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Manku Bhai Foxy Rani review: Bigg Boss Kannada 9 winner Roopesh Shetty’s film is a torture to watch

The 2019 film was delayed by the pandemic and subsequently released immediately after Roopesh won the popular reality show, to capitalize on his new fan following.

Manku Bhai Foxy Rani review: Bigg Boss Kannada 9 winner Roopesh Shetty’s film is a torture to watch
Roopesh Shetty in a still from the film
  • Prathibha Joy

Last Updated: 01.04 PM, Jan 13, 2023

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Story: Rajesh (Roopesh Shetty), is a 26-year-old simpleton, who lives with his father in a village in Mangaluru. The duo are small-time agriculturists, while Rajesh also works with a Yakshagana troupe, playing a minor role of a lion. His life revolves around his gang of friends, including Balu (Arjun Kaje), but when each of them gets busy with a special someone in their lives, Rajesh feels ignored and decides to spice up his life too. The once too-shy-to-talk to women Rajesh, then tries to find a soulmate, but is spurned by most of the girls he meets. As a last ditch effort, he seeks companionship on social media, and finds Rani, who might just be his dream girl after all. But then, she may not be who he thinks she is.

Review: Manku Bhai Foxy Rani is a film that Roopesh Shetty did way back in 2019, when he was still struggling to establish himself as an actor, both in Kannada and Tulu movies. In fact, it was even before his directorial Girgit that made him a star in the Tulu belt, which should explain why he took up this film and even took off his much-loved beard for the role. Delayed by the pandemic, Manku Bhai Foxy Rani was in waiting even longer, as the team decided to see how Roopesh would fare on Bigg Boss Kannada 9, given that he won the OTT season. As the eventual victor, Roopesh has a new-found fan following, which the team of Manku Bhai Foxy Rani is, perhaps, hoping will watch the film in theatres. The sincere wish one has is that they don’t. This is not the welcome Roopesh deserves fresh off of his stint in the Bigg Boss Kannada house.

Last week, when the trailer of the film came out, Roopesh admitted that he’d hoped it had been released in theatres while he was on the show. As a film he did in 2019, he urged audiences not to expect the Roopesh they saw in the Bigg Boss house; yet he did his due diligence to promote Manku Bhai Foxy Rani. The team had promised a love story with a difference, featuring a regular sized hero and an overweight heroine Priya (Geetha Bharathi Bhat). This love story unfolds in the last 30-40 minutes of the film, with everything until then adding pretty much nothing to the narrative. Had this been about an innocent young man genuinely falling for an overweight girl and only seeing the good in her, this would have been content that ought to be lauded. Instead, he is conned, like most typical Facebook scams, with images of a pretty girl, only to then find out that Priya has been pretending to be Rani (Panchami Rao). Of course, he is devastated, but eventually comes around and agrees to marry Priya, provided she starts hitting the gym immediately. The number of times she is called ‘fat’ is not funny. That’s not all. There’s more to the ‘Case of conning gullible Rajesh’. But I am not going to bore you with those details.

Verdict: Manku Bhai Foxy Rani should not have been released; at best it should have gone to OTT. Ideally, this should not have been a full-length feature film. A 20-minute short would have sufficed to convey whatever they were trying to. I’ve had the misfortune of watching it, you don’t have to.