Veerana is one of the most influential Bollywood horror movies. The concept was ahead of its time. A possessed young woman begins to seduce young men and kill them one by one. All this happened in true Ramsay style – a sex scene led to the actual death scene. One of the most alluring beauties played the main character in Veerana – Jasmine.
Younger reporters have wondered where the woman disappeared post the movie. Some say she fell in the trap of the criminal mafia and flew to a foreign country. Some say that she married a gangster and flew out of India. Yet other sobering reports say that Jasmine married a businessman and settled in the USA. All of these are possibilities. In the book Don’t Disturb the Dead, even the Ramsays say that he lost touch with the woman – one of the most endearing aspects of their legacy.
For audiences watching Veerna for the first time, it should be a miracle – seeing one of the most beautiful faces on screen metamorphize into a cruel, killing zombie. There wasn’t much CGI – or at least the Ramsays didn’t use it – so audiences had to be content with the typical ‘face-turning-away-from-camera’ scene when it came to the metamorphosis. I can only imagine that this was one of the first ‘Bobbit’ moments for the young Indian male who saw his fantasy come true on the big screen, and then turn into his biggest fear.
To know more about Shamshuddin watch this mini-documentary:
But this metamorphosis also holds a quaint story. To the common eye, Jasmin, the most beautiful of them all, also plays the role of one of the most hideous demons to ever grace the screen. Whether because of production issues or what, we will never know. But the actual actor who played the demon is not Jasmin, but Shamsuddin.
Shamshuddin was a seven-foot-tall actor, and that was his USP. He was ‘the’ monster that the protagonist must defeat to create his legacy. Shamshuddin has battled the likes of Dharmendra and Salman Khan in later stages of his career. The memorable fighting pit sequence in Suryavanshi features Salman Khan as a blonde, bare-chested Prince and Shamsuddin as the demon he has to slay. Shamshuddin, later on, was also part of the tv serial Vikram aur Betal.
If you watch Veerana, you don’t see an actual need for Shamsuddin to play the demon. Rarely do the horror scenes do justice to his tall stature. The Ramsays could have slapped make-up and prosthetics on almost any other extra and get away with it.
So, this is just another tid-bit that makes the world of Bollywood horror movie making all the more interesting.