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3G review: Just another horror flick

Sheershak Anand, Shantanu Ray Chhibber
Sonal Chauhan, Neil Nitin Mukesh, Mrinalini Sharma
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The horror of it all. A lovey-dovey couple chooses to spend a candlelight dinner in the middle of the forest. The boy, who has just proposed, sticks the burning candle in the girl’s eye. She collapses and we see the close-up of her face. Sigh. It’s especially painful to watch this gruesome scene, as the superb opening credits had set our hopes high.

Meanwhile, Sam (Neil Nitin Mukesh) is romancing his girlfriend in the cool climes of Fiji. He buys a new 3G-enabled phone from the local market and life turns upside down. From late-night calls to videos showing a woman being battered, the phone takes on a mysterious life of its own.

The real trouble starts when Sam suddenly starts smoking and talking funny. The man’s possessed, one guesses, and he is out to wreck havoc. Trouble for the viewer, however, begins much earlier. The insipid songs keep interrupting the story and you tire of seeing the couple kiss, kiss and kiss.

As the phone comes alive at night, you see close-ups of disfigured and frightening faces. You’re quite keen to hear the back-story of this nutzoid phone.

Sadly, you are subjected to one of the weakest plots for a horror film. Refusing to get to the point the story tells us about a gothic tattoo, a love-affair gone wrong, and a nerd who’s trying to communicate with spirits through a cell-phone.

The only interesting bit is about the Ouroboros symbol (snake eating its own tail) representing re-creation and a force that cannot be extinguished. But that’s wrapped up in a few moments and we’re back to the scary faces and cheap thrills.

Neil Nitin Mukesh attempts a different expression when he’s under the influence of the mysterious force. He pulls his eyes up, wears a menacing face, and talks very seriously. It’s a sincere attempt but the Jekyll and Hyde game is wearisome when repeated in every other scene.

Sonal Chauhan, who the directors put in the very first shot of the film, wearing a bikini, plays a character that acts beyond all reasonable behavior. Even as Sam often gets aggressive, scary and even tries to kill her, she continues sharing the room with him, even following him to a creepy secret place because he has a “surprise” for her.

Directors Sheershak Anand and Shantanu Ray Chibber (they also made the recent Table No 21) don’t see the point in adding logic in the story. Sam and his girlfriend, dressed in breezy summer-wear, enter into the homes of strangers introducing themselves as employees of an NGO looking for missing people. No one ever doubts them of course, or ask them for an ID proof. And the ending disclaimer about adult videos and how it destroys relationships is a total bouncer (means there’s no co-relation with the story!)

Dialogue is pedestrian and goes off-track at times. Note Mukesh answering the girl’s question of “Serious?” with a loaded “Dead serious”. Hardly the scene where this kind of word-play would have worked. Again Sonal’s character asks a forlorn mother whose daughter has gone missing for some time, “Aap miss karti hain use?” (Do you miss her). The cinematography shows spark in some portions and the underwater scene has been nicely executed.

It’s important to note that the core concept of the film is arresting. What if someone really invented a way to communicate with supernatural forces through technology? But the film doesn’t push the envelope taking the tried-and-tested Bollywood horror film route. 3G has all the essentials – scary faces, erotica, the bathtub scene and heck, even the lights going off suddenly.

With a concept like this, it’s too bad it ended up as just another horror flick!


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