Our synopsis goes like this:“There are 4.3 Billion mobile phone users in the world. Every minute 60 thousand “Phantom Calls” are received worldwide. These calls have no known source of origin, no numbers and cannot be traced. Some people believe that these calls are spirits trying to connect to our world!
3G is the nightmarish story of Sam Arora and Sheena, a couple, who become victims of a series of events when Sam buys a 3G enabled second hand phone in Fiji islands while on a holiday. One night they receive a Phantom Call which changes their lives forever. They must face the unbelievable reality that the phone is somehow responsible for all that is happening to them and around them. The only way to stay alive, it seems is to unravel the mystery of the phone. But as the hours burn on, that becomes harder and harder to do. In a modern world, technology is a part of our lives, what happens when that technology wants to take our lives?”
Well… you already know how suspicious this wee lady is about phones, so convincing me they might just be Portal for the unquiet spirits of the angry dead isn’t all that difficult, Hehehehe!! OK..OK… so Neko’s on board, but can this premise be anywhere near as scary as it promises? Guess there’s only one way to find out….
Yep. Cell phones. As I’ve said before, your favorite Catgirl already totally hates and mistrusts them. I do actually own one… thanks to my sweetie Carolyn and her need to be able to “reach out and touch me” at a moments notice over some of the most trivial of things day-to-day. (Annoying at times, but… it is awfully sweet to know she’s thinking of me… even if talking to her over the infernal device is one of my least favorite ways for her to show it…) Still… even for as long as I’ve had it now… I always seem to receive more calls on it than I ever make myself. Nope. Just don’t like it, loving, romantic gift that it is… and no amount of shiny high tech apps, video, texting, and doodads tacked on make it any more appealing for stubborn goofy me either. Guess that would make lil’ ol’ me just about the perfect audience for a story about a mysteriously cursed haunted cellphone…. ’cause deep in my soul I’m already pretty much convinced they are evil.
In “3G” that’s exactly what we get too. Well… that and the usual Hindi film hi-jinx with all the singing, dancing, and smoldering romantic montages all squooshed together to make the sort of entertainment that Indian audiences can’t seem to ever get enough of. Our story revolves around the vengeful curse attached to one particular cellphone, going from one unlucky owner to the next and forcing a replay of a tragic murder over and over again.
It all plays out for us as that phone comes into the lives of Sam (played by Neil Nitin Mukesh), who buys it second hand from a shop after losing his original one while in Fiji with his girlfriend Sheena (played by Sonal Chauhan) for a romantic holiday. It isn’t long before he starts receiving strange calls, texts, and videos on it from a mysterious woman… a woman clearly seeking revenge for her own brutal death as seen in those video clips.
OK… I got it. So then our story is about that girl’s ghost, right? Ummmm… nope. Not exactly. You see, along with those calls, our Sam starts having blackouts…. and it isn’t long before you figure out he’s slowly being possessed by yet another spirit… this violent nasty guy that probably killed our first spirit. Naturally that just sucks… considering the danger it puts his sweetheart Sheena in for most of the film. Yep, cue the nasty misogynistic violence that makes your favorite Catgirl so darn mad….
Sigh… Although it’s not the central notion of the film, this tip-toeing near the tired old “female victimizing” slasher genre made me much less happy than I might have been as our tale unfolded. Mind you, it does make for some unsettling suspense at moments, but having watched this one, I came away wishing it had been used a bit less heavy handed throughout than it was. Yeah… I definitely would have preferred more of the traditional ghostly bits as opposed to our guy Sam constantly throwing on a “bad boy” leather jacket and giving us that patented “look” that says “Oooooh… I’m all evil!!” just before somebody ends up hurt or dead. Oh well…
As with most Hindi horror, nothing is exactly what it appears at first glance, and after our duo wastes a lot of effort trying to just chuck the phone and dodge things, they unravel the various layers of this onion. Then we eventually get to the bottom of just who the ghosts really are and why their tragedy keeps playing itself out over and over. It turns out to be that sad old story we’ve heard a million times before. Naive girl from the countryside comes to the big city… gets herself involved in prostitution and internet porn… finally meets the man of her dreams only to have to hide that sordid life… which naturally comes back to ruin things in the end. Nothing new or surprising after all.
Ahhhh… and although I won’t give away the ending… let’s just say that that’s also not all that surprising either, relying on the good ol’ “twist” ending you’ll see coming waaaay before it does. Darn.
So what’s the verdict? Hmmmm… It’s fair to say that “3G” is a competently made film with some good acting and reasonably believable chemistry between it’s romantic leads… and the location, gorgeous Fiji, is featured prominently in all it’s natural beauty throughout, but the story never gives one any of the supernatural thrills I usually like in a ghost story. The “pseudo-scientific” stuff about the wireless network being a conduit of sorts to the spirit world is a poor substitute for the good old fashioned Hindi folklore I usually find in these films too, feeling much more like the plot to one of those “made-for-TV” horror movies you get on the Sci-fi Channel. Add to that the boring old “bad” girls deserve to be punished for being too immoral” plot idea, and this one fails…. at least with this lil’ lady. Too bad… I had really been looking forward to something a bit different this time out.
That translates I suppose to a middle-of-the-road 3 “Meows” out of 5. “3G” isn’t bad enough to be really terrible… it isn’t good enough to be more than mediocre…. and it isn’t “bad” enough to somehow still be “good” in that crazy way some films just manage. Worth a look I suppose… just don’t come along with any really serious expectations of remembering this one years down the road.
The Hindi DVD as always, is top notch. All Region, widescreen and NTSC with excellent English subtitles available at the usual places at that crazy affordable price Indian films are famous for… but… it also has that goofy “anti-smoking” message attached to it that I encountered with “Go Goa Gone”, Grrrrrrrr!!! Apparently that wasn’t some “one off” thing….. sigh….
As always, your Favorite Catgirl leaves you with the Trailer so you can get a feel for the creepy goings on for your own self.