The shame here — or at least one of the many shames — is that, with films like Nagin and the original Jaani Dushman, Raj Kumar Kohli demonstrated a genuinely quirky sensibility, while at the same time proving that he could draw in a popular audience. Jaani Dushman: Ek Anokhi Kahani, on the other hand, demonstrates the culmination of a gradual grinding down of that sensibility.
You’ve perhaps picked up a dvd because its cover bore a picture of, say, Amitabh Bachchan in shades and a bowtie carrying a scope rifle with something blowing up in the background, only to find that the movie contained therein had a couple of underwhelming action set pieces, but was mostly three hours of some guy crying about his mom.
Deep of the voice, wild of the eye, and massive of the brow, Puri, though a versatile actor who played many diverse roles in his four decade career, truly made his mark with his portrayals of over-the-top bad guys in countless Bollywood action and masala movies.
For a movie as silly as Mr. India to sweep you up in its enthusiasms — getting you to root for an invisible Indian everyman against a jackbooted cartoon straw man called Mogambo — is pretty impressive in its own right.
The musical numbers are lame. The plot is full of holes so big that Commando could drive a truck covered in ninjas through them. Everything is slapdash and cheap looking. The special effects are horrible. But man, who gives a crap about any of that when you have a slightly out-of-shape Mithrun running around in a Michael Jackson vest, fighting a guy in a Captain Harlock jacket and facing off against backflipping ninjas?