Go Bananas
Or Go Nuts

Harshvardhan Kulkarni
Director - Writer

Film Review
Hunterrr:Flogs Right Below the Belt..

Hunterrr cool
DeScent of a Woman-iser!!!  

FACT – People are just going bananas.surprise
fact – Ya, you are selling so cheap.frown

FACT – Doesn’t matter. The cheaper you are the better it gets.    wink 
fact – Well keep scoring. If that only matters, Best wishes.yes

FACT – Aren’t you happy that someone is peeling the banana finally?
fact – Bravo. But you are not the first. There have been people before you but just as titillating.

Our central character is Mandar Pongshe (Gulshan Devaiah), who is sexually obsessed and the story follows his escapades with different women in his life.

Those who have spent their 80-90s in colleges, especially engineering college of Pune/Mumbai, will remember at least one Mandar as a classmate. That’s a strong point. All male characters here are sketched like real life. And Mandar is a Vasu. You must have had one or two Vasus in your college esp Engg college. Vasu is a Marathi word difficult to translate and only if you have had seen one you will understand it.enlightened

Vasu is an adjective derived from Vaas, noun, meaning smell. Vasu boys/men are die-hard skirt chasers, who ‘smell’ ‘the right’ woman as ‘the’ opportunity and will go to any length of embarrassment to bridge gap with ladies. Vasu is a derogatory word btw. So now, if a Writer has to write story and character graph for this, it will be a tight rope walk.surprise

Unfortunately here it remains casual. The story dwells too much on the Vasugiri set-up, like showing him do the same thing repeatedly for almost 2/3rd of the film thus leaving less time for real challenges. This works; because “sex sells easily” (though there is not much of the act but only talk, still that works as a huge titillation for desperates) and “it is done in very casual and amusing way”. But this works only at superficial levels, doesn’t touch your cord.indecision

Vasu’s character faces a trouble when he falls for Trupti (Radhika) whom he lies that he had been immaculate all his life. This is the core conflict which strikes at PP2 if taken linearly.

The film actually keeps cutting between different time & space. Though not that difficult to solve this jigsaw narrative, it could become jarring, if not confusing. The only purpose of these flashbacks is to show his Vasugiri. Instead of character’s graph we see characteristic’s graph in this film, meaning different methods of Vasugiri - As a child, as a hostelite, as single tenant, and then as a working man. If you don’t enjoy his stories of hooking up with his target women, this film will bore you a lot. I wish, if we were to see Vasugiri’s graph it should have been dealt with quality of vasugiri (up or down) instead of the screenplay boiling down to his episodic experiences of reaching out to different ladies. This also doesn’t work because he seems to be getting it very easily. He can hop into an auto and befriend a single girl travelling, he could just sit opposite a stranger lady at airport lounge and ask her for ride, just ogle a housewife and get her direct call. All these women appear either dumb or nymphs who are ready to “give him” even though he shares their private phone calls with his friends. Worse they know this and yet carry on. As screenplay this doesn’t work because you don’t see any struggle but as titillation this does a lot. Probably the law of “Protagonist’s struggle to achieve his goal” may not be working in this “Adult” genre. Who will want to see struggle over action in such films; agree? angry

So the film works within its genre. Outside its genre it just works w.r.t. other characters and their interesting stories. Not that anything new is told, but the way characters are sketched, ordinary, middle class, men next door sort, we easily connect with them and their struggle.yes

The film’s narrative reminds us of Page 3, which has similar treatment wrt characters. There was a central character and her story and then certain other characters and their stories as how they intercepted our central character’s story.

Due to its treatment; Prima facie, Hunterrr might look a writing marvel, quick cuts, character quirks etc. but when you peel the banana you realize that there is no spine.

Coming back to the main conflict; He has lied to his fiancée about him being immaculate. She isn’t immaculate either, but he can’t tell her the truth. I don’t see this as a so big conflict. Because I have already seen her as a broad minded lady, she won’t mind such bull shit. So to reinforce the weak conflict her ex-lover is introduced, her apprehensions about arranged marriage is introduced and both these are reversed as per the convenience. In the end she says, she doesn’t love the ex-lover, so problem solved. She’s fine with everything at least he confessed his affairs, so problem solved again.

A real challenge would have been, if the girl he falls for really had objection to Vasugiri. Then what? Also some may suggest an Open marriage as a solution, path breaking one. But as Writer I don’t see Open Marriage as a solution. It becomes an easy way out again. Because the girl is already a game and not invincible, the latter would be a bigger challenge, as a target for a hunter.

The film did have some perfect points where interesting drama could have been created but the Writer misses that or takes an easier route. eg. when in the mall Parul is about to see him, he runs away. There was scope for pushing the envelope.

Also the enitre Shobha Aunty subplot doesn't add or merge with the main plot barring another episode of Vasugiri. This total track is an extra load which could have been again utilized for extra dramatization but instead it ends up without any significant contribution to the narrative. Trupti smses build the excitement but become a huge turn offf when she can't come. Why have the tension then? Mandar's confidence that she won't become a trouble is an obvious convenience. What if she does?

Everybody seems to be cool with Vasugiri (and this was 90s). Parul's boyfriend is fine, Jytosna's husband removes him like appendix and forgets, Chuks is cool, Trupti is fine with Vasugiri too.. the whole plot is about this characteristics which has no internal or external challenge / resistence for the hunterrr to hunt.       

FACT – You have bored me a lot with your analysis. The film is as smooth as banana, no seed, no waste. Peel and eat. And see what pulp you have done. You will empathize with the characters if you have lived in hostel of an engineering college where only a few girls studied. Yes Engg colleges had a very bad sex ratio (10:1) till 2000. You might identify with depravation struck characters, their jargons, lingo, abbreviations and jokes. In peak of their youth, boys spend almost 12 hours a day in college, away from their families so lack of emotional mitigation, and then very few girls around. Likes of Samantha Fox staring from the walls make them just bananas all the way.  kiss
fact – Yes and a few shameless of them become Vasu, some lechers and beyond..devil

If you can look at the World from Mandar’s PoV (Two fingers making shape of Vagina) where women are the way men want them i.e. diffident & desperate, you will go bananas otherwise you may go nuts watching this film. indecision


   Sanjay Sharma

Critic who loves to appreciate.

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