An official remake of the Spanish film The Hidden Face (2011), Murder 3 is directed by debutant Vishesh Bhatt. The title does not have much to do with the story or the two earlier films from the Bhatt banner—Murder (2004), a runaway hit, and Murder 2 (2011). The “Murder" films may have a murder in them, but now it is more a lame box-office philosophy—a lazy presumption that any film with a murder suspect, a man who can kiss and women who are first-rate, jealous bimbos will do the trick.

Murder 3 is drivel in the name of titillation. There’s no sex, no nudity and no suspenseful climax. Even for those who haven’t seen the original Spanish film, and that includes me, it is zero on thrills. A mysterious disappearance, supposed to sustain the film’s suspense, is based on a careless mistake—no genuinely dark intention of revenge or escape.

The performances are vapid. Aditi Rao Hydari’s simpering act appears extraordinarily good when compared with her co-actor Sara Loren, who has a vacant stare and pout throughout. Randeep Hooda, who has a cloying “I am the Man" expression throughout, is hundreds of shades below his ability to enact a character.

The story in a nutshell: Vikram (Hooda) is a flirtatious photographer who is suspected by his girlfriend Roshni (Hydari). One day Roshni disappears, because she wants Vikram to miss her. She is actually in the rambling, ugly mansion where Vikram lives and soon after her disappearance, he is with another woman, Nisha (Loren). Nisha and Vikram don’t know Roshni is watching them.

The twists are banal and there are some laughable attempts to build tension. The background music will remind you of Ramsay films; there are mysterious glances and smiles—most of these in front of a mirror.

Murder 3 is exactly what a thriller should not be.

Murder 3 released in theatres on Friday.

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