It appeared to be the casting coup of the year: pitching adult movie star Sunny Leone as the racy lead in a Bollywood erotic thriller. A sure-shot way to get the cash mills churning at the box-office.
Alas, adult movie star Sunny Leone’s sizzling body debut fails to live up to fans' expectation or fantasy! It is, in fact, a complete turn-off, with many walking out of the movie hall barely minutes into the movie.
And, this had less to do with the abrupt censor cuts that were exclusive to the UAE. The lack of a storyline did not help.
Clearly the Bhatt family was so enamoured by the leading lady’s 'bootylicious' body that they forgot that they had a story to tell.
Purely using suggestive dance moves, plunging cleavage and hot pants might’ve worked wonders for a five-minute item song, but basing an entire movie on a woman’s assets, without a story to back it, was surely an oversight on director Pooja Bhatt’s part.
Her respected filmmaker dad Mahesh Bhatt, who has created cinematic magic many times earlier, is equally to blame for not matching up his leading lady’s erotic past with imaginative strokes.
What he does, instead, is borrow a title from one of his earlier movies that matches, perfectly, Sunny’s body image.
He pitches a tale on how two hot-bodied men go weak-kneed every time Sunny’s plunging cleavage makes an appearance, forcing them to act incomprehensibly ridiculous. They run, hide, cry and screech just to grab her attention. Each wanting, desperately, to play out their boy fantasies.
She, on the other hand, appears constantly perplexed and indulges in heavy breathing, strange poses and struts around in skimpy lingerie when confronted with a tricky situation.
Papa Bhatt , even borrows, a few pages of inspiration from writer Barbara Taylor Bradford’s ‘Playing the Game’ for romantic inspiration.
Intelligence officer Ayaan (Arunodaya Singh) hires streetwalker Izna (Sunny Leone) as bait to trap cop-turned-criminal and her ex-lover Kabir (Randeep Hooda) and access the lethal data that’s crucial to the security of the country.
Although Izna refuses to co-operate initially, Ayaan coaxes her to doing it. And, then there’s no stopping her. She’s a woman on fire. She marches on in skimpy lingerie, high heels, hot pants and low-cut blouses, only to set things right.
The mission, however, goes through some strange twists and turns, after the cop and the outlaw get entangled in a strange love triangle.
So, the tea-drinking Ayaan starts chugging down liquor shots and bawls like a baby because he wants 'Izna'. While on the other hand, grouchy assassin Kabir, quickly parts with his secret mission and books on Noam Chomsky and Che Guevara, only for love.
The odd turn of events and awkwardly poetic dialogues and expressions, leave the audience in fits of laughter. Surely something that was unintended by the filmmakers.
Writer Shagufta Rafique uses her opportunity to play up the title word ‘Jism’ and throws in bizarre poetic references about life, death and love. There’s even issues of terrorism and weapon mafia that’s brushed upon, but nothing gets more prominence than Sunny’s body, which is far more versatile than her expressions.
Arunodaya whimpers all through, surely making the Indian Intelligence wing, he represents, wince in embarrassment. Randeep deflates his acting talent impressionably. He grimaces and growls like a man who needs some urgent medical assistance.
But it is Arif Zarkaria’s portrayal as the chief of the intelligence wing that is most entertaining. For an actor of his caliber, this is his most unimpressive till date.
However, the filmmakers must be given points for continuity. This would probably be their only sequel that has links to the original. There’s the wardrobe – linen shirts, hot pants, and the location - sandy beaches, blue walls and coconut trees, that clearly connect the first to the second.
The music by debutant Arko Provo Mukherjee is outstanding, and so is Nigam Bomzan’s exceptional camera work.
‘Jism2’ is a confused film that’s, unfortunately, trapped in Sunny’s curves and nothing else.