Amit Saxena gives Jism the ultimate setup of a film noir, and never misses a
step or paints the story or the characters into a corner. In fact, the movie's
story of a mistreated wife and her newfound lover is so taut with sexual energy
and "southern" passion that you are bound to slip into an elusive trance of lust
The locale is Pondicherry. Kabir Lal (John Abraham) is a womanizing attorney whom nobody respects but everyone likes (I am still figuring out how). One night he is hanging out at the beach and sees Sonia - and it's lust at first sight! She plays it cool and hard to get, but he persists, and one night she relents.
She lets him know she's not just beautiful, but also rich and unhappily married. Clunk, creek, clunk... Kabir's wheels start spinning. He comes up with a plan that would solve all their problems. At least he thinks that HE is the one who came up with the idea.
Writer Mahesh Bhatt would readily admit that his movie is partly a homage to all those earlier steamy Hollywood thrillers (Body Heat, The Postman Always Rings Twice, Double Indemnity and 9 ½ weeks), but even so, he takes the genre and makes it his own. In many ways, he conjures up the image of desire to serve as a textbook for novice filmmakers who need lessons in delicate eroticism.
Ditto for the way Amit Saxena depicts the numerous sexual encounters between John Abraham and Bipasha. We see lots and lots of skin and sweat, but there is not a single frame of unwarranted nudity, at least as we define the term. And ditto for the way that every subordinate character is there only to move the plot along, but yet stays memorable.
Bipasha shows here, for the zillionth time, why she became a major star. Of course, I am talking about that incredible voice that makes her one of a kind. (Ahem, comments to the usual address please!)
On the surface, it seems like the story is all from Kabir's point of view, but it is equally Sonia's tale. As an impulsive madcap attorney, John Abraham is tolerable. He doesn't play Kabir as dumb, he plays him as vain and lazy. This is the perfect choice. Sonia takes full advantage of his deficits, and by the time he figures it all out, it's far too late. Had he been merely stupid, Sonia would have come off as merely cruel, rather than as complex and calculating.
Jism, in a way, is also a kind of satire on those movies with numerous hollow-headed witticisms. I especially liked it when Sonia describes her husband, Rohit Khanna, a hard-nosed and successful entrepreneur played repulsively by Gulshan Grover, "I can't stand the thought of him. He's old and mean and weak." Kabir gives this some serious thought and then hugs her tight and kisses her like she's a good little girl.
Jism has a familiar plot, but rarely is the siren's song so alluring. Dramatic
musical score (by M M Kreem, our very own Keeravani) and a slew of outstanding
performances bring the sultry drama to life, but Bipasha steals the show as the
sexy she-devil in white. An all-too believable musical melodrama of unquenchable
lust and despair, the film works on every level. Recommended if you can get by
the drag that is inherent in the movie.