Subhash K Jha reviews new Vikram Nhatt series Naked for IWMBuzz

Review of Naked: A corny homage to Basic Instinct 2

Naked (MX Player, 10 Episodes)

Directed by Anupam Santosh Saroj

Rating: * ½

Vikram Bhatt, the tireless soldier of spook and smut, is back, this time with a 10-episode thriller about a mysterious porn star Natasha (Suparna Krishna) who seems to live all alone in a paper-mansion, and a cop Suraj (Aryamann Seth) who grows so obsessed with her that he forgets his line of duty.

When an ever-smirking female colleague Sapna (Tithi Raaj) reminds Suraj that he’s crossing the line he reminds her to go fly a kite. Suraj and Sapna don’t like each other. He is into porn stars. She is into crime investigation. Opposites attract ennui.

Kites are not the kind of things that fly in this fly-by-night piece of delusional erotica where the desi porn star (I didn’t know India had porn stars, not counting a certain Ms Leone who is no longer one) thinks she is Sharon Stone. Or, so it seems, going by the number of times she crosses and uncrosses her legs looking for ways to seduce our hapless hero who, the horror of horrors, is all set to marry a nice homely Maharashtrian girl (Khusboo Atre) who prances around the hero’s parents pretending she is already their Bahu.

Back in the porn star’s mansion she waxes her legs as the cop stares.

The hero’s parents, curiously, are only seen only at the dining table. Surely they are as fed up as we are while plodding through a series that goes from unintentionally funny to seriously outrageous. There is a murder and the porn star is the prime suspect. Khaki hero would have none of this.

“Can’t you see she is innocent?” Suraj wants us to believe. He is soon getting some strange dreams about his mirror image asking where his chappals are. When in fact we should be asking where the scriptwriters’ attention is, the chappals be damned.

By episode eight we have the answer at last. Naked is about child abuse, and the effect that such violation of innocence has on adult life. I wouldn’t like to give away the film’s finale. But by the time the horny hero and the porny heroine got down to playing Russian Roulette in the last episode in this corny homage to Basic Instinct, I was laughing my head off.

Stilted performances, weird twists in the plot and amateurish editing….Naked with its provocative title, is not the least tantalizing. The love-making sequence is so clumsy I felt sorry for the lead players. They desperately need a crash course in the Kamasutra. Though inexperience is not peculiar to them. It runs through the entire team that has put together this trashy ‘whatyoumaycallit’.

I’ve seen better performances and suspense on Indian television’s CID. By the time Suraj after suffering nightmares tells his shrink, “Yeh sapne kuch kehna chahte hain.”

I begged for some such reassurance from the series. I am sure Naked bhi kuch kehna chahta hai. I am just not sure what that is.

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