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Mr Bachelor review: Much ado about virginity in Darling Krishna’s latest film

The film’s narrative feels like two movies rolled into one

2/5rating
Mr Bachelor review: Much ado about virginity in Darling Krishna’s latest film
Darling Krishna in a still from the film
  • Prathibha Joy

Last Updated: 10.57 AM, Jan 06, 2023

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Story: Software professional Karthik’s (Darling Krishna) childhood dream is to get married and find wedded bliss, based on some misguided fantasy that every day is like a festival once one gets married. But finding his soulmate proves to be far more difficult than he reckons. Turns out, there is a curse on Karthik’s family (which skipped one generation) and now he can find his happily-ever-after only if he marries the 31st girl he sees. Should he fail to get her onboard, it’ a life of bachelorhood that stares him in the face.

Girl number 31, though, has a condition – she will not marry a virgin and wants an experienced man. Can die-hard romantic Karthik achieve this ‘target’?

Review: Darling Krishna’s latest, Mr Bachelor, literally feels like two films rolled into one. It starts as a sex comedy in the first half, with Krishna, as Karthik, on a mission to lose his virginity. Aiding him in this journey are his two pals – Giri (Giri Shivanna) and Chikka (Chikkanna). From an NRI looking to making a pornographic video for her website with Karthik, to a commercial sex worker too old for him, another reeking of betel leaves, and a young one, who appears to be forced into the trade, he has quite a few unsuccessful encounters.He has so much time on hand that his single-focus is in having sex, than ever stepping into office. If I heard correct, he says he works for Infosys. 

While still trying to figure out how to get some sexual experience, Karthik meets Pallavi (Nimika Ratnakar), who shares the same name as girl number 31. His friends convince him to befriend her and achieve his goal, but somewhere along the way, he falls in love with her. When he then decides to come clean to her, things take a turn. And the second half becomes about Karthik having to prove that he’s still a virgin. Sigh!

It seems that director Naidu Bandaarru thought that this will make up for all the casual sex jokes of the first half. The dichotomy here is glaring – one half of seeing women as nothing more than commodities, to the other with the hero turning saviour for a bunch of girls being trafficked into the sex trade. No amount of white-washing the hero and having him sermonize at the end can make up for that first half, me thinks.

For someone who has seen his fair share of failure in his career, one would expect Darling Krishna to show more discretion in picking projects to keep up the good will and renewed marketability he found with Love Mocktail. So far, every film he’s done since then has not only failed to make a mark at the box office, but also followed a set routine – light-hearted romantic comedies that offer pretty much nothing new. Hopefully, in time for when he runs out of steam doing these roles, he will look at pushing his stock up again with another directorial, much like he did after Love Mocktail with Love Mocktail 2.

In Mr Bachelor, Krishna has just the one romantic interest, although two are teased at one point, and Nimika Ratnakar makes a fairly decent impression as Pallavi. Giri Shivanna does what’s expected of him in the role, even though much of it is quite inappropriate. Chikkanna doesn’t get as much screen time – either the actor was too expensive for the team, or his date schedule didn’t match, because he doesn’t make it to the second half and is replaced by a new friend in Karthik’s life. Thankfully, Sadhu Kokila’s screen time is also limited, but even those few moments he gets have sexual tones.

Verdict: In an earlier interview, Darling Krishna said that he chooses to do romantic comedies because they have repeat value, unlike thrillers. If you were to take Love Mocktail and its sequel out of the equation, how many of his other films even warranted a decent first-viewing? Mr Bachelor did not work for me and does not make it to recommended viewing. Should you still want to see it, well, it should soon be on TV or OTT, as the rights have been sold.

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