will be talked about for some time to come. But then, do not watch on an empty stomach.