Thank You For Coming review: Bhumi Pednekar plays a woman who has never experienced an orgasm in her life in this new sex comedy by Karan Boolani.
Sex comedies can be tricky. And more so when they’re talking about women, their bodies, their sexual desires and the pleasure they seek. Thank You For Coming unapologetically touches all these chords, and makes sure that everyone enjoys a happy ending (pun intended). It’s raw, raunchy, real and relatable, and to a large extent, empowering, too.
Directed by Karan Boolani, the film puts the spotlight on women and their long suppressed sexual needs, and why it needs to be normal to talk about it without having to say sorry every single time. Thank You For Coming is about women wanting to happy, in bed, in relationships and in life at large. So, it’s surely much more than just being a sex-positive comedy. It aims at smashing the deep-rooted patriarchy, the societal norms that often lay guidelines for women to abide by and the constant judgement that women across age groups are subjected to.
Thank You For Coming traces the story of Kanika Kapoor (Bhumi Pednekar), who is now 32 and has never had an orgasm. She is born to a single mother (Natasha Rastogi) who decided to have a child out of wedlock, but Kanika doesn’t wish to follow her mum’s footsteps, and ends up being on a man-hunt at every stage of her life. In a series of flashbacks, she tells us the sob stories of her three short but significant relationships and sex escapades – one in school, one with a stable boyfriend and one with an older man – but she remains unsatisfied in all three of them, quite literally.
On her 30th birthday, she ends up crying out loud in front of her besties Tina Das (Shibani Bedi) and Pallavi Khanna (Dolly Singh) that she has never had an orgasm. Along with these two confidantes, Kanika continues to navigate through life, making mistakes, falling for the wrong men again, getting up, finding another one and the cycle repeats. After two years, nothing has changed, and she is still searching for that perfect someone in bed. At last, without luck on her side, she decides to get engaged to her friend Jeevan Anand (Pradhuman Singh), who has hots for her, and because she wants to tick the ‘married’ box on her checklist.
On her engagement party, she dances her heart out, invites all her exes and crushes, and in a drunken state, ends up enjoying a climax that she had been long waiting for. But, only to wake up the next morning and realising that she can’t remember who was she with. And then starts her quest to find the man that gave her the gift she had long been looking for.
At nearly two hours, the film keeps you hooked and entertained for most parts. The dialogues are funny, execution even funnier. Though often, the story derails and wanders here and there, only to come back on track and resume its journey. Co-written by screenwriter Radhika Anand and standup comedian Prashasti Singh, Thank You For Coming does struggle to clearly convey what exactly it wants to say, and it happens at a lot of places, but I was left pleasantly surprised with the mere intent with which the makers put together this sex comedy, and added a dash of meaning to it rather than letting it be just slapstick. For a sex comedy, Thank You For Coming thankfully doesn’t have jarring use of slangs or vulgar jokes. Of course, the sexual connotations in most of the lines ought to be there to establish the tone and set the premise, but it never gets overboard to an extent that it appears awkward.
One of the scenes in the film claims, 70% of the women have never experienced an orgasm in their lives, because 90% of men don’t know how to do sex properly. Well, statistics aside, the film definitely boasts of breaking barriers, and being a first in several departments. The way Bhumi Pednekar flawlessly portrays Kanika makes you believe that there are actors who are ready to push the limits, and not just be props out there. She is bold, brave and daring, and there’s a sense of empathy you feel with her character. Her story of unfulfilled desires and orgasms will resonate with many, and rightfully so.
Playing one of Bhumi’s love interest, Sushant Divgikr as Rahul is a stand out performance, and you’d know once you watch the film. Not giving any spoiler, I think, Sushant is one of the best casting choice for the part he plays, and ends up accepting his reality, and to some extent, telling us all to be fearless in life, for once at least. He is just too good, and perhaps one of the best surprise packages in Thank You For Coming.
I liked the fact that besides talking about sex and all streamy things, Thank You For Coming also celebrates nuances of friendships, girl squads that have remained together since school and secrets they can only tell each other. That female bond remains at the core of storytelling, and often gives direction to the narrative. The comfort, camaraderie and confidence Kanika, Tina and Pallavi have in each other gives an added dimension to the story. Shibani and Dolly get enough screen time to not only show their acting chops, but also make some valid arguments.
Extended cameos by Shehnaaz Gill as Rushi Kalra, Kusha Kapila as Neha, Karan Kundrra as Arjun Malhotra and Anil Kapoor as Professor are sweet, and they conveniently come and go to take the story forward. Also, the Kapoor household with three women – Kanika, her gynaecologist mother and her naani (Dolly Ahluwalia) is a riot. Whether they are talking, fighting, debating or being there by each other’s side, there’s a sense of being truly happy. The monologue between Kanika and her mother towards the climax scene puts things in perspective and beautifully sums up what the film wishes to convey.
Thank You For Coming doesn’t get preachy about feminism, and even if it does a bit, take it as it suits you. Watch it with your girl gang and your partners, enjoy a good laugh, and for once, don’t be shy in openly talking about what makes you happy.