Murder at Teesri Manzil 302 Movie Review: The brilliant Irrfan Khan had left us in 2020, but there are some movies of his that are yet to come to us. One such movie is Navneet Baz Saini’s Murder at Teesri Manzil 302 that has been in the making since 2007. The movie, earlier titled Bangkok Blues, comes to Zee5 with the same kind of problems that you expect when such delayed films are dumped on streaming apps. Case in point, Drive and Ghoomketu. It isn’t the kind of movie we want to see Irrfan, but then with the actor not in our midst, Murder at Teesri Manzil 302 arrives with the fascination of being the late star’s last film. That is, until another producer dusts off a long-shelved film of the late actor and puts it on a platform. Late Irrfan Khan’s Long-Delayed Film Murder at Teesri Manzil 302 To Stream on ZEE5 From December 31!
Murder at Teesri Manzil 302, as the name suggests, is a murder mystery that promises several twists. It begins with the kidnapping of Maya Diwan (Deepal Shaw), the wife of a rich businessman Abhishek Diwan (Ranvir Shorey). The kidnapper is Shekhar (Irrfan), who takes her to a flat and puts her in binds, and then asks her husband for half a million dollars as ransom (why half a million and why not round it up?). A couple of scenes later, we find out that the kidnapping is fake, a scheme plotted by Maya who convinces Shekhar to play along. But the plan goes awry and Shekhar discovers a body in the house.
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There are plenty of twists in the tale, no doubt about that. On the face of it, this kind of premise would have given Abbas-Mustan orgasms. But then, the premise also feels a hotchpotch of the popular thrillers of that era like Race and Ajnabee (both directed by Abbas-Mustan), Bhagam Bhag (the murder mystery angle borrowed from Malayalam movie Mannar Mathai Speaking) and even Irrfan’s own Rog. Murder at Teesri Manzil 302, however, lacks the competence of these movies. It is badly edited and written, filled with continuity errors (the scene where Maya convinces Shekhar to kidnap her plays out differently later on), where the director is more interested in having repetitive shots of Deepal Shaw’s character getting disrobed. There are songs that pop up at random junctures. Even Bangkok feels like a scaled down version of Gurgaon, as we see only Indians everywhere from buildings to pubs.
There is also an amazing disregard for logic in many scenes. Like, Shekhar not bothering to check the face of the dead body in the room spells PLOT CONVENIENCE. At one point, the news anchor reading about the story of the missing heiress, suddenly says ‘Now on to our next song’. My memory is hazy but did news channels used to do that two decades back? If they did, I petition to return to those amazing days to return. It is better to see news channels play the latest Nora Fatehi dance number than see old uncles and aunts abusing each other on prime time.
Speaking of those amazing days, Murder at Teesri Manzil 302 also reminds us of the time when Lucky Ali tried his hand at acting. He appears here as a Bangkok cop, trying to imitate what Anil Kapoor did in the first Race film and failing miserably at that. He is paired up with Nausheen Ali Sardar (ah, the 2000’s), who is all dolled up but nowhere to go. Their characters are so clueless and irritating that the movie itself forgets about them in the second half, only to conveniently drag them in the climax. Also, I really didn’t get the scene where they let go off Shekhar even after he confesses to kidnapping Maya. I am also very oblivious of how they figured out he is a suspect in the first place. But then I shouldn’t even have bothered to.
Returning to Irrfan, his presence in the movie reminds you once again how he simply used to lift up bad movies like Acid Factory, Thank You, Rog, et al. Like I said before Murder at Teesri Manzil 302 is not exactly the movie I wanted to see Irrfan after his tragic demise (his character is seen sexually assaulting a woman just to get her to act scared). Yet, who would not want to miss seeing Irrfan act on screen again? Shang-Chi Star Simu Liu Loves Shah Rukh Khan and Late Irrfan Khan; Finds Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, Priyanka Chopra Jonas Beautiful.
– An Excuse to See Irrfan Again
– Terribly Dated and Edited and Directed!
I want to believe that Murder at Teesri Manzil 302 has been in the cans for so long, because everyone back then realised that this is a bad movie and no one wanted to release this Abbas-Mustan clone. Now that it has found a home in Zee5, you can check it out purely for late Irrfan (or to find out why Lucky Ali ended his short acting stint). Or maybe watch one the late legend’s better movies instead.
(The above story first appeared on The Hamden Journal on Dec 31, 2021 09:56 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website thehamdenjournal.com).