An amalgamation of Rajkumar Kohli's previous hits JAANI DUSHMAN (Sanjeev Kumar) and NAGIN (Reena Roy), this latest endeavour of Rajkumar Kohli, also titled JAANI DUSHMAN, tries hard to be different, but looks like a mish-mash sequel of the two blockbusters.
Ichhadhaari snakes Munish Kohli and Manisha Koirala love each other. But because of a sadhu's (Amrish Puri) curse, Manisha dies a premature death, while Munish is left alone. The sadhu tells Munish that he will unite with Manisha in the 21st century.
The present (21st century):
Akshay Kumar, Sunil Shetty, Aftab Shivdasani, Arshad Warsi, Aditya Pancholi, Sharad Kapoor, Rajat Bedi, Sonu Nigam, Siddharth and Manisha Koirala study in the same college. Manisha loves Sunny Deol and they plan to get married as soon as he returns from London.
The students decide to meet at Nagda Fort on Valentine's Day. But Rajat Bedi and Siddharth rape Manisha before anyone arrives on the scene. Manisha, who dies in Munish's arms, blames her college friends for her death.
Thus begins Manisha and Munish's dangerous gameï¿½
Like his earlier attempts, JAANI DUSHMAN also boasts of an excellent cast. Garnished with modern-day technique, the special effects, at places, seem inspired by Hollywood flicks THE MUMMY RETURNS and TERMINATOR.
JAANI DUSHMAN is interesting in parts. Siddharth's murder, the scene when the locket saves Akshay and the interval point can be singled out ï¿½ they're sure to be appreciated by the hoi polloi. The marriage of special effects and dramatic portions in the first half bears fruits.
But mediocrity seeps in towards the post-interval portions. Whatever has been witnessed earlier, in Kohli's above-mentioned films, has been reproduced here without much effort to make it look different. The second half is lengthy as well and the impact gets diluted as a result.
Director Rajkumar Kohli has tried to recreate the magic of his earlier hits, but the film is not as strong script-wise and also lacks a haunting musical score to attract repeat audiences. The writers should've incorporated something original, instead of riding on Kohli's earlier works.
Cinematography is passable. Special effects catch your attention at places, while at times they lack finesse. Action scenes are well shot, specially the Akshay ï¿½ Munish fight just before the interval.
The film has a huge cast, but only Munish Kohli and Akshay Kumar leave an impact. Sunny Deol is average. The others don't impress much.
On the whole, JAANI DUSHMAN caters mainly to those who enjoy supernatural thrillers. Businesswise, the film will leave a stronger impact at small centres.