Cast: Urvashi Rautela, Gautam Gulati, Archana Puran Singh
Director: Ajay Lohan
Virgin Bhanupriya has its heart in the right place and strikes a chord with its coming-of-age theme that seems relatable to an extent, but it falters in oversimplification of the idea of teenage romance and that disconnects us with the characters while contributing to its mediocrity.
The film is not a disguised sex comedy and functions more as family drama and satire set in a society that views sexual curiosity as scandal. Bhanupriya's (Urvashi Rautela) father Vijay (Rajiv Gupta) is a mere cutout of how a 'modern day father' should be. While constantly reiterating that he knows what his daughter is going through during her awakened years, he barely seems to actually make an effort to understand and empathise with her feminine side. May be that is the reason why his own relations with wife Madhu (Archana Puran Singh) hit rock bottom in the first place and how they are now just a bickering couple who stay separately and are even more emotionally distant from their daughter. Nevertheless, Vijay brings comic relief in scenes with the self indulgent nature of his character.
What works in favour of the movie is the buddy angle that plays out between Bhanu and her close friend Rukul (Rumana Molla). They are unafraid about what they want and will go to any lengths to get it. Erring is allowed because if men can, why can't women? Female characters are strong in their approach and demeanor and snatch the limelight, even in comedy scenes, as sexual innuendoes are passed here and there. Rajiv (Sumit Gulati) is a delightful character and the actor commands your attention with his understated playact.
Ajay Lohan's direction is acceptable and he toes the line between over-the-top and dialogic comedy with maturity. In his hands, the movie finds depth when it could have easily come across as a bouquet of offensive jokes. The four songs that drive the narrative forward are feel-good and blend well with the story and all in all provide entertainment that one will not mind in the least if they are on the lookout for Hindi content that is close to Bollywood treatment on OTT.
Urvashi has handled Bhanupriya with grace and looks convincing in the role of a demure girl on the lookout for adventures and experiences. Bhanu's emotional side is well explored in Urvashi's silences and she leaves space for interpretation of her character.
Watch Virgin Bhanupriya on ZEE5 if light-hearted comedy is your thing this weekend.