Business rating: 3/5 stars
Star cast: Emraan Hashmi, Jacqueline Fernandez, Prashant Narayanan, Sudhanshu Pandey, Sulagna Panigrahi, Yana Gupta (special appearance).
What’s Good: The novel story; horror and violent scenes; music; abundant sex.
What’s Bad: The contrived screenplay.
Verdict: Murder 2 has taken a flying start and will, therefore, get profits for everyone.
Loo break: A couple of times!
Watch or Not?: Watch it for the music, the sex and the actors’ performances.
Vishesh Films Pvt. Ltd.’s Murder 2 (A), although touted as a sequel to Murder, is actually a film in the Murder series rather than a sequel. Arjun Bhagwat (Emraan Hashmi) is a former police officer who lives in Goa and indulges in all criminal activities except human trafficking. His girlfriend, Priya (Jacqueline Fernandez), loves him and wants to settle down in life with him but Arjun is not sure of his own future and, therefore, does not want to marry her. Both are orphans and have pasts of dysfunctional families.
One day, Sameer, who supplies girls to tourists and other men in Goa, seeks the help of Arjun to trace four of his girls who have gone missing. To catch the culprit, Arjun asks Sameer to use one more girl as bait. But that fifth girl, Reshma (Sulagna Panigrahi), also goes missing because, like the previous four girls, she has also reached the home of Dheeraj Pandey (Prashant Narayanan), a eunuch by choice.
As the story progresses, it is revealed that Dheeraj kills the call girls he calls home and cuts their bodies into pieces to ultimately dump the pieces in a huge and deep pit. The same fate awaits Reshma but, by chance, he throws her in the pit believing her to be dead although she is alive but unconscious. By chance again, Arjun comes in contact with Dheeraj and realises that he is the man behind the missing girls. Arjun gets into a fight with Dheeraj. The police arrive and arrest both, Arjun and Dheeraj.
On interrogation, Dheeraj refuses to reveal anything but Arjun is cocksure that Dheeraj is responsible for the missing girls. Sadanand (Sudhanshu Pandey), a colleague of Arjun, working in the police station, prods Arjun to go ahead and solve the mystery of the missing girls – and he even sets him free from the police lock-up. This, because the police is not keen to rake up the issue of the missing girls for fear of media backlash.
Meanwhile, Reshma regains consciousness in the pit, and tries to come out of it but fails. Here, Arjun, holding himself responsible for Reshma’s disappearance, is out to trace her while also collecting evidence against Dheeraj. Finally, Reshma succeeds in coming out of the deep pit and reaches a temple. As luck would have it, Dheeraj is freed from the lock-up on the same day, due to the intervention of the head eunuch, Nirmala Pandit (Sandeep Sickand), and reaches the same temple. Death now awaits Reshma once again.
Does Reshma come in Dheeraj Pandey’s trap over again or does she escape? Is Arjun able to save Reshma or does she save herself? What happens to Arjun’s girlfriend, Priya? And what happens to Dheeraj Pandey?
Murder 2 Review – Script Analysis
The story about a man, Dheeraj Pandey, who, of his own accord, converts himself into a eunuch is not the most pleasant story to watch on the silver screen. Further, the characters are all shown to be either abnormal or coming from dysfunctional families: Dheeraj Pandey is a man who used to womanise day and night till one day, he decided to become a eunuch; his wife is shown to have lost her mental balance because of her husband; his parents have disowned him but, luckily, are tending to the mentally deranged daughter-in-law; Arjun’s father had committed suicide after his mother and sister had died; Priya’s father had deserted his wife who had then gone mad as she was unable to get over the shock. Such characters and their depressing pasts depress the viewer rather than entertaining them. Even otherwise, Shagufta-Rafique’s screenplay is quite sordid and offers no scope for the audience to laugh or smile.
Besides the above weak points, the screenplay leaves many questions unanswered. For example, why does the matron allow Reshma to indulge in prostitution? Didn’t she know of any other better way to help a needy Reshma, who had to earn money to support her family while studying? Arjun feels guilty because he holds himself responsible for Reshma’s disappearance and fears that she may be dead. But of his own admission, he indulges in all the criminal activities in Goa except human trafficking. By implication, that would include drug peddling too. So, why isn’t he guilty of killing people who die due to consumption of drugs? It is not revealed how Nirmala Pandit gets wind of Dheeraj Pandey’s arrest except that she tells Dheeraj, she has informers who keep her in the loop. Again, it is not explained why inspector Khan gets orders from the top to free Dheeraj Pandey. Similary, it is not clear how Reshma manages to get out of the deep pit where she was thrown. And why, in the first place, is her body not cut into pieces by Dheeraj Pandey before throwing it away as a dead corpse? After all, that’s what Dheeraj Pandey does to all his victims.
Frankly, the screenplay is one of complete convenience and written without much application of mind. Still, what does work for the audience are some violent and gross scenes which scare the viewer but even they can put off the ladies audience. What would work for the youngsters especially are the sex scenes between Arjun and Priya. Dialogues (by Shagufta-Rafique) are commonplace.
Murder 2 Review – Performances & Direction
Emraan Hashmi is sincere in what he does. He goes through his role with effortless ease. Jacqueline Fernandez doesn’t get much scope except to expose her body and to cry. She looks very hot and will be loved by the male audiences. Prashant Narayanan acts splendidly. He creates terror in the scenes in which he tortures the girls. Sulagna Panigrahi does a fine job as Reshma. Bikramjeet Kanwarpal is very natural as Khan. Sudhanshu Pandey is quite nice. Rajagopal Iyer leaves a mark in the role of John. Amardeep Jha is effective as Reshma’s mother. Sandeep Sickand is okay but his death comes as an unwarranted shock. Shweta Kawatra is alright as the psychiatrist. Jhuma Biswas passes muster as the matron. Yana Gupta sizzles in a song-dance.
Mohit Suri’s direction is fair. His choice of subject for a sequel of a hit film like Murder is not too intelligent. Also, he leaves too many questions unanswered. But to his credit, it must be said that he has been successfully able to keep the audience engrossed all the time. Also, the element of novelty in the story of a eunuch keeps the viewers’ interest alive. Music is very good. Haal-e-dil (music: Harshit Saxena; lyrics: Saeed Quadri) is appealing and so is Phir mohabbat karne chala (music: Mithoon; lyrics: Saeed Quadri). Aa zara (music: Siddharth & Sangeet Haldipur; lyrics: Kumaar) and Aye khuda (music and lyrics: Mithoon) are also nice songs. Song picturisations (by Raju Khan) could’ve been more exciting. Raju Singh’s background score needed to be more understated. Ravi Walia’s camerawork is alright. Javed-Aejaz’s action scenes are very violent and bloody. Deven Mudeshwar’s editing is okay. Sets (Rajat Poddar) are average.
Murder 2 Review – Komal Nahta’s Verdict
On the whole, Murder 2 will definitely do above-average business, thanks to the popularity of brand ‘Murder’ and, therefore, the bumper initial value. It doesn’t have too much to offer in terms of entertainment as it is a dark film but its plus points are the abundant sex scenes and the good music. Its reasonable budget on the one hand, and wonderful recovery from sale of its satellite, music and worldwide theatrical rights on the other have ensured that the producers have made a handsome profit before release. The all-world distributor (Ponty Chadha) and the distributors to whom they’ve sold the individual territorial rights will also make good profits.
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