Helmer Jagmohan Mundhra, popularly known as Jag Mundhra, died in Mumbai Sunday following a cardiac arrest. He was 62.
Mundhra debuted in 1982 with the Hindi-language thriller “Suraag.” 1984’s “Kamla” that looked at the flesh trade in India won much acclaim.
Mundhra then moved to the U.S. and directed several English-language erotic thrillers through the 90s including “Night Eyes,” “Wild Cactus” and “Sexual Malice.”
In 2000 Mundhra made “Bawandar,” the first of his unfinished trilogy on Indian women’s issues. The film starred Nandita Das (“Fire”) and had an extended festival run. The second in the series was 2006’s U.K. set “Provoked” that starred Das and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan (“The Pink Panther 2”).
He was prepping the third in the series “Kissa Kutte Ka” at the time of his death. The film was to have starred Seema Biswas (“Midnight’s Children”) and Tannishtha Chatterjee (“Brick Lane”).
I have seen a number of his films. From, an expose on the sex trade Kamla to a rally against India child marriage in Bawandar to The Jigsaw Murders to Tales of the Kama Sutra 2. He has worked with an all Indian cast, to Chad Everett to Shannon Tweed to Joe Estevez. I am sure most of his flicks are on netflix and they are corrupt, dirty, brisk and never boring.