Chaman Bahaar (Netflix)

Starring Jitendra Kumar, Yogendra Tikku, Ritika Badiani

Directed by Apurva Dhar Badgaiyyan

Rating; * ½

Jitendra Kumar is fast becoming the on-screen face of backwater backwardness. Barely had we gotten over his last OTT outing Panchayat where he played a petty government official in the wilderness when now he shows up in another windswept counter-progressive town in Chattisgarh where he plays a paanwala ogling endlessly at a girl who moves into the house across the street.

Same to shame.

Don’t get him wrong. Billu is not a lecher. He is just one of the many worthless Romeos in the sleepy town-like village who have found a new way to entertain themselves by ogling at the new unattainable girl-woman (Ritika Badiani) who walks her dog on the godforsaken highway as though she were Urmila Matondkar in a whole town of Ram Gopal Varmas.

Chaman Bahaar is meant to be an excruciatingly funny take on mofussil mores and the lack of sexual experience in places where there is no socializing over the gender barrier. In truth, the sexual innocence that the director attempts to find in his callow unsophisticated hero is just a myth manufactured in the filmmaker’s head.

In reality it is very very dangerous to show an underage girl being gawked and stalked by drooling boorish bucolic loverboys who probably go home and watch porn.

Chaman Bahaar is a terribly misfired comedy. Lacking in a sense of moral rectitude it resorts to repetitive jokes and gags shared by boys in the changing room after a game of kabbaddi. The best thing to happen to our pathetic hero Billu is the cop who thrashes the living daylights of of his manhood reverie and demolishes his paan ki dukaan.

I almost cheered and got up to go home. Except that I was at home and there was nowhere to go. Chaman Bahaar feels like a trap.