IWMBuzz.com reviews the ZEE5 biopic on Sunny Leone, Karenjit Kaur – The Untold Story of Sunny Leone

Statuary warning: If you expect to see a sleaze and abuse fest like Sacred Games, think again. Instead, it is very clean. There were a few love-making scenes and references to “big sausage”, but that is expected, given that she is a porn star.

Love her or hate her, but you can’t ignore former adult star, Sunny Leone. The fact that she is the most googled Indian every year, just goes to show how sex-starved we desis are.

Sunny, born as Karenjit Kaur, became known in India post featuring in Bigg Boss. Since then, she has done a few films, but nothing earth-shattering on the desi Box Office.

Taking advantage of the latest biopic trend, Sunny now wants to have an image makeover with her new ZEE5 web series, Karenjit Kaur – The Untold Story of Sunny Leone, just as Sanjay Dutt did with the super hit film Sanju. A clean image will convince more big filmmakers to work with her.

The 10-part web series keeps going up and down in time, to explain various aspects of Karenjit’s life in Canada and the United States. One thing that we liked was that Sunny was bold enough to admit that whatever she did was out of her own choice. She was not abused as a child; rather, she had a normal Western, suburban childhood. She also admitted that money was what first pushed her to do her first shoot, and later encouraged her to keep going the whole hog.

Although Sunny has become better as an actor in Bollywood over the years, there is still a long way to go. Her expressions don’t really seem great. If someone really impressed us, it was Bijay Anand and Grusha Kapoor, who played Sunny’s Punjabi speaking parents. What natural acting! They brought out the required elements of loving parents who were shocked when they came to know what Karenjit does for a living. Despite being ostracized by society, they prefer to stand by their kin. The scene where Papaji decides to remove his turban for his family’s future was really emotional.

Grusha was spot on as the guilty, alcoholic mother. It is very tough for Indian women, even those living in the West, to admit that they are hooked to the bottle. One more scene which she did very well was when she boasted about her daughter’s money before relatives.

The girl who played the teenaged Karenjit, Rysa Saujani was quite good, courtesy her anger at not being able to wear the clothes of her choice, to accidently stumbling upon her parents’ porn video which made her belch.

Many young girls will identify with the scene where she was caught smooching a guy in the locker-room. Also, the following scene, where her father threatens to break the boy’s leg, brought a smile to our faces. The main aim was to show that Sunny was just another normal Indian-Yankee girl, who chose a different life path.

Being a porn star is not an easy crown to wear, especially if you are an Indian female. The reaction she got from her own community was extreme. Sunny did show great poise in handling the same. The icing on the cake was her husband’s quip that God alone can judge you. Her line- “while I have no qualms about what I do, but yes, I am sorry for hurting my parents”, was another well-written dialogue, aimed at making Sunny more acceptable to the masses.

Just how ignorant Indians are about sex was brought out when Sunny talks about orgasms in her radio interview, and her granny asks- what is that? The complete silence in the room to the above question was another telling comment on how cagey we are talking about this natural human urge.

The actor who plays Sunny’s brother, Karamvir Lamba was also good. Unlike most guys, he likes to cook. He understands where his sister comes from, even sells her autographed pics to make a quick buck. He also humps the firing PG. His best scene was towards the end, when he tells his sister that I can’t hate you despite being told to do otherwise by all….

The editing is slick; there was no disjoint as the narrative moved from one time to the other. All loose ends were tied up. The best thing we liked was that it did not have unnecessary moral hectoring. Sunny did use the series to get back at a popular news anchor who had not spoken well to her. He was made to look mean and anti-woman. Interestingly, there was no mention of Bigg Boss (Colors) which made her a known face, except in the titles. This was only expected as why would Zee talk about a rival network’s property?

This series made by Fresh Lime Films and Namah Edge is indeed a good watch!!

We at IWMBuzz.com credit Karenjit Kaur 3 out of 5 stars.

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