Tuesday, May 24, 2022
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Janasheen

Watching the film is like feasting on cold and congealed leftovers of yesterday

Janasheen

Starring: Feroz Khan, Fardeen Khan, Celina Jaitley, Kashmira Shah, Johnny Lever, Archana Puran Singh, Harsh Chhaya
Director: Feroz Khan
Rating: *

Feroz Khan sure is a brave man. First he releases his film alongside a monster killer called Kal Ho Naa Ho. Then, at a time when even designer king Karan Johar is being forced to add more spit and polish to his painstakingly crafted dreamscapes, Khan serves us a piece of weathered antique. Watching Janasheen is like feasting on yesterday's cold and congealed leftovers.

In a nutshell, it is a very strange film peopled by even stranger characters who mouth corny lines which no one really uses in the 21st century. It also betrays the utterly confused mind of its maker. Because, instead of showcasing his son, as he had originally intended to, Khan decides to dominate every frame himself. And what a topical touch it lends to the story! Khan plays Saba Karim, a bald and kohl-eyed Afghani mujahideen who has been forced to flee to Australia. He sports a tiger for a pet and keeps uttering marhaba at the drop of the hat. Our younger, and asli hero, Lucky (Fardeen), nurses the ambition of becoming a mobike racer. And Karim sees a likeness in him to his dead son (courtesy a painting on the wall). So he becomes Lucky's foster father, little realising that he had, in fact, killed the boy's biological daddy (Harsh Chhaya). Now if that's getting complicated, here's some more. Lucky has always hated his real father and so has his foster mother, Aunt Martha (Archana). Lucky also has a childhood sweetheart, Jessica (Jaitley), in India who loves him deeply but he doesn't. Kashmira Shah plays a weird Catwoman moll whose psychopathic tendencies are conveyed to us through some sloppy eye makeup. And to top it all, there's Johnny Lever making out with a chimpanzee (well, almost). Janasheen is where the improbable turns absolutely ludicrous. So despite the action, the mobike races and the foreign locales all you'd remember are some unwittingly comic moments.

Jaitley's sensational debut is all about playing blind and playing a violin, clad either in a gown with mile long slits or a bikini. But let's be fair—hers is not the only skin on show, Khan Sr also exploits his own son to the hilt, cladding him in the briefest of trunks ever in the history of Hindi cinema. Poor Fardeen, must be feeling so cheated. He'd better run to his foster father, Ram Gopal Verma.

US Top 5
1. The Cat In the Hat
2. The Haunted Mansion
3. Elf
4. Gothika
5. Bad Santa

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