Synopsis – A story of sex addict from childhood to adulthood.
My Take – No matter how progressive our country gets, talking about s*x is still considered a taboo! No matter what kind of crime or shameful act is bestowed! Weirdly, a range of s*x comedies have been very successful. Films like Apna Sapna Money Money, Masti franchise & Kya Kool Hai Hum franchise have used s*xual notions to evoke humor in probably the most vulgar form. So what makes this film different from those other than the relatively unknown cast? Well its actually good! The story follows Mandar (Gulshan Devaiah) a thoroughly ordinary and unremarkable man, seeking sexual liberation. Since he reached puberty, Mandar has always been a curious lad who takes fancy in women and s*x . He is just like an ordinary kid who wants to know things. The film zigs into the past, zags to the present, jumps back a little, repeating this pattern while showing us how he gets into the sex thing in the first place, divulging us into his relationships with athlete Parul Kotak (Veera Saxena), a married house wife Jyotsana (Sai Tamhankar) & his current engagement to Trupti (Radhika Apte), And how he progresses, from a panting teen to a horny young fellow to an adult with uncontrolled lust, where after sowing ‘hundred, not out’, wild oats, he is looking to settle. Or is he? But these escapades are not without its dangers as Mandar learns the hard way. The premise is brilliant and for Bollywood, a big step in the genre.
It is in all ways superior to the mediocrity of the other films. The non-linear screenplay is fun; chronicling the protagonist’s life from his childhood days when a naughty Mandar starts responding to his “other basic needs” to the days when he visits the video parlor shops to the college days when flings and scoring are all the rage. These sequences are shot beautifully with montages that streamline the story marvelously. It throws light about the perils of two distinct features: one, the danger of indulging in an extra-marital affair, and two, the complexities of pre-matrimony when dealing with an eventful past becomes a problem amongst the to-be-bride-groom. It amazes one to learn that the writers have sampled original references in their fiction which makes it look like it is a real deal. One can easily relate to the character if he’s being true to himself. Let me clarify, the film doesn’t break the taboo; instead it tries to permit and attach it to a normal life. Of course, adults are not very present in this mission, otherwise the case would’ve been different. Although, there’s a sudden shift in the story when the joys of s*x comedy turns into a drama about relationships. Maybe it was intended, but there is a chance that the audience, divided into two, may receive it rather critically. It will appeal the niche audience, the type that will be able to relate with the characters, but unfortunately even the drama may not entice the majority rest of the audience, for the screenplay doesn’t offer what it may have promised. My other complain would be the portrayal of women here, girls don’t notice that the boy saying “I want to be your friend” to them has been ogling at their best friend. Grown women think a man meowing in a way that his meow sounds like “main aoon?” is charming. Here, if you jump into an auto uninvited because you want to hit on the solitary woman in it, she smiles shyly and lets you join the joyride. In Mandar’s world, single women are gullible and only looking for marriage while married women are frustrated and want to be treated like sex objects. This might be a good time to point out that life and women work differently in the real world. There’s no shortage of women who want a little Ponkshe to rev up their mundane existence. All Mandar has to do is stare at them with the bashful sleaziness of a sexually-repressed, middle-class, Indian male, and the pheromones fire up.
Considering the unpalatable cocktail of lewdness, faux-respectability and hormones that is Mandar Ponkshe, one could almost classify these women’s decision to sleep with him as an act of charity. However, that is not accurate. If anything, it’s Mandar who is doing them a favor. Most of the women behave with such inane naivete that you initially feel relieved that they’re being preyed upon by a man like Mandar, who is essentially a decent chap, we’re told. What saves it is the unexpected sweetness, leavened with a little bit of surprise, of the relationship between Mandar and Tripti (Radhika Apte), the regular Jane who admits to a few relationships. Devaiah, who does a good job as the tongue-hanging-out-average-bloke-in-lust, works well with Apte, who gets in a bit of balance by being the kind of girl who is able to make a choice. Retro music and songs, great camera work, and amazing dialogs are the highlights of this comic venture that is not as sleazy as it advocates to be. Gulshan Devaiah is excellent and completely fits the character. I can hardly see anybody else portraying this role so purely as he does. The lad is very talented & needs some good productions to scope out his skills. Radhika Apte and Sai Tamhankar are very good. On the whole, ‘Hunterrr’ just isn’t about a guy who can’t keep it in his pants, but instead helps Bollywood transcend into a new level, and could even be called the pioneer of this genre which must be watched in order to be appreciated.
Director – Harshavardhan Kulkarni
Rated – R
Run Time – 129 minutes