Starring: Gulshan Devaiah, Radhika Apte, Sai Tamhankar
Directed by Harshvardhan Kulkarni
Hunterrr is a film by a young man, about a young man and for a young male audience, packed with in-jokes and locker room talk.
Given its protagonist, the sex-obsessed Mandar Ponkshe (Gulshan), and his lustful encounters, with a perverted way of looking at women, this is to be expected.
Mandar’s raison d’etre is ‘vasugiri’. He is constantly scoring with women—be it the married neighbour or some stranger at the airport. All this within his ordinary, middle-class Marathi background, a milieu nicely recreated by Kulkarni. In fact, Mandar could well be the new age Amol Palekar with hormones on top gear.
It’s not the sex, nor the lopsided view of women that makes one go coy, what irks is that after pushing the sex envelope so vigorously, the film seals it with the glue of morality. A sexually active woman has to feel the guilt pangs for an abortion. True love has to step in to ‘redeem’ unbridled sex, a square peg Vasu has to fit into the round hole of conformity.
Mandar will have to eventually come home to a family, rather than continuing with his hunt. Gulshan internalises the character extremely well and comes up with a most accomplished performance. Radhika, as his fiance, is a scintillating presence, but it’s Sai the neighbour who lights up the screen with just the right touch of sexuality and vulnerability. And the back and forth narrative confuses, slows down and stretches the film beyond the limits of boredom.