Murder Completes 20 Years, Emraan Hashmi Still the ‘Serial Kisser’

Who would’ve thought that a movie starring a particular actor would culminate in the birth of a serial kisser that would start his own movement of kissing in Bollywood movies. Yes, you nailed it with your answer of it being Emraan Hashmi. Emraan Anwar Hashmi was born into the Bhatt family and began his career as an assistant director working on the horror film named Raaz. His acting debut in Bollywood was with the crime film Footpath in 2003 but he earned fiery popularity after he was casted in the erotic thriller Murder in 2004. And the rest is history as he began to be casted in multiple successful movies but it wasn’t long before he was staring at a series of movies that were poorly received which pushed him into a hiatus. He made his return to the big screens in 2023 with the successful commercial action thriller Tiger 3.

Everything aside, let’s discuss Murder which recently completed two decades of its release and also marked Hashmi’s dignified and protected status as that of a “serial kisser” in the Hindi Cinema. Directed by Anurag Basu and sitting at an IMDb of 5.5/10, Murder is the story of Simran, a lonely housewife, who married Sudhir. Previously, Sudhir was married to Simran’s late elder sister Sonia. The only reason Simar agreed for marriage to Sudhir was to facilitate motherly love to Sudhir and Sonia’s son Kabir. Simran finds her married life rather lonely and as a result, what blooms is an affair with her College love Sunny whom she bumps into accidentally one day.

Murder is said to have drawn its inspiration from Adrian Lyne’s Unfaithful, released in 2002, that starred Richard Gene, Diane Lane and Oliver Martinez. The plotline of Unfaithful was significantly tweaked to suit Indian sensibilities. Mahesh and Mukesh Bhatt, over their years in Bollywood have scooped much appreciation for presenting narratives that stand apart from the go to products of the time. Similarly, in Murder, the narrative was shaped in such a way that it made possible the viewing of extra-marital affairs from a more realistic point of view.

Setting apart Murder from the movies of that time, is the excess physicality that has been packed into the movie. And what to date is still surprising is the fact that the excess show of steamy scenes has been shot so aesthetically that it gracefully adds to the story and appears, in no stretch, vulgar. Instead, it titillates the audiences and boosts both Mallika Sherawat and Emraan Hashmi’s appeal to the viewers, leaving them enchanted at the duo as their chemistry unfolds on screen.

Beyond this, Murder had a couple of other factors that contributed to its success at the time. It stood as the flagbearer for the changing face of Indian Cinema, where usually the presence of the female lead was predominantly that of a mute spectator and a carpet while her man went around philandering with anything that nearly resembled a woman. But, in Murder, it is the wife (read: woman) that commits adultery and not the man.

Additionally, the music of Murder is something that most of us aren’t foreign to. You know, the house parties where after a couple of pegs down, the pretentious playlist switches to the big guns and you find yourself humming to “Kaho Na Kaho’ and ‘Bheege Hont Tere’? That is exactly the case in point. The credit for this masterclass music in this movie goes to Anu Malik, where when the music and the lyrics of the song fuse with erotic picturisation and first-class cinematography, the viewers are left with heavy breaths.

Looking at the acting front, Murder finds its pillars in Mallika Sherawat, Ashmit Patel and Emraan Hashmi. Mallika Sherawat, who was established as a glamour doll that harboured incredible confidence to enact bold scenes, proved herself to be more than a sex goddess. This performance of hers managed to surprise the audience. The exhibit of this lies in the scene where she is on a train ride back home recalling her first rendezvous with her love. She undergoes wide-ranging emotions such as excitement, fear and guilt while she is simultaneously sobbing with tears falling over her flushed face.

Ashmit Patel, on the other hand, had shed his debut awkwardness this time around and appeared to have evolved in his ability to act. Given the complex role that he was, he excelled in scenes that were demanding him to convey the dramatics via his eyes. While Emraan Hashmi’s appearance was mostly in a role that was tailored for him to showcase the obsessed lover. And he executes the job with much finesse!

During an interview with the Bombay Times, Hashmi revealed that during the shoot of ‘Bheege Honth Tere’ which shows Mallika Sherwat and him making love in different parts of Bangkok, saw the whole locality come to a standstill. In the words of Emraan Hashmi, he said, “…the entire city block came to a halt on the street as they watched us shoot! I am sure they would have been amused watching two entangled bodies under a sheet snogging away for the camera.”

Talk about the revolution that Murder started as soon as it hit the screens that within the span of a year of its release, movies with prominent stars kissing on screen began to be released at a rapid pace. And for that, Murder deserves due credit. The movie was followed by two sequels as well.