Hunterrr Hindi Movie Review
In a world full of randomness, every seemingly random act by random strangers has a cohesive effect and could end up playing a deciding hand in your future. Amongst all this randomness, one randomly motivated act by a bunch of strangers could end up wasting 2.5 hours of your life this weekend. This randomized act of creativity is caller Hunterrrrrrrr.
Writer/debut director Harshavardhan Kulkarni tells the coming-of-age story of an unassuming sex addict Mandar Ponkshe, from his early days as an innocent child till the point he realizes he's in love. Or at least, he tries to tell this coming-of-age story.
Kulkarni, who did a brilliant job as writer on the superlative Hasee Toh Phasee, writes a film that has lesser depth than a children's swimming pool, and its existence is more pointless than the Bangladesh Premier League. He obsesses over the sex comedy part of the heartfelt sex comedy he has tried to make, and ignores the layers of other emotions like leftover food. What makes matters worse is, the sex comedy isn't funny at all.
The problems are further compounded by Kulkarni's inept, loopy, non-linear narrative. The film is more interested in Mandar's past sexual escapades than showing him as a well-rounded human who has the ability to grow and change when love comes knocking on his door, which makes his final transition into a nice guy unconvincingly unconvincing.
Kulkarni approaches each comical incident with the surety that he has a masterpiece on his hands, which makes the film even more painful to watch. It's not that Hunterrr is completely devoid of fun. The film has a few sparkling moments, like some of the interactions between Mandar and his fiance Tripti. But these moments are sandwiched between long stretches of unimaginative indulgence on the director's part, that are less fun to watch than a rickshaw ride on a potholed street.
The only slightly positive aspect of the film is the characterization of Mandar Ponkshe as a vasu. Sure, he's a one-dimensional character who's instructed to randomly cry a couple of times in the film to add a "layer" to his personality. But what's brave is that he's been presented to the audience with all of his flaws in plain sight, whether it's his misogynistic attitude or his borderline-racist comments about his friend's lover.
The film takes a beating in terms of technical efficiency too. Cinematography by John Jacob Payyapalli is mediocre at best, unsure in some of the film's key dramatic and comic moments. The editing by Kirti Nakhwa leaves a lot to be desired, in terms of trimming some of the film's unnecessary sequences and in terms of the film's overall exorbitant 2.5 hours running time. The music by Khamosh Shah is an ear sore. Background score by Hitesh Sonik is decent.
Gulshan Devaiah as Mandar "Hunterrr" Ponkshe does an okay job. He looks like he's having fun during some scenes, but looks unintentionally uncertain in others. Radhika Apte, as his fiance, does reasonably well in a thankless role. She brings some much-needed energy to the otherwise lethargic proceedings, and manages to hold her own, despite the fact that she has to play counterfoil to Devaiah during most of the scenes they share together. There are other actors in the film playing such poorly written random characters, I couldn't tell you their names even if I wanted to.
There's no denying that Hunterrr has a certain spunk to it. But in terms of spunky films produced by Anurag Kashyap, it turns out to be more Aiyya than Queen or Hasee Toh Phasee. With forgettable performances, an overstretched narrative and sex jokes that rarely hit the mark, Hunterrr is a film you shouldn't be falling prey to this weekend.