If you are a Bollywood movie watcher at all then you surely remember the bustle in 2003 with the release of the John Abraham and Bipasha Basu film, Jism, which literally translates to ‘body’. With a name like that and the bronzed, Bengali bombshell gracing movie posters baring her tantalizing legs in a slinky black satin dress, who could resist getting caught up in the hype especially since it was so taboo to watch in the first place. After all, tell someone they can’t do something and that’s the one thing he/she will strive most to do. With a decent story line and good casting, Jism was successful with above average theater grossings. Nine years later, with the release of Jism 2, the ‘erotic thriller’ was brought back into the limelight.
Once news was released that the infamous Canadian-Indian adult film actress, Sunny Leone, would play the lead female in Jism 2, eyebrows were raised. Conservatives protested over the release of the film and even went as far as to burn pictures of Sunny Leone and Pooja Bhatt, the director. Leone’s fans which include about a 60% South Asian following were thrilled at the news that she would debut into Bollywood soon and eagerly awaited the release. Good or bad, Jism 2 definitely caused a ruckus and ushered attention and publicity. This led to the great first day and premiere grossing for the film. However, after the initial debut, Jism 2 did poorly due to the horrible critical acclaim.
Although it is said to be a sequel to Jism, Jism 2 has a completely different plot and does not refer to any characters or situations from the prequel. The film has a very typical storyline: two guys, both of which fall for the girl who is being used as ‘honey bait’. Sunny Leone is rightfully cast as Izna, the seductive adult star who is asked to retrieve data from terrorist and ex boyfriend Kabir (Randeep Hooda) by Ayaan (Arunodhay Singh), a top secret government official. If you have the patience to watch the movie all the way through, there are a few plot twists and surprises but the acting, dialog, and directing is so poor that this serves to be difficult. Leone, Hooda, and Singh were appropriate for their roles in the film, but due to the horrible script, no one really had the opportunity to shine.
Definitions of the word ‘erotic’ have come miles since the release of Jism in 2003, and scenes in the film were very raunchy. Leone did look ravishing at all times, baring her body in skimpy bikinis, tight outfits, and short skirts. Unfortunately, this is the only thing that would possibly keep people watching the film with the exception of a few decent songs. Even so, the overexposure of Leone’s body in the movie was borderline boring and by the end of the film, lost a lot of its appeal. That being said, Leone was placed in scenes just to stand and watch the two males squabble for extended periods of time. Whether this was another bad directing decision or a way to keep Leone’s horrible acting skills under wraps is still a mystery.
We get it, sex sells, and it can bring a horrendous film only so far as opening day before it crashes and burns, and Jism 2 is the perfect example of this. Lackluster, boring, substance less, and painful to watch, it is the equivalent of indulging in too much nauseatingly sweet frosting without the satisfaction of the cake.
Image courtesy of SantaBanta