Cast: Raai Laxmi, Ravi Kishan, Aditya Srivastava, Pankaj Tripathy, Rati Agnihotri, Yuri Suri
Director: Deepak Shivdasani
Rating: 1 Star (out of 5)
From the super-sanskari to the shabbily sensory, Pahlaj Nihalani – he of the unbendable but amusing censor board chief fame – is back in the good old business of peddling trash. Julie 2 is a whole putrid pile of it. Wade into it at your own risk. Nihalani gets the exalted credit of ‘presenting’ this new adult drama that is obviously targeted at fans of the kind of cinema that he once espoused in his capacity as a film producer. But are there any left? With Julie 2, written and directed by Deepak Shivdasani, Mr. Nihalani stands to lose even the handful that are. This film is neither bold nor beautiful.
Julie 2 is one too many and in more senses than one. The first Julie was bad enough. The forerunner, made way back in 2004 with Neha Dhupia doing her best to steam up the screen, should have been the beginning and the end of this project. Ill-advisedly resurrected 13 years on, thehas yielded this dreadfully harebrained follow-up. It is beyond the talent of southern siren Raai Laxmi, in her maiden Bollywood outing, to salvage the runaway mess.
The actress never seems in total control of the enterprise. The sloppy, confused screenplay doesn’t help her cause at all. Shorn of any semblance of psychological realism, the supposedly scarred character takes arbitrary, inexplicable decisions, swinging mindlessly back and forth between complete vulnerability and firm assertion, and between lust and love.
At other times, all that Raai Laxmi is needed to do is slip into slinky costumes, sway suggestively and spout stilted lines about being disillusioned with the men that she has seen and known. On the rebound, she discovers Jesus Christ and seeks solace in his benison. Let it not be said, therefore, that
But the Sadly, but not surprisingly, the result is exactly the opposite: she cuts a terrible sorry ‘figure’. She is neither enticing nor ineluctable despite the generous skin show and the raunchy action between the sheets and elsewhere.
The writer-director throws in all that he has at his disposal, but no matter what he conjures up it does not add up to much because the film is all over the place from start to finish. Nothing it attempts works. Julie 2 is a shoddy version of The Dirty Picture in the matter of laying bare the ills of the movie industry. As a whodunit, it is a hopelessly nutty exercise that yields no real shocks and surprises. And as a tale of a woman sinned against, it is trapped in hackneyed tropes.
Julie 2 plays out like two distinct movies. The first one, which runs till the intermission, is nearly song-less if you discount the introductory item number that establishes the calling of the eponymous heroine and over which the credits roll. It is numbingly dreary and meanders through arbitrary twists that hinge on a murderous shootout in a jewellery store that leaves the female protagonist on life support and the police on the trail of an unknown conspirator