Review – One Night Stand | Sunny Leone | Eye and not heavy on the heart

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One Night Stand has poor acting, and is ineptly visualised and executed. Sadly, even the sex scenes are insipid and over-the-top. Despite the name and the poster, One Night Stand is not about Sunny’s sexcapades. The film revolves around a most despicable fellow, one Urvil (Tanuj Virwani) – an all-star event manager, serial philanderer and clumsy jogger. Urvil spends a night with Celina (Sunny) in Phuket to win a bet. But unlike his usual affairs, Celina stays with him and he keeps fantasising about her, even when he is with his wife. When he runs into Celina back home in Pune, he becomes obsessed with her. Both Urvil and Celina lied during their Phuket dalliance, but he only blames the women in his life for his ever mounting problems.

The plot unfolds partly as a thriller and more prominently as a drama of disintegrating domesticity.

The director keeps a confident hold over her three characters even as two of them lose grip over their emotions. There are some unexpected twists in the second half. Not all of these surprises work.

While Tanuj Virwani does his greyish role of a man who can’t take no for an answer, sure-handedly, the film clearly belongs to the two women.

Newcomer Nyra Banerjee as Simran, the philandering husband’s devoted sweet and innocent wife, is a pleasant surprise. She makes her presence felt although the focus is clearly on Sunny.

The director avoids the cliches of triangular dramas about extra-marital relations. The two female protagonists are painted neither black or white. Throughout, the film conveys the bright yet restrained colours of hope and desire. For this, part of the credit must go to cinematographer Rakesh Singh.

“One Night Stand” is easy on the eye and not heavy on the heart despite the dramatic potential of the plot. This is an erotic emotional excursion that makes me curious to see what the debutant director would attempt next. Hopefully a companion film about a female stalker who won’t take no for an answer.

Sunny Leone struggles to emote while Tanuj Virwani contorts his face constantly. The smaller characters in the film are even worse. The music is supremely forgettable. The only silver lining is the film’s theme. Urvil’s male entitlement and hypocrisy could have been a mirror held up to many of us. But the script fails itself, especially towards the end. Instead of letting the story unfold through its characters, we hear a long moralising sermon from Celine.