Sunny Leone’s new movie Ek Paheli Leela is yet another milestone in her quest for employment, respectability and credibility in her country of origin, which is described in the movie as “the land of the loving and the caring”. The unsolved riddle at the end of Bobby Khan’s deadly dull and unforgivably long reincarnation drama is not whether Karan (Jay Bhanushali) will unravel the meaning behind his recurrent nightmares, in which he sees flashes of his past life, but whether India cares to watch a former pornographic performer carry off a double role that actually requires her to act.

Leone plays Meera, a supermodel in this life, and Leela, a village belle who was the muse of a cruel sculptor in her previous birth. Bhairon (Mukul Dev) stands in for the legions of Leone fans when he fixes his eyes on Leela’s underclad form and picks up his chisel.

In the present life, Karan makes the connection between nightmares that are conveniently set in photogenic Jaisalmer, the missing Leela statue created by Bhairon and a property dispute between Rajput princes (Mohit Ahlawat and Jas Arora).

Leone is hardly the only incompetent actor on the set. Even the Rajasthani extras lined up in symmetrical formation in the background in several scenes are patently faking it. Only one person who stays true to her craft, Shivani Tanksale, and the talented actor’s presence in this movie is another enduring riddle.

Leone obliges her fans with cleavage peeks and a couple of slithers on a bed here and a desert floor there, but just like her character in the film, she obviously wants to forget her past and move on. Leone’s risqué image will prove most handy in getting productions off the ground and ensuring footfalls in cinemas, but in this movie, at least, she is clearly out of place. Of all the miscasting howlers in the movie, hers is the biggest.