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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I have to say, now that I watch the movie I look back and think how could I have ever be scared of such movie? But when the answers come flowing back, then I realize for a movie made in 1985, this was a pretty damn scary movie. The whole idea of magic and ghosts and how the person comes back to haunt the killers is just a typical scenario, however the direction catches such images perfectly. As a kid I remember being scared silly watching this movie, no matter how many times I watched it. Even today I wouldn't mind watching the movie whenever I have the chance to. So if you have nothing better to do and want to laugh at an old bollywood scary movie, then by all means do so.
Overwhelmed by the success of 'Purana Mandir', The Ramsays' decided to
re-feature Anirudh aka Ajay Aggarwal, but now as the title character in
their 1985 film '3D Saamri'. The film is noteworthy for being one of
the first Bollywood 3D films. For a 'B' grade flick, a 3D accolade was
more than one could expect during the mid-80s. The Ramsays included
elements of creepiness in this and also hyped it for being the first 3D
horror in India. Horror buffs had already praised the sinister looks of
Anirudh Aggarwal as 'Saamri' in 'Purana Mandir', and '3D Saamri' soon
became a wanted stuff among B-horror worshipers. As of the plot, 3D
Saamri has nothing new to promise, as this is about Haveli, dungeon,
black magic and after all scheming uncle and his friends, who want to
kill a sanely man for his wealth. The flick is fairly intense at places
and so are the murder sequences. Jack Gaud has a special character of
Bhishma, who is all on his toes at Saamri's command. Aarti Gupta has
repeated herself as a glamor doll, but with Rajan Sippy this time.
Saamri (Anirudh Aggarwal) is a man of wealth and lives a secluded life in his palatial mansion. Saamri is a living sage and secretive black magician, who uses his divine powers to cure the needy and possessed. It is believed that the powers have kept Saamri up for more than 100 years and he has almost conquered death. Unfortunately, he's unable to defeat aging and looks as old as an oak tree. Takleefchand (Prem Chopra) is Saamri's step-brother and wants Saamri dead. Takleefchand and his close associates Khanna (Gulshan Grover), Professor Chatterjee (Amarnath Mukherjee) and Maria (Asha Sachdev) torture an invalid Saamri to force him make a will in Takleefchand's favor, but Saamri denies doing so. Saamri is tied to his wheelchair and kicked off a bridge to drown helplessly. It is then discovered that Saamri had already willed his properties to his distant niece Anju (Aarti Gupta) and her spouse. Anju is in love with Sandeep (Rajan Sippy), a club singer. When Aarti is informed of Saamri's death and his will, she and Sandeep arrive at Saamri's mansion to pay homage to the deceased. Takleefchand wants to finish the rightful heirs right there but not everything in Saamri's house is as good as it looks. Inspector Baldev (Puneet Issar) is suspicious of Takleefchand's activities and is looking for evidence against him. As we see, he is all set to arrest Takleefchand and his gang. Aarti and Sandeep are helped and protected by Saamri's ghost who has returned from his grave with the help of his servant and disciple Bhishma. The viewers see Takleefchand and his collaborators meet grisly deaths at the hands of an undead Saamri.
Saamri 3D boasts on handful of seasoned actors, who carry the movie indeed swiftly, if not effectively. Gulshan Grover, Puneet Issar, Prem Chopra and others don't let the flick falter due to good performances. Jagdeep as Changez Khan is simply ludicrous with one of the dance numbers with the corpses at a cemetery. 'Saamri' wouldn't have been watchable without Anirudh Aggarwal, who has blown life to his performance. It is simply amazing to see a 6' 7" tall actor performing as an old man so well. He truly is the major asset of this film. The movie lacks atmosphere big time and goes awry despite various moments of shock. Anup Jalota, with his magical voice has sung a provoking 'Bhajan', at the roll of beginning credits. The songs are neither memorable nor hummable. Some scenes, specially the bus chase scene is truly overt and overdone. Asha Sachdev, Aarti Gupta and Rajan Sippy are mediocre as one would expect. The film comes straight to the point but staggers in between with long and fickle dance numbers. Jagdeep has tried to make some sense here, but his presence alone is a torture. Prem Chopra as Takleefchand resembles the Satan's uncle. Amarnath Mukherjee doesn't have much to do than taking advantage of women solitude and smoking pipe. Jack Gaud as Bhishma is the devil's advocate, and has odd ways of doing things and even speaking. 'Saamri' may be enjoyable if seen with an eye of an ardent 3D-technology fan. Some of the murders are nasty and brilliant on screen. Ramsays' have presented their staple plot but in a new wrapper. They certainly seem obsessed with Havelis and dungeons. Though fairly enjoyable, this remains at nadir when compared to Ramsays' cult-hits like 'Darwaza', 'Veerana', 'Hotel', 'Do Gaz Zameen Ke Neeche', 'Bandh Darwaza' or 'Purana Mandir'.
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