Raunchy or puerile, or a deep-dive into a man’s psyche? Whichever side of the divide you choose to stand, here’s a different take on Harshwardhan Kulkarni’s Hunterrr, released on Friday.
The film’s three-phase story begins with a teenage kid exploring sexual pleasures for the first time through some hidden experiences. He grows into a young man and his ‘need’ becomes even more urgent, soon locking himself in an amateur affair. In the third phase, with the fire still simmering, and years of mature freedom only stoking it, he lands finds himself in another intense relationship, heading towards an emotional finale.
Hunterrr’s basic premise, and its core subject, reminds us of a cult Hindi classic film that also dealt with an emotional biographical account of a loving soul craving for togetherness, and three beautiful ladies in the various phases of his lonely life. We are referring to Raj Kapoor’s Mera Naam Joker, released in 1970.
There is, however, one big difference between the contrasting visions of the two eras: what was love then is today replaced with sex, emotionally trustworthy affairs giving way to careless one-night stands today!
Mera Naam Joker remained completely focused on heartfelt emotions, trust and love, including giving us a critically acclaimed insightful depiction of adolescence, considered a benchmark achievement in Indian cinema even today.
(Rishi Kapoor in Mera Naam Joker)
Interestingly, revolving around the life of a sex maniac and his encounters (sexual) with three women (out of many), Hunterrr exactly follows the same path as Mera Naam Joker, but on a visibly much lower level, relating its every single sequence with just sex and lust instead of love.
Following a similar vision, it also begins with good 30 minutes devoted to the kids and their first sexual experiences that are enjoyable to watch. But the vision Raj Kapoor displayed in his epic timeless creation, unarguably remains miles ahead having a deep psychological impact on the viewers of all age groups even today (after more than four decades). Moreover, just like Mera Jaam Joker, the most appreciable part of Hunterrr too remains its opening section only dealing with adolescents.
However, the two films are not being discussed here in comparative terms at all in any manner. But they are being quoted together just to portray the similarities in concept and the vast differences in the vision within the two eras wherein probably we are fast losing the ability of feeling (valuing) selfless love to the timely acts of sex and mere bodily pleasures.
In other words, even after four decades, our cinema is still selling the same story of a man and three beautiful girls in his life, but now we need sex in place of love, or titles like ‘hunter’ in place of ‘lover’ to make and sell our films in the market. Unfortunate or the demands of the market, we leave the decision to you.
(Bobby Sing writes for bobbytalkscinema.com)