It takes a special kind of skill to make a film as harebrained as Jism 2. To say that its script is ridden with plot holes is an understatement; the plot itself is like a big, black hole there is no coming out of.
Adult film actress Sunny Leone makes her ‘legit’ movie debut starring as porn actress Izna, although it’s hard to say why she’s meant to be a porn actress, given that this teeny-weeny detail doesn’t further the plot in any way whatsoever. Or perhaps director Pooja Bhatt doesn’t recognize the difference between a porn actress and a prostitute, because within the first five minutes of the film, Izna has picked up a man at a bar, taken him to a room upstairs and has had sex with him.
Anyway, Izna is offered ten crore rupees by Intelligence officer Ayan (Arunoday Singh) and his boss Guru (Arif Zakaria wearing a wig so big, it threatens to swallow his face) to seduce her ex-boyfriend Kabir (Randeep Hooda), a former cop-turned-eccentric terrorist who has the blood of dozens of innocent people on his hands. The secret agents want Izna to gain Kabir’s trust again and steal files containing details of his misdeeds that they tell her he’s saved on his laptop. When Izna refuses to go along with their plan, insisting that she’s still scarred from being dumped by Kabir six years ago, Ayan tells her she ought to do this for the sake of her country. “Apni mulk ki madat toh main already kar rahi hoon kapde utaar ke,” she tells him straight-faced. “Lekin har jism ki expiry date hoti hai,” he replies, in what has to be the most unintentionally comical exchange of words.
When they’re finally able to convince her to join their mission, Izna and Ayan must pretend to be an engaged couple and move into a villa in a French colony in Sri Lanka, literally across from the villa where Kabir has been hiding out.
At this point I can think of at least two questions begging to be asked: If the Intelligence Department knows exactly where he’s staying, and they’re so confident they know where he hides his secret files, couldn’t they just swoop down on him themselves instead of recruiting a porn actress to do the job? And secondly, does every terrorist/assassin in a Hindi movie maintain a file with evidence of his own crimes that can implicate him instantly? Seems kind of dumb, doesn’t it?
Well moving on, when Kabir sees Izna again, it doesn’t take long before something inside him starts to stir…no, not his heart, presumably a body part lower down, because he’s remained completely celibate all these years – “no girlfriends, not even prostitutes”, a psychiatrist who treated him has revealed to the Intelligence officers hot on his trail. So even as Kabir falls hard for her, Ayan has developed feelings for Izna himself.
Widely advertised as an erotic thriller, Jism 2 has some clumsy lovemaking scenes, but none of the sizzling chemistry likely to satisfy anyone seeking more than just cheap titillation. Neither does it have that edge-of-the-seat-tension you expect in a juicy suspense story. To give you an example, this is the kind of film in which everyone from undercover agents and deadly assassins, and really anyone with a secret to hide, leaves their mobile phones lying around carelessly at the most crucial times.
The film’s chief conceit – you’re meant to be guessing until the end whose side Izna is actually on – is betrayed by Sunny Leone’s wooden acting, and her overuse of the ‘heaving bosom’ approach in response to every situation in the film, be it joyous, distressing, or romantic. Predictably, she’s uninhibited in the sex scenes, but can’t muster up any real feeling. The usually dependable Randeep Hooda, meanwhile, goes a little overboard with all the feeling; he hams it up as the nut-job assassin who regards his crimes as the purging of a corrupt society. Alternating clunkily between melancholic and hyper, Hooda constructs a wildly implausible character that inspires most of the unintended laughs in this film.
Unlike the earlier Jism that Pooja Bhatt produced but didn’t direct, this sequel has little of consequence to say about relationships based on lust. The previous film was a well-acted, adult thriller that had rare sexual frankness. In comparison, Jism 2 feels hollow and exploitative…a film in search of a story. Despite some terrific music and Pooja Bhatt’s neat production design, it’s let down by laughable dialogue and a pace slower than my 90-year-old grandmother on a race track.
I’m going with one out of five for Jism 2. For all its pretentious babble on love and pain, it’s a film that leaves your own jism in much pain as you finally get out of your seat.