Second time around is not quite the charm for “Raaz” leads Dino Morea and Bipasha Basu, plus producer Mukesh Bhatt and scripter Mahesh Bhatt. Lacking the classy direction by Vikram Bhatt that made that psychothriller a cut above the norm and a hit earlier this year, “Gunaah” is a police corruption drama that’s lifted by gutsy action sequences (staged by Abbas Ali Moghul) and intense dialogue but holed by miscasting of former model Basu as an idealistic cop.
Kitted out in an immaculate range of tight-fitting costumes, Basu holds the screen but not the drama as Prabha Narayan, a Mumbai police inspector who rescues Aditya (Morea), a suspect in a murder case, from accidental death but then can’t understand why he remains silent in lock-up. Lurking on the sidelines is violent, bent cop Pandey (Irfan Khan), who was earlier responsible for the departure from the force of a Prabha confidant (Ashutosh Rana). Musical numbers are largely fantasy sequences and, though Basu occasionally stretches herself in intense moments, it’s vet Khan who carries the movie. Morea (Basu’s real-life partner) remains silent for first 70% of the movie. Urdu title means “Crimes.”