First things first, Mahesh and Mukesh Bhatt’s Murder 2 is in no way connected to the original film Murder. Though titled Murder 2, this one is totally independent of the first, except perhaps the fact that it too stars Emraan Hashmi. Other than that, it seems that the only reason to call it a sequel to the 2004 Bollywood hit is to cash in on the almost cult –like status, which Murder had achieved.
While Murder was a remake of Unfaithful, Murder 2 seems quite inspired by the South Korean movie The Chaser. However, Mohit Suri deftly adds his own dimension to the screenplay, which prevents the story from looking out of place. Arjun (Emraan Hashmi) is a corrupt ex-cop who left his job to earn the extra buck by working with gangsters and pimps. Priya (Jacqueline Fernandes) is a model who loves Arjun, however for him it’s strictly a physical relationship: “na mohabbat, na zaroorat, sirf aadat” as he keeps on reminding her. A local Goan pimp hires him to solve the mystery behind the disappearance of his many call girls. Arjun suggests using one of the hookers to trap the culprit. A new call girl Reshma (Sulagna Panigrahi) finds herself set up as bait and encounters the psycho Dheeraj Pandey (Prashant Narayanan), a serial killer who fully admits his crimes but shows no remorse. Arjun now has to find fool proof legal evidence against Dheeraj to have him arrested, but Dheeraj’s twisted mind and cold –bloodedness is too much to handle, even for the police.
Very frankly, I am sure that quite a large part of the crowd must have come to watch the movie hoping to find the same intimacy between Emraan and Jacqueline as the jodi of Mallika-Emraan in Murder. They will have to go home disappointed. Except for a lovemaking scene at the start, there isn’t much on that score for the audience. Add to that the clear absence of chemistry and the scene turns out to be bland. In fact, Jacqueline hardly has anything to do in the movie except an unwanted and obvious part in the climax, which could have been easily avoided (considering Emraan’s aim in a major part of the movie is to save Reshma and the story has absolutely nothing to do with Priya). Emraan, who is a natural pro in roles like this, seems to almost sleep walk through the bad-boy-with-good-values character which he has played umpteen number of times and hence has definitely gotten good at. Sulagna, who was seen in a few popular television soaps does justice to her role as a meek innocent scared girl. Sudhanshu Pandey as Arjun’s friend is wasted, but Shweta Kawatra is good in her cameo. Sandeep Sikand as the eunuch Nirmala is good too. The star of the movie without doubt is the psychotic serial killer Prashant. Having starred in quite a few films like Yeh Saali Zindagi, Bhindi Bazaar and Mr. Singh/Mrs. Mehta, Prashant’s depiction of a self-turned eunuch who kills call girls because of his impotency is perfect – never over the top but enough to chill your bones. Interestingly, Bhatt’s one of earlier films Sadak had a similar eunuch character ‘Maharani’ played by Sadashiv who overshadowed Sanjay Dutt. The same holds true in this film. The scenes involving Prashant are definitely the best in the movie and he manages to push even Emraan in the shadows.
As I said earlier, this movie is not Murder. But then again, Mohit Suri manages to keep you riveted with his depiction of the murderer. You can’t really classify the film as thriller either becasue learn the identity of the killer way before the interval, but it’s the why and the how that keep the story engaging. The love track is definitely the weakest link as is a bit of the second half where it tends to get slow, but then again it is Prashant’s performance that manages to keep pulling you back to the movie.
The music by Harshit Saxena, Mithoon, Sangeet Haldipur and Siddharth Haldipur is good but you do miss a ‘Bheege Hote Par’ number in Murder 2. Ravi Walia’s cinematography is excellent and is one of the biggest plus points – it definitely adds the extra dark edge to the movie. Editing is decent but Devandra could have shortened the second half a bit more. Shagufta Rafigue (Dhoka) does a great job with the screenplay but we wish that some loose ends had been tied up – like why can’t the police arrest Dheeraj in spite of his confession and with his family and a call girl as witness or what exactly was the story behind Emraan turning an atheist.
Overall the movie is extremely violent and gruesome – if you thought Ghajini was violent then this one is ten notches higher. But Mohit, who has already dealt with the subject of human trafficking in Kalyug, manages to bring a new and different product for the viewers. Watch it if you have the guts. Stay away if you expect another Murder