Triumph Talkies present “Julie 2”
Produced by: Deepak Shivadasani & Vijay Nair
Written & directed by: Deepka Shivdasani
Music: Viju Shah, Atif Ali-Rooh Band & Javed-Mohsin
Starring: Raai Laxmi, Ravi Kishan, Aditya Srivastava, Pankaj Tripathi, Rati Agnihotri, Yuri Suri, Ankit Vyas, Ashok Banthia, Dolly Mattoo, Asad Khan, Nishikant Kamat, Yogesh Suri & others
Consider this: 1975 saw the brilliant South film “Julie” that tackled the social issue of a Hindu-Catholic union and an unwed mother as an A-grade bold family entertainer. The year 2004 saw “Julie” as a skin-flick with Neha Dhupia, that succeeded by its sincerity. The year 2017 sees “Julie 2,” which is about a film star named Julie (Raai Laxmi from the South instead of Laxmi in the 1975 hit, with a passing resemblance to that legend).
When the film begins, she has signed a biopic on near lookalike Mrs. Asthana, a CM in the making (no one’s ever noticed how similar the two celebs look!), which is being produced by her affectionate widower Ashwini Asthana (Pankaj Tripathi). Ten minutes of screen time later, she is killed during an armed robbery at a jewelry shop.
The heroine of the film killed? Well, the field is open for intelligent ACP Dev Dutt (Aditya Shrivastava of TV’s “C.I.D.” fame) to arrest the four armed robbers within 24 hours and come to the conclusion that the theft (all the jewelry too is recovered, see?) is a sham for the actual attempted murder of the actress! Now, why would anyone take the trouble to do this when they can simply stage an accident to kill someone? Shivdasani thinks otherwise, though the killer eliminates a Frenchman in an ‘accident’ in faraway France!
And a completely addle-pated, asinine concept opens up when Dutt investigates and pieces Julie’s life together from her adopted mother (Rati Agnihotri). Turns out the illegitimate Julie, who considers herself the child of Jesus Christ (!) and talked in public (!!!) about why her married mother did not use a condom when sleeping with another man, was actually searching for pure (as in romantic) love all her life, and most men she openly slept with for career advancement were scoundrels out for the pleasures of her flesh!
All the same, it takes pure good luck for Dev to actually solve the mystery with the accidental discovery of a chip that has everything. Mercifully, the villain is quickly dealt with. But by that time, we are not only pooped but also metaphorically tearing our hairs about walking into the movie hall just because the 2004 predecessor was decent. As whaddayaknow, the dead and departed Julie was also truly law-abiding and patriotic to the core!
The less said about the music the better, but the real loser is the apology of a script the better. Shivdasani examines every clichéd in a star’s career – casting couches, fake lovers, ephemeral fame, Dubai-based dons operating though film producers and in love with actresses, a loyal menial to a celeb and that back-story, item songs and, of course, lots of skin show. But the basic premise, at every level, is so loopy that the film makes even the redoubtable Tripathi look like a caricature.
Raai Laxmi is just about alright overall, though her expressions are often limited and thus repetitious. She offers to the screen her most dependable factor – her physical assets. There is no hero, though Nishikant Kamat is alright as the noble director. Rati Agnihotri, in one word, is pathetic, while Aditya Shrivastava has nothing to do besides reprising the kind of role he has been doing for donkey’s years in Sony’s longest-lasting serial.
Bad, boring and retarded – this movie is all about it. Stay away and save Laxmi (your hard-earned money) if you want my ‘Raai’ (opinion)!