(This article first appeared in Tellychakkar.com)
Shobha, a simple, “round faced, light haired” young girl, has just checked into a hotel room, with the help of a stranger she met at an airport. She thanks him and waits for him to leave. Instead he looks around for a coffee maker. Politely, she asks him if he wants coffee. He nods and she promptly orders a coffee for him as room service. While she does so, she sits sideways on the bed and leans towards the phone. The camera follows her T-shirt pulled slightly to reveal her well-rounded, track pant clad hips. His eyes are glued to the sight. Unaware of her body movement’s impact of him, she starts massaging her neck. He asks her if he can help. She refuses and turns away as the coffee arrives. The camera is now just on the back of her neck. Suddenly his hand is in the frame. She turns around in surprise. (Please note, she is not shocked or freaked out).
That is the way this average looking guy in a simple shirt, spectacles and a forced goatee, looks at every single woman.
By now you would have thought Shobha would be shocked, freaked out or perhaps as interested in him. But no, she is simply being polite with a strange half smile on her lips.
This is where Hunterrr falters. The writer, director, Harshvardhan Kulkarni (writer of Hansee to Phansi) does a decent job of showing us the making and the trappings of an indecent, lusty man who refuses to wake up from his teenage wet dreams. But there is this utterly ridiculous belief underlying the entire script that any woman is happily game to be the object of lust.
According to Hunterrr, if a man is lusty, the woman is equally horny. There is a “cat call”(meeeow..main aaaoo) thrown in too for good measure.
The “hero”’s (Gulshan Devaiah) name is Mandar. He boastfully claims to be a “vaasu”. Because he can smell what a woman needs; which is pretty much himself. He is so driven by his own…errr… sexual drive that he even tells his fiancé, “Main ch@#u hoon”.
Enough to put any woman off. Or not.
Mandar has a hit list under his perpetually open belt. The scores (“100 not out”) include Babita, Priya, Sushma, Alka, Sheela, Lovely aunty, Savita Bhabhi, Parul and Jyotsna.
The last two figure prominently in his past: his college life in the 90s. Parul (Veera Saxena) is young, buxom, curly haired student, who he jumps onto, literally. Having eyed each other a few times, he spots her one fine day in an auto rickshaw and simply jumps into the moving vehicle. Instead of being alarmed at his impudence, she welcomes it with shocking alacrity. Very soon, she is in his bedroom, allowing him to look for a mole on her chest and navel.
Mandar’s inspiration came early in his growing days when he met Kshitij. Peeing publicly and masturbating under his sheet were Kshitij’s favourite activities. “Thande thande paani mein garam garam su su” was Kshitij’s idea of fun. Mandar moves on from being disciple to being the sex guru and an expert in “vaasugiri”. His time spent watching C grade films like Hawas ki Rani, gives him the confidence to grow into a full-blown stud.
The screenplay moves endlessly from his present day time with Trupti (Radhika Aapte)-his parents’ arranged match for his marriage, to his past flings that includes a sexy, married woman, Jyotsna (Sai Tamhankar).
With Jyotsna’s entry, the camera and the lusty male gaze take centre stage again. The lens move from a balcony top angle a sari clad Jyotsna, whose fleshy waist and open back in deep neck blouse are Mandar’s feasty obsessions. Full marks to both the actors and the director to enact a heavily bold and a most convincing love making scene on a kitchen platform. The chemistry between the two sizzles and drips with lusty sweat.
However, despite the absolute randy treatment which the subject requires, it is the music and the lyrics which lift the film above a “Hawas ki Rani’ grade and style. Every situation is addressed with perfect words …. “Don’t reject me, I’m a learner” sung by Bappi Lahiri, including a particularly emotional one….. “doodh ki moochon wala”.
At another level, there are efforts to make the film a different audiovisual experience. At one point the sound of crows is elevated to a degree and momentarily gives the film a more serious feel. However, that doesn’t last much and is entirely unnecessary to the theme and the tone.
As the story takes a more conventional love angle, it tries to cling to its original form by introducing Shobha at the airport and completely loses the plot.
Gulshan Devaiah slips into his rather difficult part of sick, sex crazed guy cured by love, with surprising ease. Amongst the actresses, Veera and Sai stand out with their comfort on screen. Radhika Aapte, who was excellent in Badlapur, is good but not in her best element.
Hunterrr could have been great as a man’s ultimate wet dream and even naughty, but borders on creepy and disgusting. Anything but a turn on.