Originally published in Evening Weekly
Article by Ahmed Rushdie
Ever since I saw Seezan’s ‘short’ movie, ‘E Reyge Fahun’ (After that Night) at Olympus theatre, and nearly killed myself laughing at the scene where ‘Dr. Zeenath’ diagnoses one of her mental patients who sees and talks to jinnis as ‘Personally Disordered’, I have been looking forward to seeing his next unintentionally funny movie. In my experience unintentionally funny movies are even funnier than movies that are marketed as comedies. For proof you need not look any further than any of Muhammakalo’s movies; all of them alleged comedies. If it were up to me, I would have put all of his so-called comedy movies in the Mystery genre because even by the end of the thankfully short movie, not even Sherlock Holmes would have been able to solve the mystery of where the funny scenes had disappeared to.
With ‘E Reyge Fahun’, Seexan (or possibly C-zan as he seems quite unsure of the spelling of his name and ends up using every conceivable combination for it in movie credits) managed to prove that he was as capable of ripping off a Hollywood movie (in this case, the Halle Berry supernatural thriller, Gothica) and reducing it to a confusing and muddled mess as any other local director was of doing to an unfortunate Hindi movie. Seaxan even went the extra mile and managed to make ‘E Reyge Fahun’ not just plain silly, but about as exciting and suspenseful as watching linoleum curl on a mildly hot day.
So when I heard that Seaxun had directed a new movie called ‘Kiss Jazbaath’, apparently a psychosexual thriller, I couldn’t wait to see it. Unfortunately, due to the adult nature of this movie it wasn’t being screened at any of the theatres in Male, but was only available to buy as a VCD. A bit put off by this fact I decided it wasn’t worth it and gave up on it until I started hearing about the ‘sizzling hot’ sexually provocative scenes that seemed to saturate the movie. Some who had watched the movie even referred to it as ‘soft porn’. Intrigued, and somewhat skeptical, I finally managed to borrow it from a friend who was of the opinion that ‘there were scenes in the movie that had never before been seen in a local movie.’ After watching the movie, I was inclined to agree. There were scenes in this movie that has never been seen or should ever be seen in any movie. Period.
There isn’t much of a plot or story in “Kiss Jazbaath” and that isn’t such a surprise as most adolescent boys' wet dreams hardly concern themselves with plot or story. And this is what Kiss Jazbaath basically is: an adolescent boy’s fantasy. And strangely enough the story was written by a woman.
The film begins with the heroine, Ameela, emerging from an apparently refreshing dip in the sea of a resort island. She gazes intently into the camera, does a little posing and walks in slow motion out of the water and onto the jetty. She is wearing a white T-shirt that just barely reaches her thighs over a two piece bikini, ensuring that the wet T-shirt clings in very revealing ways as she sashays in slow motion towards the camera.
The scene reminds me of an old Dhivehi movie, Yusuf & Zainab, in which the actress, Mariyam Rasheeda, comes out of the sea all wet, and wearing a light green dress. The drenched dress leaves almost nothing to the imagination and it is even obvious that she wasn’t wearing anything else under the dress. How the director managed to convince her to do the scene is beyond me. The scene in “Kiss Jazbaath” is nowhere near as revealing as that scene was but it’s still pretty close.
Next Ameela goes to her room and takes a long, long shower which presents the opportunity for the director to linger the camera on some of her physical attributes a little more, but this time with water running down the said attributes. By this time, it is apparent to any Maldivian viewer that the movie has already managed to show more skin in its first three minutes than most local movies are able to during the whole movie.
After the lengthy shower she puts on a top and jeans that would probably get her arrested if worn on the streets of Male (but that’s not a problem as she is apparently a receptionist at one of our resorts) and pampers herself in front of the mirror when she gets the phone call that gets the ‘story’ moving. This is where things begin to get scary. After the phone conversation she gets ready to go for her shift but then decides to open the door to her room and go outside for a while. A few seconds later she comes back in to find her boyfriend standing in the middle of the room. Weird. Where did he pop out of anyway? Teleportation? This sort of teleportation seems to be very common throughout the movie and since no one seems surprised by the sudden appearances I have to assume that this sort of futuristic transportation is everyday occurrence at the resort.
Anyway, nothing of interest happens after the teleporting boyfriend scene (the two are apparently having a lovers spat because the guy is never around when the gal needs him, mostly on cold nights) so we move on to the introduction of the hero. The hero, Cxn, enters screen right and meets the girl of his dream, Ameela, on the left. She is manning the counter at the resort and pops out (accompanied by the sound of jingling bells) from behind the counter like a Jane-in-the-box when Cxan comes to the counter. The reasons behind Ceaxahn’s trip to the resort is apparently because he has fallen head over heels for the girl who loves taking a long showers and has followed her to the resort to woo her, and as fate would have it he meets her in his very first scene. But he doesn’t know yet that Ameela is the object of his desire as he has only read an article she had written before becoming smitten with her. Ah, love sure does work in mysterious ways.
The movie then suddenly goes into “Silent Movie” mode where although the actors are talking, no sound is heard except for the background music. It remains soundless for many minutes until Ameela gets a phone call from her boyfriend and she takes a time out from her duty to tell him off, all under the watchful gaze of Seaxon.
Several long, boring scenes later (during which Momma’s boy, Seizon, makes a call to his mom to explain why he has run away from Momma, promises to call Momma twice a day, spends a lot of time posing on the bed looking forlorn and having long drawn out dramatic soliloquies) we find our heroine feeling lonely in her room that night and waiting for her lover.
