Omar Lulu must have had a great time explaining his film’s plot to his cast members. To the bunch of young actors in the film, he must have told, “Act natural. Be your perverted best. When you see a woman, try to grab her. Lech, ogle, drool.” For the women in the film, he must have had just a one-line cue, “Be sexy and hot.”
Omar’s Chunkzz is arguably one of the most obnoxious Malayalam movies to hit the screens in this decade.
The sleaze that it stages is underwhelming for the standards of an adult comedy, and worse, the film comes with a clean U certificate awarded by the censor board.
Whether you like it or not, Chunkzz is garnering cheers, hoots and laughs in movie halls across Kerala. The prime audience of the film are the state’s college-going young crowd. One of the instances where the audience response is the loudest is where the young men in the film ring up a former girl friend of one of them, to take revenge. They innocuously ask the girl, a junior pharmacist, if her medical store had condom, sanitary napkin and baby diapers. If condom and sanitary napkin are objects of youth fantasies in 2017, there is something very wrong about our society. Or if that phone call in the scene is a veiled rape threat, the danger is even more serious.
Minutes into the film, the lead characters — college students of 20 years and below — ask their professor if he liked female navel, throwing a suggestive glance at a young female teacher seated beside him. A little further into the film, a classroom full of young boys are seen drooling over a lady teacher’s bosom and midriff. This is followed by a song sequence where the young men are lamenting the absence of female students in their batch.
Sexual curiosity and sexuality of adolescents has been the subject of many wonderful movies across the world. But in Chunkzz, there is no decent plot that makes this sleaze-fest look reasonable. Plot is an excuse, and the film’s focus is entirely on the cheap laughs that situations as these offer. The reactions of the women characters aren’t normal by any measure. They happily play along with the jokes that the men crack on their expense. This is Omar’s universe where even Clockwork Orange’s Alex could be a funny guy with a libido problem.
Honey Rose has been cast in a role no actress in a film industry deserves to be punished with. She is Riya, a rich fair-skinned girl, who joins the mechanical engineering department in a college where sexually deprived young men are having a free run. The boys look at her as if she is a piece of delicious meat, and the camera gorges on her body. The day she lands in the college, a classmate of hers publicly announces in the canteen that she is quite a ‘charakku‘ (ware), a Malayali pervert’s favourite synonym for women.
In Chunkzz, moments as these are not used as a social commentary, but as fodder for comic scenes. At an age when a steady serious discourse on sexism and feminism is running on media, Omar’s film confidently uses tropes such as Pulsar Suni, homosexuality, misogyny and rape to make the young audience laugh.
Is Riya capable of making decisions, or forming opinions on anything — we never know. At one point, she comes to know that her childhood friend, a guy who is now her classmate, had been boasting to his friends that Riya was his sexual partner. “We do sex three times a day,” he had told his friends, and to corroborate it, he’d sent half-naked selfies with Riya, who is sleeping on her bed oblivious to the presence of this man. The first thing that she utters, after coming to know of the lies that this guy had been piling up, is, “I love him!”
Isn’t this the film that Pahlaj Nihalani had been talking about, which depicts ‘fantasy above life’?
When Riya rejects the romantic proposal of Romario (Balu) for reasons such as his dark skin tone, he and his friends vehemently dance to a song that has lyrics that ask some pertinent questions like “don’t guys who aren’t handsome and fair skinned deserve to be loved.” Irony dies here because some scenes ago, one of these guys had body-shamed a girl, called her ugly, for interfering in a flirtatious conversation he had been having with her fair-skinned friend.
In other departments, Gopi Sunder’s songs can bleed your eardrums. Alby’s camerawork is flashy and mediocre.
Chunkzz is a terrible movie, devoid of any aesthetics that make a good cinema. It doesn’t display any sensibility or intelligence that makes up for the lack of cinematic values. It underestimates human intellect, and reduces commercial cinema to a mindless show of vulgarity, with eyes set on box-office. If movies were people, Chunkzz is that person the society would rather keep imprisoned forever.
The Chunkzz review is a Silverscreen original article. It was not paid for or commissioned by anyone associated with the movie.