This is supposedly an erotic thriller made by an ultra conservative who has come to the conclusion that women are inevitably confronted by Satan in the film industry and have to be saved from sin and damnation. The only one who can save Julie from the lecherous men who surround her, right from her debut to her death, is Jesus. Towards the beginning of the film, as her acting career takes off, she is taken to a lake where she is immersed in water in a holy ritual that uncannily resembles baptism. Later, she buys a jewelled cross and finds redemption in the figure of the crucifixion. As she suffers abuse at the hands of a string of opportunistic men, she is revealed as ‘the sweet child of Jesus’. Then, finally, at the end of the movie, the truth, such as it is, lies hidden in a micro-chip attached to the cross.
The film is a morality tale, a cautionary story about the connections between eroticism and male predation. The more we see Julie (Raai Laxmi) in revealing dresses and sexually provocative poses, the more the film makes her suffer. It is really all quite sadistic. Exploited by producers, directors, cricketers and the like, in progressively abusive relationships, she finally turns schizoid. The film presents this experience as a universal truth about women in professional life, and suggests that this is what happens when single women hunger for fame and money and are unsupervised in their working life.
What is equally shocking in the film is the total absence of any visual literacy in its making. Actors look directly into the camera, there is no continuity between scenes, and the writing of dialogue would be more convincing in a school play. ‘Julie 2’ is a ‘B’ grade film with decent actors like Pankaj Tripathy and Ravi Kishan desperately trying to prop it up. In the process, these performers do no favour to their reputations by allowing themselves to be cast in such a shoddy production.
As a genre, an ‘erotic thriller’ should have a few takers. But not this one. The theatre emptied out long before the end. Clearly, no one thought that there was a single erotic line, look or gesture in the entire movie.