Frustrated she takes a walk and poses dramatically (this happens a lot) against a hapless coconut tree when Seezahn comes upon her. One of the worst pick up lines in the movie history follows:
Seizon: Why so lonely?
Ameela: (startled, but recovering magnificently) Loners are cursed to stay alone.
Szn: Oh? A loner like me? Good. So why not we get together and banish the loneliness?
Ceizahn: By drinking a coffee in the name of friendship.
Can't a girl even pose dramatically against a tree without Seasun popping up behind her?
By golly, does this man have a way with woman or not? Anyway, during this scene Cixon accidentally finds that the girl is the very object of his desire, the very reason he has come to the resort. The wooing scene follows:
Seixahn: What a lovely night?
Cxahn: This kind of nights are very special for lovers.
Well, he sure doesn’t waste any time, does he? But then he hits a snag when he finds out that Ameela actually has a boyfriend which immediately turns our unstoppable hero into a stalker. It’s Stalking Season now. Pun intended.
Next we take a detour into Khaja’s (I would have spelled it Khajja, but I didn’t make the movie credits) bathroom where she is taking a bubble bath. The cameraman manages to get into very awkward positions to give the audience a few minutes worth of shots of naked wet limbs emerging from foamy and bubbly depths. Eventually and quite reluctantly, the cameraman manages to reach her face. Then suddenly, we get the first of two Breaks in the VCD. Very thoughtful of the producers as I would imagine a hot movie such as this would require a short bathroom break every now and then for the men to take a cold shower before continuing with the movie. Or maybe it was just to give everyone a chance to splash some water on their faces to keep from nodding off through the boring movie.
After the break we see some more shocking revelations. Ameela’s boyfriend is cheating on her with Khaja. Ameela’s relationship with her boyfriend gets worse because of this. Seexon spends a lot of time stalking Ameela, day and night, without any rest. Eventually Stalking Season passes over into Pervert Season and we find Sexan peeping into Ameela’s room while she is making out with her cheating boyfriend or watching her shadow undress in the window. By this time Sezahn has several failed attempts to woo Ameela under his belt and is becoming increasingly desperate; much like the audience who will probably have to resort to desperate measures in order to stay awake. Every time Ameela has an argument with her boyfriend (and this is what most of the movie is filled with) guess who is standing just a few feet away? Yep, C-zahn. If the corny dialogues don’t make you explode with laughter, then the sound of the crew feeding the actors the lines from behind the camera is sure to. Soliloquies abound as each character poses dramatically on the bed or against a wall reflecting on their sad and loveless lives.
Stalker Season. In danger of becoming a permanent fixture at the resort.
Eventually the cheating boyfriend manages to convince Ameela that he is not cheating and then we move on to another bathtub scene. This time with both Ameela and her boyfriend in the tub. Lots of skin and cleavage shots, topped off with a sexy song in the background along with several suggestive gestures by Ameela make this a song to watch. Several shots of the boyfriend lazing around shirtless in the tub make it a song to avoid watching. But Seaxun doesn’t mind and he is back to Stalking Season mode. After the hot scene we are given time to take a breather and a cold shower. It’s Break time again.
We meet up with the lovebirds after the break, and we find that the boyfriend has spent the night in Ameela’s room and by now has Ameela eating out his hand, so to speak. And of course when they come out Seizen is out there in front of her room, presumably in danger of becoming a permanent fixture of the resort without having even moved a muscle for most of the movie.
Empires rise and fall but Season doesn’t change as the movie moves forward at glacial pace and since all this time there had not been a scene where Ameela had been required to wear a revealing negligee this is where that scene comes in. Ameela makes the most of the shots and stretches and languishes in ways that would make a cat suffer a hernia. A few minutes of that and suddenly Ameela and Sizzon are sitting at a table near the beach, talking about dreams that made no sense to me and apparently for Ameela either. Not sure what really happened there but next thing Ameela knows Sixxon is leaving the resort and it is back to introspective brooding for Ameela. Meanwhile the boyfriend is cheating with Khaja again. Boy, is this guy busy.
When Ameela calls him up and finds that his mobile phone is turned off her womanly intuition goes into overdrive and accompanied by the exciting sound of a building crescendo of banging drums she marches out. And barges in just when the boyfriend is getting cozy with Khaja in her room.
Busted and caught red-handed the boyfriend does a good job trying to wiggle out in face of the evidence at hand but the banging drums win out in the end and Ameela marches out from his life. But sadly, not from the movie.
Ameela packs up her belongings and goes to the jetty to leave the resort. She obviously doesn’t have access to the teleportation technology that both Ceason and the boyfriend has so she does it the old fashioned way. The boyfriend teleports to the jetty to give it one more try and asks for her forgiveness. But she is having none of it and goes and leans against one of the wooden supports of the jetty as the boyfriend shuffles away.
Then in the single most shocking moment of the movie, an apparently two dimensional Sezzan comes out from behind the beam which can’t have been more than 7 or 8 inches in width. How long he was hiding there, or how he managed to hide behind the beam in the first place (unless he was 2D and turned sideways to disappear) is unclear and Ameela remarks on it:
Ameela: (shocked) How did you come here?
Seyzohn: Let’s not talk about that. I already told you that I would be next to you any time you were in need of me. Let’s go.
Here ends the fantasy… I mean, movie and thankfully the credits start rolling.
I would encourage every one to see this movie at least once in their lifetime. I don’t think anyone can handle a second viewing unless it’s just specific parts of the movie where we see a lot of Ameela. It’s great that someone in the industry has tried to make a movie for the adult audience but next time hopefully it won’t be as bad as this one was.
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