Let's clarify at the very outset? If you're expecting JULIE to be a soft porn film, with sleaze aplenty, peddling skin-show in every alternate scene, you've entered the wrong auditorium. Yes, JULIE has a few sex-laden sequences -- after all it is based on the life of a prostitute -- but the exposure is more or less in keeping with the demand of the subject.
Borrowing the essence from R.K.'s blockbuster hit RAM TERI GANGA MAILI and a bit from the Julia Roberts-Richard Gere smash hit PRETTY WOMAN, Deepak Shivdasani depicts the transition of a simple small-town girl to a high class prostitute in a metropolis.
So, is it a compelling tale? Not exactly! JULIE has a few interesting moments, but the inconsistencies outweigh the positive aspects of this enterprise.
Mihir Shandilya [Priyanshu Chatterjee], the most eligible bachelor in town, is invited by a television host [Achint Kaur] for a rendezvous. The young tycoon talks about his success story and on being questioned about his prospective life partner, he confesses that there is a woman in his life.
Julie [Neha Dhupia] is that mystery woman. However, she is unnerved by the program and wants to reveal the secret to the world. She wants to confess that she is a prostitute by profession, a fact that Mihir and his family members are unaware of.
Flashback: Julie is in love with Neil [Yash Tonk]. But after an intimate session, Neil leaves her in a lurch for better prospects. Julie decides to start life afresh and shifts to Mumbai, where her childhood friend Dinky resides.
Thanks to Dinky, Julie gets a secretarial job in a construction company. It is here that she meets Rohan [Sanjay Kapoor]. Julie finds an anchor in Rohan, who also seems completely besotted by her.
But Rohan and Julie part ways on a bitter note, after Rohan suggests that Julie spend a night with a tycoon [Kiran Kumar] to bag a prized contract. Shocked and dismayed, Julie takes to prostitution?
Back to the present: Mihir reaches the studio [where Julie is recording her 'live' interview] and openly expresses his desire to marry her.
A story like the one in JULIE isn't new. There have been umpteen versions of jilted women resorting to prostitution tales in the past. But the reasons that force Julie to take to prostitution aren't persuasive enough.
To start with, Julie is portrayed as a conscientious person, with morals and scruples intact. For that kind of a person to take to prostitution, just because she was jilted in love, appears contrived and not in sync with her character. It's all the more difficult to absorb because barely a scene or two before, a defiant Julie had walked out of her second boyfriend because he had suggested that she spend a night with a tycoon to bag an assignment.
The premise of the film is itself faulty!
The post-interval portions do get exciting, what with Julie ready to reveal her story to the world on a television show. But this half also has its share of deficiencies.
In the first place, what was the need for Julie to tell the world that she is a prostitute and that a tycoon has proposed marriage to her? What was the need to publicly malign someone who loves her dearly? Instead, why doesn't she reveal all to Mihir within the four walls of her home? Julie even records multiple promos as if she was going to be richly rewarded for appearing in a show like this? What was the need for all this if coming out to the world, including Mihir and his family, was supposedly an emotional aspect for Julie?
Even the finale is not as expected. Besides being talk-heavy, it takes swipes at the society, something that the cinegoer has witnessed innumerable times before.
On the plus side, the generous display of skin show and a few fiery dialogues [at the very start of the film and also when Julie confronts her first boyfriend Neil at the hotel] are the mainstay of the film. Of course, the sex quotient, in small doses and at regular intervals, should also appeal to the hoi polloi, but in the absence of a tight script, the impact gets diluted to an extent. A better screenplay would've only enhanced the outcome.
Director Deepak Shivdasani has handled a few sequences like a seasoned player. Julie's outburst in the television channel office initially, also when she confronts Sanjay Kapoor, besides the sequence with Yash Tonk, are three brilliantly executed sequences.
Nishikant Kamat's screenplay has its share of loose ends. Frankly, the film has basic flaws in the plot [pointed above], which do take a toll on the screenplay. Sanjay Pawar's dialogues sound different, but go over the top at times.
Himesh Reshammiya's music is a mix of melodious and raunchy numbers. At least two numbers, 'Ae Dil Ye Bata' and 'Ishq Tezaab Hai Rabba', stand out for their catchy tunes. Also, the picturization of both is highly erotic. Background music [Naresh Sharma] is appropriate.
Neha Dhupia gets tremendous scope to display histrionics and anatomy. While she exposes her anatomy without inhibitions, her performance isn't as awe-inspiring as one would've expected it to be. She does make a sincere effort and also impresses in a few scenes, but she still needs to work on her expressions. Sanjay Kapoor enacts his part with complete understanding of the character. Priyanshu Chatterjee gets the meatier part and he sinks his teeth into it, delivering a competent performance. Yash Tonk has a small role, which he carries off quite well. Achint Kaur is first-rate. Kiran Kumar, Sudhir Joshi, Kamini Khanna and Donny Bharadwaj lend decent support.
On the whole, JULIE is an ordinary product. At the box-office, the sex-laden promos and the fiery dialogues should attract the hardcore masses in the first weekend mainly. Thereafter, the journey of the film will be better at smaller centres. However, the major opposition this week [SPIDER-MAN 2 and to an extent ASAMBHAV] as also the next week [MUJHSE SHAADI KAROGI] will curtail its business prospects to an extent.