Hunter – Tootega Nahi, Todega Review: What’s It About:
A rogue former police officer (the audience is supposed to assume) is now a bounty hunter who kills, rescues, and traces people without questioning if offered a big paycheck. He finds himself trapped when he is named a culprit during an assignment, and the world is now running behind him. Oh, yes, he is also finding his stolen kidney in this mix. God bless our brain cells!
Hunter – Tootega Nahi, Todega Review: What Works:
The only thing that works in Hunter – Tootega Nahi, Todega (three extra words because the first is already under copyright, I guess), is that Suniel Shetty one fine day realised that he is still relevant, he has got the style, he has turned supremely hot so that he can grace our screens again. But what he chose to come back with is where it all went wrong without even a tiny chance of redemption.
The idea behind the action and the comics-inspired nature of it is highly cringe and borderline funny. But there is one sequence that genuinely works, and it has Shetty locked to a bed, and he fights a goon with the bed attached to him literally in a hospital. The only good visuals, apart from Suniel watching himself in the shower while a woman he had a hook-up with is standing right in front of him, but he treats her like a ghost. Self-appreciation level 100!
Hunter – Tootega Nahi, Todega Review: Star Performance:
Performances are secondary. Written by Amar Tipnis with the directors Prince Dhiman and Alok Batra, all the characters are literal stereotypes of every dimly lit Hollywood action movie you might have ever seen.
Suniel Shetty still has got the style and appeal very easily. But if you choose to introduce him on a boat sleeping naked right below the Bandra Worli sea link as a White bikini-clad woman walks past him to lift a bundle of cash and walk away, how are we supposed to take this stereotypical troop seriously? Also, where did the woman go? Did she choose to swim to the shore? Probably Bandstand. And the rest is only an add-on to how generic this character is about to be. The actor tries his best to make this work, but what can he do?
The rest get one-tone parts to play who don’t get anything to prove their calibre beyond what is written, because everything is that single-layered. Esha Deol plays a woman who has spent the majority of her life in a remote town but now suddenly knows martial arts, can hatch wild plans, and, worse, execute them better than an experienced bounty hunter. Barkha Bisht, while being the most dedicated actor on board, gets to play a stereotypical wife who is attacked on her husband’s behalf part.
Hunter – Tootega Nahi, Todega Review: What Doesn’t Work:
There is no problem in writing stories that are marinated in troops of the past; it all depends on how you serve the new product. Vasan Bala, Sriram Raghavan, and more are paying homage to the cinema of the yore with their work but not without adding their flavour to all of it. Hunter looks like a college assignment which is rehash of too many things so the teacher doesn’t catch plagiarism.
There is a lack of almost everything, and whatever is excessive just ends up ruining the show. For example, every single action sequence (and there are many) is shot with 200 different ideas. Videos games, comics, Martial art movies, every possible way. Now there is no unique vibe which connects you to this show. Add to it the fact that every sequence has an iconic song remixed and attached to it. And it is so loud that at one point, it feels like the sound designers are in revenge mode, and our ears are the victims.
Adapted from Saurabh Katyal’s novel The Invisible Woman, the screenplay is as predictable as possible, and when not, it is hilarious. You can see the culprit from far away, and you are not even paid, sad. And as for hilarious, the narrative shows how an organ harvester steals Suniel Shetty’s kidney, and he is left with just one, which is already rotten because of the drug abuse he has inflicted on himself. So now he has 3 days to find his good kidney and put it back on, or he will die. To the makers, this sounded serious; to us, there was no other option but to laugh.
Hunter is visualised sluggishly. The attention to detail goes for a toss. The sets look like sets and not lived-in spaces. Make-shift operation theatres are all dimly lit in red. They signify how all the bad things happen here. But who does surgeries in red light? Maybe that is why it was so easy even to defeat them because logic wasn’t their best skill. The editing department is playing an altogether a different game. They literally use collages of the stills from the scene you just saw as transition between two sequences.
We are not even emphasising how women are either motivation, or one-toned parts destined to die brutal deaths in this universe. Those conversations weren’t even a part of the writer’s room on Hunter, it seems.
Hunter – Tootega Nahi, Todega Review: Last Words:
Hunter – Tootega Nahi, Todega is stretched beyond repair, and no one can save the day in this mess. Everyone on the cast deserves better.