Brahman Naman is this weekend’s big release (considering Sultan came out midweek) globally in theatres and, for the first time in Bollywood history, on Netflix.
Brahman Naman is a sex comedy featuring three teens belonging Brahmin families in Bangalore, mid 80s. They are extremely knowledgable, have all the brains, all the alcohol but not a scent of the thing they crave most – sex!
Bollywood in sex comedies
Bollywood’s only foray into adult movies is in the sex comedy genre. And even there, they haven’t done much good work. The best ones would be – Hunterr, Mirchi, Anubhav, Masti, Kya Kool Hai Hum and pretty much the list ends there. All this achieved over three decades of efforts.
Brahman Naman is directed by Qaushiq Mukherjee a.k.a. Q, whose debut Bengali film Gaandu was a shocker and probably a milestone in Indian cinema. A boy stealing money from a contractor’s wallet in the same room where the contractor is humping the protagonist’s mom, took boldness in cinema to new levels.
Q has liberally used ‘shock’ as the main theme of Brahman Naman. In the opening scene, Naman (played by a super talented Shashank Arora), is found masturbating, banging the door of a 1980s Kelvinator refrigerator.
Later in the movie, he is using a bamboo funnel attached to his manhood and a string connecting the funnel to the ceiling fan, to help aid his fantasies. If the above isn’t enough, then the tasteless tool dip into an aquarium (to fantasize) scene, stays longer in the mind, for all the wrong reasons.
Am not sure if way back in 80s, teens were that adventurous in their masturbation techniques or could dare use a high end DSLR camera to click underwear view of girls or genitals of guys. So naturally, the movie has inconsistencies, although efforts have been put on the 80s settings.
Specially brilliant is the train sequence – starting from looking in the sleeper class chart if any female is sitting next to our boys to when the train is halted for 12 hrs (you guessed it .. Bengal bandh!). Entire train sequence takes mind back to our childhood days.
Indian teens reality 80s-00s
What can’t be argued is the constant greed for sex in an Indian teen’s mind back then. If someone told you an Indian always has sex in his mind, it’s correct. An overburdening population hasn’t helped. Conservative families with girls hidden or covered most of their lives, hasn’t helped. Lack of entertainment or exposure in 80s-90s, didn’t help.
To cite an example, in my engineering college, the boys to girls count was 300-30. Considering not everyone of the 30 would fall in ‘desirable’ category, the 300 of all four batches (that’s makes 1200 boys) would lech at the barely 20 odd girls! One such lady came to know in the fourth (and final) year that, way back in first year, four guys had a major physical fight over who would woo her. In the subsequent years, none of them actually ever had the guts to speak to her!
Boys can relate with their teenhood
Brahman Naman’s showcase of such boys – saliva dripping mouths, drooling eyes, constant gazing at thin legs, discomfort with virginity and the constant focus on who can ‘give’ them, if ever – is well showcased.
I could relate my teen years with the movie. I could also relate why, as of today, many of my friends are leading absolute henpecked lives – cause they spent their lifetime, unsuccessfully, searching for sex. And now want to cling on to the only lady (Wife) who has come close to them.
The dialogues and sexual acts (a man getting blown by a street prostitute in same car where two teens are sitting) have shock factor to the extent that your giggles go away. Also with the slow pace and much of sameness repeated. It seems Q, in a bid to constantly shock audiences, ends up with a product which is focussing only on shock and perverseness, than on the plot.
And there is a plot. The teen students, win a school quiz competition and need to represent their school at a national competition at Calcutta. They leave for the east in hope their lifelong desires go north. But do they? I watched the movie over two sittings on Netflix – that in itself says something about strength and depth of content.
Q’s Gandu had tremendous repeat viewing value – I have seen it thrice. But Brahman Naman has too many wasteful scenes (green salad scene, aquarium masturbation scene, Naman rubbing his body against a friend on crutches scenes to spot a few) which divert from the narrative and slacken the movie. The illogical climax doesn’t help and you wish the quiz scenes had more depth and time given. Just Shashank Arora getting up and ‘hi-five-ing’ gives the goose bumps to root for him.
In short, this is an opportunity missed. The background and theme was perfect. The series of shocks gave freshness but in a bit to be too weird there are essential components missing. There’s no depth in characterisation, the plot is wafer thin and many of the subtle messages get lost amidst the weirdness.
Another minor shock was seeing a much slimmer Siddharth Mallya, play a cameo in this movie – you guessed it, of a rich brat’s son!
Rating : 2.5/5 (decent watch for teens and ‘well past teens’ guys)