Watching Ek Paheli Leela was like sitting in a dance bar and seeing Sunny Leone come to the stage in skimpy dresses and outrageous makeup, making eyeballs pop at her bare legs, waist, derriere, torso and every other asset. The audience was given more than ample time and opportunity to ogle at her curves in the deviously-cut cholis, barely-there minis and designer lingerie.
Why exactly did someone decide to make this film? Maybe the filmmaker was sure that as the Indian audience laps up the seat-of-the-pants movies starring Salman Khan, the same formula would work for Sunny as well. If Katrina Kaif with her scant acting skills can carve her own niche in Bollywood, so can Sunny. Or did the filmmaker hope that the typical Indian male, with his habit of rubbernecking at women, would rush to the theatres to watch a voluptuous woman demonstrate Kama Sutra poses to disco tunes. It’s no accident, after all, that Sunny is the most searched ‘celebrity’ on the Internet in India.
As for those who are queuing up to watch Leela, the only factor driving them is a desire to watch
on the grand theatre screen what one normally views on a laptop (and more often than not, in ‘incognito’ mode).
The story goes like this. London-based Meera (Sunny) comes to India on an assignment, after being convinced by the most unwise friend on this planet (played by Shivani Tanksale). While shooting in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan (the set and music, incidentally, are uncannily reminiscent of a video of Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan’s Aafreen aafreen in which Lisa Ray displayed her charisma a few years ago), Sunny meets a prince Ranveer Singh (Mohit Ahlawat) and immediately gets married to him. Meanwhile, a budding musician (Jay Bhanushali) is getting nightmares that are linked to his and Sunny’s past birth, when she was a village belle named Leela (also played by Sunny).
The other characters are a smitten Bhairav (Rahul Dev), who was so captivated by Leela’s beauty that he had carved a lifelike idol of hers, Leela’s poverty-stricken admirer Shravan (Rajneesh Duggal) and Ranveer’s evil cousin Prince Bikram (Jas Arora). In fact, every male character in the movie is trying to get into Meera’s (or Leela’s) pants. The story revolves around “how all the characters are linked in the present and the past, and how the evil in the past is going to haunt the present”.
If at all anyone has done justice to what the script demands, it is Sunny. Her presence dominates most of the frames, with all the other characters coming in only as insignificant puppets. Kudos to Sunny for doing her best in every shot; in fact, she even tries to act.
The other person who did his job well was the debutante director Bobby Khan, who shot every possible angle and curve of his leading lady and presented it on the screen by adding a dozen more. With his camera angles, he somewhat makes up for the weak story, penned by none other than himself.
The music is just about alright, though the Desi look song is already topping the charts because of its beats. A Sunny Leone film through and through.