Film: 4 More Shots Please (Amazon Series)
Cast: Kirti Kulhari, Sayani Gupta, Maanvi Gagroo, Gurbani, Lisa Ray, Amrita Puri, Milind Soman, Neil Bhoopalan
Writer: Devaki Pandit
Director: Anu Menon
Rating: 3 and a half stars
There’s something sexily seductive about a webseries that stars only goodlooking sassy women grappling with problems related to their heart and, ahem, vagina. What happened to all the not-so-goodlooking women? Are they shooting for Ekta Kapoor’s tv serials? In one of the 10 episodes of “4 More Shots Please” we have all the four chic protagonists, sitting together at the seaside shouting out the various slang that are synonymous to ‘vagina’.
Needless to say we won’t get this level of sexual frankness in our movies. No, not even in “Veera Di Wedding”, which was an unabashed celebration of sisterhood. But did the four friends discuss masturbation and the size of men’s penis? They do in this series. Deal with it.
Whether we actually want this level of frankness is entirely our choice. But the four spunky bright actresses sure add a spark to their spiked dialogues as they throw off their high heels, get off the high horse for some serious fun. The very talented and beautiful Kirti Kulhari plays Anjana, who self-admittedly hasn’t had sex since her daughter, now four, was born. She talks to her vagina and, surprise, the vagina talks back. Monologues be damned.
Intelligently attractive Sayani Gupta is Damini a no-holds-barred investigative journalist who has the hots for the friendly bartender(Prateik Babbar, suitably beefy and affable) and for the neighbourhood autumnal sex symbol (Milind Soman who looks a bit lost). There is also a dog in Damini’s life that needs serious attention. Since Maanvi Gagroo is an overweight actress her character Siddhi is battling weight issues and her overbearing but beautiful mother(Simone Singh)’s constant attempts to get her married.
This track could have done with a bit more push and heft. It seems somewhat flat in comparison with the rest of the provocative proceedings. The most interesting of the four protagonists is Umang (VJ Gurbani) ,a lately-uncloseted bi-sexual who flees her conservative Punjabi home to a red-hot smouldering attraction to an aging but still-sexy actress (Lisa Ray, every bit the femme fatale). All the four actresses get into the mood of the thing, immerse themselves into preying on rather than playing their characters, enjoying every morsel of the delectable writing (Devaki Pandit, take a bow), juicing every dramatic and comic scene with a relish that replicates the closing moments of sexual intercourse.
The bonding among the four friends seems credible not because they swear by one another, but because they often sweat at one another. Close friendships are not just about sugar and honey. They can get bitter and ugly, as it often does among the quartet here, played with unpunctuated breathless yet breezy expertise. Ladies, you rock! The supporting cast is also very attractive. An actor like Neil Bhoopalam knows how to create space for himself. No character serves the purpose of a space filler.
The episodes move at a taut but fluent pace whipping up a lather of luscious emotions, all fairly pleasant but not afraid to reach out to the darker moments when needed. “4 Shots More…” addresses itself to the urges, vaginal or otherwise, of urban working-class women. In that endeavour, you may feel these smart sexy urbane women of the web serials are defiantly obliterating the reality beyond the metros. But then, who here is claiming to be a social reformer? These ladies only want to live life queen size, tequila shots on the house. More power to them.