More than a sex-comedy, as the film promotions claimed it to be, Hunterrr is a comical commentary fixating on lechery. It is a fun film on growing up, or rather, of one’s sexual awakening. It’s painfully honest to channelize this ‘Agneepath’ within, and writer/director Harshvardhan Kulkarni has done a wonderful job in streaming this on screen without adding too much of sleaze or insight. Not that we were expecting much of the latter anyway.
Mandar Ponkshe (Gulshan Devaiah) is a lanky middle-class Maharashtrian teenager who has just started jizz-jerking and has begun to understand the basics of scoring a date. He walks up to a bunch of girls exiting their class and asks the “second-best” girl if he could be his friend, which he ultimately becomes. With the girls he encounters initially, he betters his education of women and finally claims himself to be a pro who can simply ‘smell the needs of a woman’. But age is running out, and with parental pressure of marriage, he reaches out to find himself a bride to satisfy his insatiable libido. But can a ‘hunter’ ever settle down? For real?
Harshvardhan Kulkarni made his writing debut last year with Hassee Toh Phasee, which was one of the best romances to have hit the silver screen of late. While it followed a linear narrative, Hunterrr mixes up its timelines to bring out Mandar’s motivations better. Kulkarni has employed subtleties and quirkiness to his characters and to the script giving it an organic flow, and only if the film did not become too self-indulgent at times, it could have come out better. The dialogues pack in too much wit and animation, and you’re sure to crack up at most of the one-liners used.
Kudos to Gulshan Devaiah for bringing this dirty libidinous man to life. His performance is relatable both at a physical and a psychological level – his vulnerabilities, his desperation, his irrefutability to say no to sex – all expressed wonderfully well. Saie Tamhankar and Radhika Apte have delivered well, and while Saie’s character feels more real, Apte’s character is more on the ideal side. Veera Saxena can label this a good debut, and has performed equally well. The children enacting junior Mandar and friends are just superb.
Of the many sub-plots used in the film, my personal favourite is of friendship, or rather memories of it, and there’s an instance when Mandar sees a glimpse of his deceased friend in the latter’s kid and then bursts out in tears. This was perhaps the most human moment in the film, even though it added little of significance to the main premise.
To catch up on the school-level immaturish talks on girls, love and sex, and to see how the talks have advanced from our transition from boys to men, Hunterrr is a good case study. An entertaining one at that.