Julie 2 Movie Review: It  Is Looks At The Murk Behind The Glam!


Movie: Julie 2

Starring: Rai Laxmi, Ravi Kishan, Aditya Shrivastava, Pankaj Tripathy

Directed by: Deepak Shivdasani

Rating: ***(3 stars)

Films  about the movie  industry tend to demonstrate  the sleazy side of showbiz . But with  a gentle touch.

Julie 2  goes  about it with hammers  and tongs. The  story  of the rise and fall  of  an ambitious  actress  has  a familiar ring to it.A lot of the experiences that   Julie(Rai Laxmi) goes through  seem inspired from the  events  that transpired  in  the life of actress Nagma. The  whole episode where Julie has a roaring affair with a South Indian superstar RaviKumar(Ravi Kissan, delightfully Telugu  in  his  speech  and  manner) is  borrowed  from  Nagma’s  link-up with Sarath Kumar ,  as  is Julie’s subsequent link-up with a cricketer which ends rather crudely with the cricketer declaring to the shocked  actress that he can’t marry her as she has been with too many men before him.

“Not that  I expect  you to  be a virgin. But there has  to be  a limit,” he draws.

This is where the audience  either hopes  for  the character to be killed  or commits  collective  suicide

Then there  is veteran actor Anant Jog who smacks  his lips  as though he has just found a juicy chicken leg when he meets  the  heroine.Subtlety  is not  a quality that the  characters  of this film  value. Writer-director Deepak Shivdasani strings together the betrayals of  the men in Julie’s life with a sledgehammer  impact. There is  no ambivalence in  the way  Julie’s men are presented  in  the  plot.

Apart  from her faithful man-Friday endearingly  named Ambani,  all the men in Julie’s life are jerks, lechers and potential rapists. By the time she  sobs, “No one wants  to  love me, they all want  only my  body”  Julie’s  slump into self-destruction is  nearly complete.

The  only man who seems  to genuinely care for her I sher first  film director played with an affectionate swagger by Nishikant Kamat.  One of  the film’s most compelling episodes hasKamat ticking off a sleazy film financier who openly propositions to the shocked and  tearful Julie,  by hinting at  a sexual liaison with the financier’s 18-year old sister.

At times  like this,  the narrative gathers its wits to deliver  a telling blow on the grime behind  the glitz  of  show world. At a time when the predatory  culture  of Harvey Weinsteinhas come out in  the open,  Julie 2  in  its  subverted way, tells us why the  sexual  predators  of Bollywood cannot be exposed.

The film deploys an unusual level  of melodrama to create an aura  of progressive  ruination  around  its protagonist. It  finally slumps to  a groaning  halt. But not before executing an  end-game that attempts to take  the saga  of the casting couch to a suspenseful level. Debutante Rai Laxmi  stands  impressively tall even as her character crumbles  to the ground.She  has a  fairly  firm grip over her character’s messy  life and  proves herself quite a ‘chick’  off  the old oomphy block.

It  is  a little startling  to see seasoned actors like Pankaj Tripathy, Rati Agnihotri and RaviKissan  pitching in with bombastic  performances. But then, bombast  is  the  need  of the hour. Julie 2  is an oldfashioned high-pitched melodramatic take on an actress’ journey from zero to wow. It has  plenty  of unexpected twists and  turns  in the plot,not all of them convincing  . The narrative neatly  balances  the engaging and  the corny.

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