Born in Nagpur to a highly conservative family, Jagmohan Mundhra had always nurtured a secret dream of becoming a filmmaker. Despite studying engineering at the prestigious IIT Bombay, Mundhra turned to marketing and wrote his marketing thesis on motion pictures. He also did a comparative study of marketing practices in Hollywood and Bollywood, which led him to visit the Hindi film industry and meet different people.
Mundhra also taught for an year at California State University before resigning and turning a full time filmmaker. He started off making social dramas like ‘Suraag’ and ‘Kamla’ before going on to make a string of horror and erotic thrillers like The Jigsaw Murders (1988), Halloween Night (1988), Night Eyes (1990), L.A. Goddess (1993), Sexual Malice (1994) and Tales of the Kama Sutra 2: Monsoon (1998).
Mundhra is however well known for his films ‘Bawandar’ in 2001 starring Nandita Das, about a social worker who gets gangraped by the men of her village for attempting to bring about a social change and ‘Provoked’ in 2007 starring Aishwarya Rai Bachchan about a woman suffering from domestic abuse. Both films were based on real life stories
In 2007, Mundhra took up yet another sensitive subject for his movie ‘Shoot On Sight’, a film about racial profiling of Muslims following 9/11. The movie spoke about the orders London police issued to shoot suspected terrorists following the subway bombings of 2005. He had however recently shifted to light hearted comedy with his ‘Naughty @ 40’ starring Govinda. Mundhra had also been reportedly keen on making a movie on Congress president Sonia Gandhi.
The director breathed his last on September 4, 2011 after he was admitted to a hospital for internal bleeding and his last rites were performed at the Shivaji Park crematorium.