- BOTTOM LINE: An Erotic Comedy That Loses Its Spunk Quickly
|Platform: ZEE5||Genre: Adult/Comedy|
What Is the Story About?
Set amid the backdrop of Varanasi, Virgin Bhasskar takes you through the life of Bhasskar Tripathi, a popular erotic novelist, a virgin who weaves his stories more out of his imaginative skill than personal experience. His world is completed by his perverted friends Mishra and Rohan, notorious for their ogling and sexual escapades. What happens when Bhasskar finds the love of his life (Vidhi Pandey) and doesn’t reveal his ‘erotic novelist’ side to her? What does he do when he has a writer’s block? The coming of age story, modelled on the lines of Mastram, is a half-baked farce that doesn’t have any conviction about what it’s trying to say.
Anant Joshi is an apt choice to play the lead role as Bhasskar. There’s something very innocent and clean about his demeanour, beneath the ambiguous side to his character. He seems to have a knack for comedy and shares good camaraderie with his on-screen buddies Dhirendra Kumar Tiwari and Himanshu Arora. The latter duo has a comfortable screen presence. Rutpanna Aishwarya as the protagonist’s love interest shows some spunk as long as she lasts. She portrays an enthusiasm that rubs onto the role quite well. The other supporting actors are a handful.
Web series is a young medium that has become the norm of the day because of the variety it offers to the viewers and the freedom it gives for filmmakers to tell newer and braver stories by the day, while not necessarily pandering the content to a certain target audience. Virgin Bhasskar tries hard to straddle two worlds in a single series with little success. In the initial half, it’s a full-fledged adult comedy where the farcical, partially erotic situations ensure a few laughs. The latter part of the series suddenly turns into a family entertainer and even begins to deliver social messages about repressed sexual desires of both genders.
As long as the series sticks to the unfulfilled sexual desires of its protagonist and his attempts to hide his notorious side from her girlfriend, Virgin Bhasskar is unabashedly entertaining. The sequences where Bhasskar is bothered by his adult magazine editor about deadlines and the protagonist reimagines the context of his friend Rohan’s sexual escapades in his novels show glimpses of some quirky writing. Though it doesn’t deliver any fireworks in the earlier portions, there’s considerable hope about the series’ entertainment quotient – until the adult comedy makes way for an exaggerated family drama.
There’s unnecessary humdrum about the breakup of Bhasskar and his girlfriend and the plot takes weirder turns when a love triangle is introduced. The series loses all its spunk in the later episodes. Ironically, even though there’s a sequence similar to Lust Stories where a woman says it’s natural to have desires to explore one’s sexuality regardless of gender, the series is filled with sequences where the male characters are shamed for their sexual desires. There’s a girl who even suggests that all men are ‘creeps’. Upon the advice of his parents, the protagonist also transforms into a ‘regular’ novelist who writes supposedly ‘sanitised’ stories. What exactly was the point of the story then?
Virgin Bhasskar is a lesson for aspiring directors about how not to compromise with conviction and consistency in storytelling. It isn’t clear about what it wants to be and doesn’t go all guns blazing. The setting of Varanasi in a story about eroticism and love makes for an interesting choice, but the makers just don’t know how to capitalise on the same. In a rush for churning out series every month, content creators are settling for convenient compromises that are neither helping their cause nor that of the entertainment industry.
Music and Other Departments?
The music in the series doesn’t contribute much to the story and could have been more flavourful in the context of its quirky situations. The dialogues are interesting only in parts, while the editing in the later portions of the series could have been sharper. The cinematography captures the length and breadth of Varanasi in captivating detail and mostly functions in the best interests of the story.
The Varanasi backdrop
Anant Joshi’s performance
Inconsistent character graph
Lengthy beyond necessity
Did I Enjoy It?
Will You Recommend It?
Virgin Bhaskar Review by Srivathsan Nadadhur
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