Starring: Shashank Arora, Sid Mallya, Tanmay Dhanania
Directed by: Qaushik Mukherjee
Warning: Some comments ahead may only be suitable for horny adolescents who have just discovered pleasure in apipehole
It cums…oops, here it is that word…as no surprise to know that this film about a Bang…Bangalorian Brahminboy’s discovery of sex, is from the director who gave us the highly controversial….ummm… Gaandu.
I didn’t see that(sorry,can’t repeat the title ). Imagine asking my editors, ‘May I send you a review of …errr…Gaandu?’
Rather distressingly embarrassing, no? If discomfort is the mainstay of a certain genre of cinema, then carry on .Do see Brahman Naman about an inescapably over-sexed man-boy all tied up in his Brahmanical sacred thread ,and his three equally libido-challenged friends.All portraits of orgasmic desperation they are shown spending their time leering, ogling, salivating and humping imaginary sexual objects. And if there is nothing around to hump they just mock-hump each other on the street.
Didn’t I mention? This is conservative Bangalore in the 1980s .So while Naman(Shashank Arora from the very intensely authentic Titli) finds ways to manifest his sexual desires in the weirdest of places, the elders frown, curse, rant and tear their meager hair in frustration. In-between bouts of auto-eroticism there is a plot about a quiz team from Bangalore travelling to Kolkata and meeting some fiercely feisty girls on the train who smoke and use the ‘f’ word with a casualness that defiantly defines the director’s 1980s’ more and values.
This is the coming-of-age drama that, apparently, we’ve all been holding our breaths and loins for,though we didn’t know we were waiting for it. That unabashed celebration of post-pubescent sexuality which is not afraid of the censor board. Released on the internet Brahman Naman derives a strange patently perverse pleasure in recording the energetic innovative erotic overtures of its protagonists.
Just think if Farhan Akhtar had made ‘Dick’ Chahta Hai . Or the story of Rohan’s growing-up years in Udaan was all done on a maturbatory canvas….Brahman Naman opens with Naman masturbating into a refrigerator and closes with his rigid penis floating freely in a fish tank.
Like I said, the squeamish may kindly refer to less graphic coming-of-age classics namely Dil Chahta Hai andUdaan. In Brahman Naman perversion is a password to glory at film festivals. Shashank Arora who played the Delhi boy in desperate need of escape from his family’s crimes in Titli is here constricted by camera movements that insist on capturing his face as cartoonish contortions. The point being, I suspect, the sharply wonky world of teen arousal as seen through the eyes of a sexual contortionist.
In Brahman Naman the director, known for his emphatic iconoclasm, grabs his teenager hero by his horns and plunges us so deep into his sexual perversions that the line dividing our sensibilities from those of the protagonists are ridiculed, quickly disregarded dissolved dispelled .While the women are being brazenly objectified by Namanand his pals we are treated to camera angles that would pose a serious threat to the lascivious frames of Malayalam porn films.
Argue as we might that this is the avant garde director’s stab at neo-voyeurism , designed to take us into the post-adolescent male gaze without the restrictions that mainstream filmmakers impose on their depictions of sexual awakening ,the fact remains that much of Brahman Naman is too puerile and callow to be taken seriously.
This quirky-going-into-corny-going-into-horny film sets out to be Fellini’s Amarcord but ends up American Piewithout the pie.
But not to worry .There is the refrigerator and a fish pond to serve as the director’s freewheeling humping ground.