Mahesh Bhatt, Mohit Suri and Emraan Hashmi once again team up to give us a sequel to the all-time popular 'Murder'. 'Murder', which came 6 years ago not just made stars out of Emraan and Mallika Sherawat but also became the most successful adult thriller in Bollywood. It was the major catalyst for Bollywood spewing many adult thrillers in the last 6 years. With such kind of success, a sequel is inevitable. Mohit Suri did indeed make a successful sequel in the form of Raaz 2, so it was no big surprise when he took over the responsibility to do Murder's sequel.
First things first, 'Murder 2', as we all expected, is not centered around Jacqueline Fernandez, and the love making scenes was more forced into the narrative as it was sequel to Murder than anything else and for the fact that the movie is a remake of one of the slickest Korean thrillers in recent times – 'Chugyeogja' (The Chaser) which has been tweaked a little bit to suit the Indian taste.
Arjun (Emraan) is an ex-cop who now does odd jobs for gangsters and money launderers. He is asked to solve the case of missing call girls by the pimp, Sameer bhai. He accidentally catches the killer, when a girl is trapped in the killer's house. Thus starts a chase against time for Arjun to prove Dheeraj's confession. A chase to save the missing girl; a chase that will change Arjun's entire belief system.
Mohit Suri is a talented and stylish director who has evolved gracefully from his decent first film, 'Zeher'. The screenplay does slow down post interval but picks up pace towards the shocking climax. The only worrying factor is that the best scenes in the enterprise are all ripped off from 'Chugyeogja', and the rest are a complicated romance between Jacqueline and Emraan-which just lacks punch, forced but sizzling love making scenes, melodrama forced into the narrative which just doesn't fit the bill and Emraan's beard which just happens to grow in and out in a single day. Some of Emraan's investigation also lacks punch- It seems quite easy. Emraan's dialogues like, 'mera dil kehta hai ki who abhibhi zinda hai' will just put you off in a thriller of this magnitude, and Dheeraj's Eunuch minister-friend taking him to a temple after bailing him was unnecessary, it seems as though the director just didn't know how to take it forward. The killings could have been a bit brutal as Dheeraj is characterized to be evil but we just see two scars on the deceased victim's face. But there are few things that do stand out too, apart from the spine chilling scares which will make you leap up from your chair, it’s the person who actually induce the chill, Prashant Narayanan as Dheeraj. His scene in the police station will just make you freeze and shiver in your seat for he introduces you to evil in its purest form through his eyes, his smile and the soft singing of 'Bheege honte tere'.
Acting wise, Emraan Hashmi impresses with his angry young man look but still can’t carry off an emotional scene. And needless to say he is at ease in the romantic scenes. Jacqueline impresses with both shedding cloths and some tears, but is a victim of bad characterization. Why does she have to get emotionally inclined all of a sudden when she knew Emraan and his ways for 3 long years, is a question only can be answered by Mohit. And Prashant Narayanan as Dheeraj is spectacular in the role of a serial killer. He will haunt you with his songs, he will make you believe in the devil and he will make your spine colder than Lord Voldemort. Sulagna Panigrahi is a talent to watch out for. She's first-rate in the character of a frightened victim. Sudhanshu Pandey keeps a straight face throughout. The others have little to do.
Murder does have a mixed bag when it comes to technical proficiency, It boasts of a great camera work but there are several jarring chasing sequences and head ache inducing round trolley shots. The sound by Kunal Mehta and Parikshit Lalwani is too loud and most of the times it just overpowers the dialogues. Shagufta Rafique's dialogues lack punch. Anu Malik's songs in Murder was one of its main USP and we expected brilliance from Mithoon, Harshit Saxena, Sangeet Haldipur, & Siddharth Haldipur who all have come up with two songs each with the last two being a pair. But the music just doesn't reach the levels set by its predecessor. 'Aa Zara' an item number by Yana Gupta stands out along with 'Haal-e-Dil'. Art direction and editing is good.
Overall it’s a taut thriller, which will scare you quite easily but does fall flat in the middle owing to its over baked melodrama. Audience who come in for only titillation will be quite disappointed. People who have not seen Chugyeogja will surely fall in love with Murder 2, it’s indeed a very impressive sequel to Anurag Basu's 'Murder' and you also get to watch one of the most deadly and evil villain portrayed in Bollywood since Nana Patekar's performance in 'Parinda'.
Verdict: Genuine scares, chilling thrills and over-the-top melodrama.