Director: Harshvardhan Kulkarni
Cast: Gulshan Deviah, Radhika Apte, Sai Tamhankar, Veera Saxena
Watching Hunterrr expanded my vocabulary. I had never heard the term vaasugiri before. Vaasugiri means vaas lena or to sniff. Our hero, Mandar Ponkshe (Devaiah), is a vaasu, which means he’s an expert at sniffing out sex. He’s the hunter in the title.
In interviews, debutant director Harshavardhan Kulkarni has strenuously objected to his film being called a sex comedy, but I was hoping that Hunterrr with the extra ‘r’s would redefine the genre.
Hunterrr has layers and a depth that those films didn’t even aspire to. But ultimately Harshavardhan, fritters away the opportunity. The dialogue is crackling. The performances are solid. But the screenplay soon becomes repetitive and one-note — we see Mandar stalking and scoring again and again. In places, Hunterrr is just uncomfortable; it’s icky to see adolescent boys brushing against a middle-aged woman in a market. All women have experiences like this and there’s nothing funny about it.
What I did enjoy were the performances by Gulshan and Radhika Apte, who plays Trupti, Mandar’s leading love interest. Mandar is a class-A jerk and yet Gulshan makes him likeable and funny. There are moments here when you actually feel sorry for Mandar, which is no mean achievement. Radhika, who was so good in Badlapur, has a lovely, natural charm that lifts the film. But only up to a point.
Hunterrr runs for 141 minutes and feels even longer. That’s just way too much time to spend on the life and emotions of a lech.