Jag Mahi (2000)

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Cast: Anjuman, Shaan, Bahar, Saud, Sana, Nargis,Rambo, Ghulam Mohiuddin
Director: Parvaiz Rana
Nutshell: a tale of revenge against a deranged, maniacal and murderous Chaudrani.

 

The movie was in effect another vehicle for Anjuman on her stuttering comeback trail. She plays a feisty young village belle who one day makes the terrible mistake of inadvertently flinging a chunk of shit (literally) on the towns almighty Chaudrani, who doesn’t react too kindly. The Chaudrani, more than a little reminiscent of Queen Carlotta of Mortville from John Waters’ Desperate Living, vows to teach the errant Anjuman a lesson she will never forget. Meanwhile, Anjuman and her brother are preparing for her upcoming wedding to dashing Ghulam Mohiuddin but the evil Chaudrani has other ideas and she sends her ten buffoon like brothers to enslave Anjuman and bring her to justice at the mighty Chaudrani’s kangaroo court.

The Chaudrani’s brothers are resisted by Anjuman’s “ghairatmand” brother who bludgeons one of them to death and is thus taken away by the police. Anjuman is thereafter dragged in chains to the court of the beastly Chaudrani and sentenced to death for her indiscretion with the shit. There are some sensational, hair-raising exchanges between hardened battle-ax Bahar and Anjuman with some serious sparks flying. Bahar as a maniacal Sultan Rahi clone is however the real revelation, strutting around like a punch-drunk gangster, bellowing her dialogues and guffawing like a total moron. Its another feather in her cap and just illustrated the lady’s amazing versatility. Bahar’s performance alone is worth watching this surprisingly intriguing revenge-mayhem-shocker for – its nothing short of magnificent.

The plot thickens with the arrival onto the scene of Shaan, who apparently has a similar grudge against the vile Chaudhry’s who sentenced him to the same sort of punishment that poor Anjuman had to endure. Shaan we learn is Anjuman’s brother languishing in jail. Will the two of them form a dynamic duo and rid themselves of the cruelty and oppression of the wretched Chaudrani or will Anjuman and her brother be snuffed out like all those who have dared to defy the ghastly Chaudrani?

Saud is passable as spawn of the vile Chaudrani and spunky Sana is there for a song or two to spice things up a little bit more, not that this film needed further spice. It’s a rollicking affair with the most amazing feminist twist and indeed the film’s strongest characters are all women, even if one of them is a demented, blood-lusting, psychotic dyke from hell. Anjuman looks great for her age and turns in yet another superb performance. She also shows Sana and Poona Film Institute graduate, Nargis a trick or two when it comes to doing those frisky dance numbers. Ghulam Mohiuddin doesn’t have too much to do. Shaan as the man with an axe to grind tries to look his angriest and forms a formidable duo with Anjuman.

Nargis and Rambo also feature basically for relief from the more “intense” stretches of the movie. The film begins to suffer whenever either Bahar or Anjuman aren’t on screen and the pace tends to slacken when the sparks aren’t flying. The movie gets a little overlong as it draws to its inevitable blood splattered conclusion. The other performers are reasonable and even the old granny Ghulam Mohiuddin mother gets in on the feminist act, chucking hand grenades and wiping out half a police force all on her own. However, it is Bahar or Anjuman who absolutely burn up the screen whenever they appear.

Two songs stand out, one is the Anjuman dance “lak tole” and the slower song with the Faqir later on. What is remarkable about the songs is that the singer is a startling replica of Madame Noor Jehan and clearly the best of the clone brigade. Jug Mahi is thoroughly enjoyable if totally OTT, but then could one expect any less?