Jaani Dushman: Ek Anokhi Kahani (2002) - PART THE FIRST
Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to start out this post by announcing that I am NOT Totally Basmatic. I mean, I am totally basmatic, I'm just not THE Totally Basmatic. I do, however, happen to be Totally Basmatic's twin sister (y'all can call me Fireball if you please, or Sparky, even) and, as far as I can tell, I have the dubious distinction of doing the first ever guest post for this here blog. See, my sister went and procured for me one of my most favorite Bollywood guilty pleasures ever (Hello, Brother!) so it seemed only right for me to give back to her in the cheapest-- um, I mean most genuine way I could think of: with a guest review of a movie I've seen but she hasn't.
But why oh why did it have to be Jaani Dushman?
Jaani Dushman: Ek Anokhi Kahani is the absolute worst movie I've ever seen in my life, ever. And I've subjected myself to quite a lot of B-movie fare over the years, including Manos: The Hands of Fate. I'm going to tell you straight out, if you see this movie in the bargain bin (which is where I found it), for the love of all that is holy, LEAVE IT THERE. Seriously, this film ought to come with some sort of surgeon's general warning. For your sanity.
The first reason this movie really, really sucks is because the cast actually contains quite a lot of talented people. Their participation in this film indicates that their decision-making skills have deteriorated from previous ventures, possibly due to severe head trauma. Yes, I think the entire cast may have been beaten braindead just to get them to appear in this film.
The list of victims (or stars, I'm not going to quibble over vocabulary):
- Manisha Koirala as a college student, spirit, former snake, named Divya or Vasundhara. I think she answers to both.
- Munish Kohli (who IS this guy, anyway?) as a mystical snake-person... thing. I don't think I get this part.
- Amrish Puri as a really hairy guy who lives in a dirt house.
- Sunny Deol... as himself! All he really does is hit people and look angry. And sing and dance!
- Rajat Bedi as probably the biggest creep I have ever seen ever in any movie from any country in any language. Which is a shame, because I've seen him in other films and thought he was pretty good-looking, but his role in this film has forever labeled him as UBER-ICKY in my brain.
- Siddharth as the second biggest creep.
- Akshay Kumar as Atul, a normal college student who carries a gun with him to campus and doesn't believe in God. The not-believing-in-God thing is a heck of a lot detrimental to everyone's safety in this film than the carrying of concealed weapons ever is. I guess it seems logical... when you're high on drugs.
- Sunil Shetty as Vijay, a boxer-type with quite a lot of chest hair. But then, when does Sunil Shetty not have a lot of chest hair?
- Aditya Pancholi as Ashok, who is basically the same character he played in Yes Boss and Hameshaa. The only other film I've seen him in was Sailaab with Madhuri Dixit, and after the opening item number, I watched that whole movie on fast forward (I was on a sugar high at the time). So, as far as I can tell, this former underwear model kind of lacks range. Or suffers from serial typecasting, perhaps.
- Arshad Warsi as the obligatory comic relief. Unlike in Munna Bhai MBBS, he is NOT FUNNY. NOT. FUNNY. AT. ALL.
- Sharad Kapoor as Victor. He's pretty much negligible.
- Aftab Shivdasani as Prem, a timid lover boy. Also he's poor, as we know because he wears jeans, sneakers, and flannels. He spends at least half of his screentime getting the crap beat out of him, but I can't say he doesn't deserve it for taking such a stupid role.
- Sonu Nigam as Vivek. Apparently this was playback singer Sonu's first actual film appearance, and... yeah, he could have probably done better.
- Rambha as Nita, Atul's girlfriend. I've never seen her in anything else before, but you know what? I approve.
- Mohini Sharma as Priti, Vijay's girlfriend. Her voice is obviously (and rather badly) dubbed.
- Someone I don't know as Seema, Victor's girlfriend. And also Divya's roommate, I think.
- Kiran Rathod as Rashmi, who is Ashok's girlfriend but Prem's love interest. Now, I would like to point out right here, right now, that I am TOTALLY PRETTIER THAN HER. Like, seriously. And no, I'm not just saying that because of the enormous crush I have on Aftab Shivdasani, I promise.
Okay. Well. Honestly, that's as far as I am with the review... because that's about as far as I am with the movie. No, I haven't finished watching the damned thing yet. Watching Jaani Dushman is like shaving off my eyebrows with a dull razor: painful, awkward, pointless and really, really, really, really, really dumb. I simply can't do it all in one sitting. Try not to pee your pants awaiting the next installment (to be done soon, before Twinno returns, because she will spork my head off if she comes back to see my effort half-assed and unfinished).
Fireball, signing off and holding Totally Basmatic's pet gerbils hostage in the meantime!