Series: Hunter: Tootega Nahi, Todega
Director: Alok Batra, Prince Dhiman
Platform: Amazon miniTV
Star cast: Suniel Shetty, Esha Deol, Rahul Dev, Barkha Bisht, Karanvir Sharma, Mihir Ahuja, Siddharth Kher, Gargi Sawant
Bollywood Bubble Ratings: 3/5 stars
Suniel Shetty starrer Hunter Review:
Suniel Shetty’s appeal seems to be increasing with age and that’s what Hunter counts and cashes on. The 8-episode series is a full on Suniel Shetty show. The actor gets to go rogue and be unabashedly brooding and full of swag and he pulls it off with utmost aplomb. He is a part of more than 90 percent of the frames and in each one, you can’t pull your eyes off him, that is his charm.
Suniel started off his career as an action hero and it’s great to see him back at it. He is still as agile on screen and looks way cooler now than in the 90s. Hunter fully utilises that facet of his and that is what the USP of the show is as well.
Hunter is based on the novel The Invisible Woman. The story is a thriller about a organ harvesting crime syndicate taking place in Mumbai and how Suniel’s ACP Vikram gets embroiled in it. The plot isn’t as gripping as I would have liked it to be but Suniel won’t let you leave without having you witness his whole roller coaster of a journey.
Apart from him, Esha Deol is back in action as well and the two of them look like a deadly team on screen. The metallica versions of popular retro tracks like Yahoo, Dum Maaro Dum, Jeena Yahaan Marna Yahaan and many others during the fight scenes just increase the excitement around them.
Action is the biggest selling point for Hunter after Suniel and in most parts, it doesn’t disappoint. As per the trend nowadays, the climax sets up for a season 2, and the last 2 minutes actually are quite thrilling. A surprise cameo makes it all the more worthwhile, and if you are observant enough, you will catch a glimpse of it in the trailer as well.
While the show is entertaining, it has its drawbacks as well. The picturisation, especially in the first few episodes, looks a bit amateurish. The use of green screen in most of the scenes on road is quite visible and in 2023, I expect much much better with so much VFX at disposal.
The plot is also not as gripping and it all rides on Suniel’s shoulder. The actor carries that responsibility well but after a point, I wanted more from the story as well. There were no high points as such in the story. It moved on a consistent path mostly. The performances of most of the cast also seemed unconvincing at many points.
Although the action is Hunter’s plus point, in the initial episodes, the fights seem too choreographed to be taken seriously. Mostly, the series felt technically a few years behind than the time it released.
ACP Vikram is a rogue cop who unofficially also finds missing people for a price. He doesn’t follow rules and makes his own. But one day, he gets framed for a murder. As he embarks on a journey to find the truth, his past catches up to him and he gets deeper and deeper in trouble with multiple people behind his life.
Suniel Shetty, as I said before, is the star of the show. The whole show revolves and rests on him and he pulls it off with panache. He seems free in the show and his swag is just on another level. And let me say, Suniel has just gotten hotter by the day and it shows in the series as well. My eyes were glued on him in every frame he was in and he commands your attention.
Esha Deol as Divya seems convincing in parts. It was great to see her back on screen but in some parts, especially during the emotional scenes, I felt a little disconnected from her. Although, she shines in the action scenes. There is one scene where she has to hit a girl in the initial episodes, and the rage with which she does it, seems so authentic. Maybe its time for Esha to do more action as it does suit her.
Rahul Dev plays Inspector Hooda, Suniel’s colleague who is at odds with him. He is looking to grab every opportunity to pull Vikram down, and he plays his part of the antagonist to the T. Although his Haryanvi accent seems forced. I would have loved to see him be more natural as he has the aura to pull off the role he was given.
Karanvir Sharma gave one of the most effective performances in the series. He is shown as a loyal prodigy to Vikram and he fits his part. There is a subtlety and restraint in his portrayal, but also the courage and bravery in scenes that require it. I just hated how his character arc ended in the last episode. I need more closure for him.
Barkha Bisht is a natural on screen. She doesn’t get a lot of screen time through the 8 episodes but wherever she is there, she shines. Her innocence and charm pulls you in. And there is a rawness in her that makes her one of the most relatable characters.
Mihir Ahuja as the hacker Sid also deserves a special mention. I have seen this boy since the show MOM where he played Sakshi Tanwar’s son. He has a certain appeal to him that makes you curious. I am sure with The Archies, he will get wider recognition. His equation with Pallavi aka Gargi Sawant forms for one of the freshest arcs on the show.
The direction is where I feel the series falters a little. The vision of the show is a little amateur for today’s time. With so much advancements out there, the makers seemed to have made very little use of it. The screenplay suffers because of it. There is an high-octane car chase sequence in one of the later episodes and when you get a long frame of it, you realise at the first instance that it is an animation. The use of green screen irked me a lot and it is used also A LOT. If it hadn’t been Suniel’s persona, the series would have suffered because of the shoddy work in this area.
Overall, Hunter is a good one-time watch. I’ll sum up Hunter review by saying that if you are a Suniel Shetty fan, this series is the thing for you. It’s all about Suniel and his action prowess. The series could have been a lot better but it still holds its head high just because of the actor.
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