Raai Laxmi, Ravi Kishan, Aaditya Shrivastava, Pankaj Tripathy, Rati Agnihotri, Yuri Suri
Julie 2, which is supposed to be a sequel to Neha Dhupia starrer Julie (2004), has hit the theatres. Those who are going to the theatres only to get the taste of the erotica it boasts of might enjoy the product. Those going for the drama that unravels the underbelly of Bollywood might come out with a bit of a headache.
The film is exhaustively high on melodrama and pretty gimmicky most of the time. To begin with, having ex-censor board chief Pehlaj Nihalani as a distributor of the film itself tells you how gimmicky the makers of Julie 2 are.
The film centres around Julie (Raai Laxmi), who without any help from anyone in the industry, is trying to make a place for herself in Bollywood. The film is allegedly inspired by the life of South actress Nagma, right from her affair with a South producer to her alleged link up with a certain captain of the Indian cricket team - the film has it all.
The film is a sequence of events that lead to making a girl with no-connections a star. It openly showcases the existence of the casting couch in the industry that has producers salivating at the sight of a PYT who is hoping to get her big break in the movies. All the men through this film are only meant to be crude, lecherous and manipulative. The way Julie gets victimized throughout the film is sad and disgusting.
The film starts giving us an impression of Deepak Shivdasani trying to mix films like The Dirty Picture and Chandani Bar but opting to keep only the sleaze and forget all about retribution. There is no finesse in the language or the photography. While Julie still had its moments, Julie 2 has more crass than class.
Not once does Julie come across as a strong independent woman. She is forever selling herself to men and crying about people loving her not for who she is but only for her body.
Julie’s character graph is not at all written with a sense of redemption, it is written to titillate and that’s all. So while you have some decent actors lined up for the job, the director has refused to let them have the sensitivity that could have made this a great attempt.
The film goes through its paces as mechanically as does its central character. There are words being spoken but not felt. Certain sequences like that of Julie’s cricketer boyfriend calling off their relationship rather crudely, reaches a crescendo only to fall flat. Where was the director hurrying off to, we will never know...
It is a pity for Raai Laxmi, who has given a lot of her (no pun intended) to this film, like her character, she too needed to be handled with care.