Editor's note: This post was initially published on 9 October but in light of Armaan Kohli's arrest for alleged assault, we are republishing this post.
By Aditi Mittal
Being a guest at the Bigg Boss House is a major publicity boost for anyone. Now that the show is in it’s seventh season, we are acutely aware that this is a “game” and in case we weren't, the contestants keep pointing this out. Pratyusha can’t stop reminding us how “mere fans mujhe bacha lenge.” Kamya insists “ye game hai. Khelni padegi” and the others also fiercely spout bad taglines of '90s' action movies. But each contestant also has a rich history of achievements that have made them worthy of a spot in the hallowed halls of Bigg Boss Saath-7.
Arman Kohli is one of the most recognisable faces in the house today. In 15 days flat, he has made a contestant cry, been accused of saying lewd things to another, romanced a third and been generally up till his beefy neck in trouble. He is truly entertaining and gets my vote every single week. As much as I am a fan on his current work, I cannot forget one particular film which first drew me to him.
It was a film known as Jaani Dushman: Ek Anokhi Kahani. Much like every other film he did, this one too was produced by his father, producer Rajkumar Kohli. (In fact, this season of Bigg Boss might be the only Arman Kohli project not produced by his father). After having wooed the heavenly stars by changing his name to Armaan, Aarman, Amaron and Amaretto, he settled briefly on the innocuous Munish Kohli for this film.
Jaani Dushman is the story of a group of friends with actors past their prime (inspiration for the Housefull series of films) — Sunil Shetty, Sunny Deol, Aftab Shivdasani and a debutant Sonu Nigam, who acts like he’s doing a bad impression of Saif Ali Khan and looks like a thinner, male version of Falguni Pathak. They are accompanied by a line-up of the generic girlfriends, who look like various avatars of Shahnaz Husain.
Jaani Dushman also served as the training ground for Akshay Kumar and Arshad Warsi, who perfected their delivery and timing of penis jokes; a talent that served them well in successive years of their careers. Manisha Koirala plays Divya and is a part of this group, though she looks more like their chaperone.
Highlight of the film till this point: Two from this circle of friends attempt to rape Divya, who is later given a nifty little list of reasons to why she should forgive them their failed effort.
But — cue in spooky music — Divya discovers she is actually an ichchhadhari naagin (which is not a naagin that grants wishes) and spent her previous janam frolicking with a nag against a background of special effects so unrealistic they make Zee Horror Show look like a documentary. The naag in question is none other than Arman…Munish…Armaan Kohli.
While prancing in serpentine revelry on top of a cave, they destroyed the tapasya of a sadhu who was tapasya-ing in said cave. (No jokes about Manisha Koirala’s weight please) The sadhu then cursed the heavy footed snakey lovers to be separated in their upcoming birth, on the condition that they will meet each other in their next life.
Before current day, Manisha Koirala can make up her mind about going back to the lover of her previous life, the unsuccessful rape attempt is made complete and Koirala’s character commits suicide, under the impression that everyone from the group was involved in the heinous act. And now she’s back for revenge, with her nag boyfriend as her weapon.
In Jaani Dushman, Armaan Kohli’s acting prowess is on full display. He is no normal nag. He can change shapes, from a motorcycle to an eagle, to any awful special effect creature that Microsoft Paint can produce. Armed with that super power, he proceeds to kill everyone from the group, one by one, in awkward, hilarious, Final Destination-ish, ways for revenge. This movie could have literally been called ‘Dumb Ways To Die’.
After a series of murder scenes strung together with creative premises, in the course of which everyone underreacts to obvious warnings of danger, and resident “parapsychologists” (“parapsychology” means wearing a giant taveez) and a couple of songs thrown in for the simple reason of “Why not?”, Armaan the snake is killed by Sunny Deol who Deus Ex Machina-s in and out of the film as per requirement.
Best death scene: in which Armaan Kohli turns into a pan-seared Arshad Warsi and beckons Sunil Shetty:
As I tune into every week of Bigg Boss Saath-7, I am happy to relive the memory of this film. Every week, I wonder what form Armaan will take in order to exacerbate the next big crisis in the house.
Aditi Mittal is a stand-up comedian, actress and teacher. She’s on twitter as @awryaditi and she blogs at http://doesmybloglookbiginthis.wordpress.com
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