Director: Harshavardhan G. Kulkarni
Cast: Gulshan Devaiah, Radhika Apte, Sai Tamhankar, Veera Saxena
Gulshan Devaiah and Radhika Apte in a still from 'Hunterrr'
At this point of time specially, we need to welcome movies that dare to take sex beyond the boundaries set by a few regressive minds, and stay in step with the rapidly changing moral standards of the world around us. However, it is time and again disheartening to see movies made in Bollywood that at the outset seem like a brave take on the stifling double standards on sex, but most of the time invariably end up falling into the familiar trap of predictable mediocrity.
Paradoxical yes, but a movie that openly talks about sex in this country, needs a lot more sensitivity and maturity in execution than that in the making of a regular 'safe' film. There is a subtle difference between a pure, unbridled take on the 'taboo' topic and a tacky one that tries too hard. Unfortunately, though 'Hunterrr' shows a lot of promise, it veers more towards the latter.
'Hunterrr' is the story of a boy, Mandar Ponkshe, belonging to the middle class but not really ready to settle to the morality of the class he belongs to. He begins young and his insatiable curiosity while exploring his sexuality leads him to a cop station and much humiliation in his teen years. Undeterred, he continues with his sexual conquests even when he's just about to go over the hill in the marriage market and then he meets Trupti (Radhika Apte).
Till a point the film holds interest as the premise of a boy refusing to grow into a man and conform to the society's idea of 'responsibility' makes for a mighty interesting story. (Script also by the director of the film, Harshavardhan Kulkarni). But unfortunately, the movie gets stuck in that awkward self-obsessed teen phase along with Mandar. What also works against the film is that this is clearly a threadbare script, which is not really fleshed out enough and thus making for a film as shallow as Mandar's casual sexual escapades.
To add to this, for some strange reason, Kulkarni takes us back and forth in time that at the end it leaves us as perplexed and disappointed as Mandar's 'prize catches'. The best thing about this film, apart from the perceived intention of course, is its casting . Thanks to some stellar actors around the main characters, Kulkarni manages to create a believable environment of a Marathi household. Gulshan Devaiah is good mostly, but in parts his acting is unidimensional. Radhika Apte is a natural and is excellent in an absolutely realistic role of a modern woman who has no qualms or guilt about her 'wild' past. Sai Tamhankar is pretty good.
Watch it if brazen in your face is enough to titillate you. If not, let's wait for a more mature film dealing with sex.