Rating: 2/5 Stars (Two stars)
Star Cast: Rannvijay Singh, Anindita Nayar, Salil Acharya, Kavin Dave
Director: Vishal S Mahadkar
What’s Good: The intention to explore a new space in the horror genre and a few chills.
What’s Bad: The film picks up plot too late and loses steam soon enough. Amidst a high voltage, chilling scene, the film breaks into a song sequence and goes into a flashback mode.
Loo break: Quite some.
Watch or Not?: If you know the film’s ending from one of its first few scenes, it cannot be good horror. But still 3AM, attempts to make a film out of Rannvijay’s MTV experiences which if they had ideally stuck to would make a really scary film. But to force inject commercial factors and resorting to Bollywood’s ideas of horror fare, makes 3AM another mediocre attempt. It scares in a scene or two but that even a Ramsay film can do. What’s different or new? Rom-com is formula based and if done right, it always works but the same doesn’t stand true for horror movies, where something new is always seeked. You can watch 3AM but there is nothing new, nothing great or nothing specific to recommend it for.
Sunny (Rannvijay Singh) is a reality show host who proposes to his girlfriend Saarah (Anindita Nayar) on the day his show celebrates their 100 successful episodes. She is a journalist who is doing a story on the haunted locations of Mumbai. One night during her research at Rudra Mills, the girl is mysteriously killed. Sunny is devastated and soon after he plots a reality show that covers its hosts being locked down in a haunted location all day and capturing paranormal activities. Sunny and his team have a serious brush with the other world in Rudra Mill but does Sunny meet Saarah again is what 3 AM is all about. The real challenge for the boys is to survive the night in the haunted place and come out alive from there.
3AM Review: Script Analysis
A journalist writing a story on Mumbai’s Rudra Mills is mysteriously found hanging there at 3AM and till morning even after the police has reached, and her screaming fiancé makes a dramatic entry she is still there hanging. I am sure it was a very difficult shot to shoot but it was a needless, deprived of logic shot. These are the kind of basic flaws that exist in the film. Life’s going great for a young couple till one of them die while covering a haunted place for a story. Heartbroken and wasted, he decides to make a show based on the experiences of being inside a haunted spot all night. Reminds you of MTV? There’s a difference. His show was was more scary than the film. The edgy factor and the realistic element both were more in that show as compared to this film.
However, as the story advances there are pathways for spirits to pass from one world to another, black magic, Bhagwad Geeta to the rescue and what not. It’s annoyingly silly. I am anyway not a fan of the horror space but good films no matter which genre they come from are usually appreciated. However, the second half is badly written and it is offensive that despite promises of a great premise, the film fails to build adequately.
Amongst the funny scenes are the ones in which a show host is challenging the dead. It almost sounds like ‘Agar Maa Ka Doodh Piya Hai Toh Bahar Nikal.’ If one has seen Paranormal Activity and have been ‘shit scared’ of it, it is because there is no attempt to offer a visual shape to the ghost. Sometimes fear of the unseen works better than loud masks. Ghosts will seriously be annoyed with Bollywood writers for stereotyping them so shabbily. Post interval, the film enters the predictable phase and ends in exactly what I had expected. Did I enjoy? I won’t call it yawn worthy but this one has potential if they had made a film purely out of Rannvijay’s MTV show. Diluting that cost them heavily.
3AM Review: Star Performances
Rannvijay is quite himself and for most part that works but when he is made to act, he falls. His crying scenes seem too enforced. It was part-good but I have never been able to see him as actor material. Probably he is that good as VJ that fans can’t admit to him becoming an actor.
Anindita Nayar needs bigger roles in films. If we are to judge her at all, she needs bigger time frame and more screen space than both her films have given her so far.
The others in the film weren’t significant enough to be mentioned. Salil and Kavin were absolutely wasted in the film altogether.
3AM Review: Direction, Editing and Screenplay
Vishal Mahadkar wanted to design something that is between Ramsay and Paranormal Activity, expecting it to be better palatable to Indian audiences. I won’t say 3AM is an absolute waste, but surely isn’t anything new, great or pathbreaking. Sunny’s narration itself is a old textbook technique which if you have seen enough horror films, you’ll know where it is leading. The shockers are expected which infact the loud music preps you for. In another scene Cyrus is seen banging his head on the wall, another expected trick to convey he is possessed. The swanky devices the team walks around with are glorified versions of the recorders journalists use. Apparently it records the voice of the ghosts. Eventually Rannvijay does prove it to all that ghosts do exist but his film doesn’t further the intention of making a different horror film. It’s all seen that, walked through narrative which Vishal manages to ably carry forward but has nothing extraordinary or brilliant in it.
3AM Review: The Last Word
I can watch 3AM once but it is no fun. Hardcore horror enthusiasts won’t even entertain the film because it is all textbook matter sprawled on celluloid. The film resorts to expected Ramsay props of Kaala Jaadu and more, and that’s where the tapestry thins beyond recognition. I did not loathe the film but it is no genius, not intelligent, nothing pathbreaking and borders on staple. I am going with 2 stars.
3AM releases on 26th September, 2014.
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