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Jaani Dushman - Ek Anokhi torture
Kohli's saga has neither thrills nor chills

Ronjita Kulkarni

Director Raj Kumar Kohli's Jaani Dushman --- Ek Anokhi Kahani, is a bid to relaunch his son Armaan (who changed his name to Munish), after their previous debacles together in Aulad Ke Dushman and Qahar. Which is fine. Only, he doesn't seem to have paid any attention to the story, performances, makeup and music.

The story, with its special effects, is neither a horror, thriller or romance. Manisha Koirala and Munish Kohli, sporting snake head-dresses [they are snakes], are lovers from a previous birth. Their singing and dancing earn the curse of a sage (Amrish Puri). Manisha dies. To get her back, Munish will have to wait for her rebirth.

Manisha in the present birth is a college student and in love with ex-student Sunny Deol. Her 'friends' Rajat Bedi and Siddharth seem to be on the lookout to rape her. Her social circle, comprising Akshay Kumar, Sunil Shetty, Aditya Pancholi, Arshad Warsi, Sharad Kapoor, Aftab Shivdasani and Sonu Nigam (all college students), plan a picnic with their respective girlfriends.

Rajat and Siddharth lay a trap and manage to get Manisha to the picnic spot an hour earlier. She gets raped, and thinks that her own friends are behind her assault, not realising that Rajat had imitated their voices.

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She vows revenge, with the help of her lover from the past birth Munish, and commits suicide.

Jaani Dushman is perhaps one of the most unoriginal films this year. A remake of Kohli's seventies' hit Nagin. The (very crude) special effects have been borrowed from Hollywood films Anaconda, Mission Impossible 2, Terminator -- Judgement Day, Matrix and I Know What You Did Last Summer.

The music, by Anand-Milind, Anand Raaj Anand and Sandeep Chowta, is an irritant and interrupts the narrative. The only song worth mention is Chowta's Javed bhai so re le.

Manisha, Munish in Jaani Dushman The performances are half-hearted and the characters half-baked. Sunil Shetty maintains a stoic face throughout the film. Sunny Deol as Manisha's boyfriend sticks by his 'I will fight till I die' image. Gang leader Akshay Kumar smiles and fights as required.

Singer Sonu Nigam debuts as an actor with this film. His is an earnest performance, and shows promise. Aditya Pancholi continues his Yes Boss character, while Aftab Shivdasani continues the lost loverboy look from Mast. Sharad Kapoor and Arshad Warsi make no impact in their small roles.

One would have expected Munish to shine through the film, considering he is the focal point. He doesn't do much except glare through his white-and-red contact lenses and fight.

Director Kohli seems confused about how his son should be portrayed. On the one hand, Munish (with his heavenly powers) appears invincible as he tosses people in the air. On the other, mere humans batter him.

After two flops (both multi-starrers) earlier, one would have expected the father-son duo to learn from their mistakes. That can't be said with this film.

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