“Dramatic is your family’s middle name after all,” chuckles Daniel to Sunny Leone and her brother Sundeep. The season finale episodes of ZEE5 original Karenjit Kaur: The Untold Story of Sunny Leone hit the web today. The opening shot features Chef Sundeep (Karamvir Lamba) garnishing a food item when he is told that the customer wants him to serve the dishes. “Customer is king,” so he follows the order and walks up to the table. Sundeep almost breaks into a smile to see his father visit his restaurant for the first time until he spots his daddy’s new ‘friend’ Neena Kapoor.
This striking prelude sends our expectations of what’s about to come our way, soaring sky high. We are transported back to 2004, Los Angeles, when Sunny and Sundeep’s father first met his ‘friend.’ Before you jump the gun, no, he didn’t cheat on their mother, warns the young chef. The beginning to an end is all about Karenjit Kaur’s emotional turmoil. Months after her mother’s death, Sunny jumps back into action, back to the world of adult entertainment. As scenes oscillate between the past and the present, we are shown how Jaspal Singh’s new ‘friend’ led to Sundeep getting the chef’s job. Not that he credits her though.
Things start to get serious between Karenjit and Daniel, guess their twisted minds finally found their way to each other, after all. In fact, the Nice Jewish Boy (NCB) – as Sundeep refers to Daniel aka Dirrty, steams their romance further by proposing to star alongside Sunny in her films. Not sure how many boys out there would do that for their love! By the time Daniel gets Sunny and Sundeep to come to terms with their father’s new companion, Sunny becomes a part of Daniel’s family. She joins her musician-turned-pornstar boyfriend and his family at Hanukkah (a Jewish festival). Princess finds her Prince, but of course, she kissed several toads!
Centered around the becoming of Sunny Leone, as she shed her Karenjit skin, the series does a good job with cliffhangers. So much so that the trail of breadcrumbs from the past episodes almost makes us want to re-watch! Revisiting some iconic scenes from the previous season (Gogu being caught kissing a guy in school, Karenjit watching a porn film with her friends, etc), the next chapter shows Sunny and Daniel venture into production with their own studio, Sunlust Pictures. She and Daniel get engaged. Everything is going fine until…pizza arrives.
Sunny’s father gets diagnosed with a stage 3 cancer of the esophagus. Cut to 2011. The makers of the reality show Bigg Boss is trying every trick in the book to get Sunny Leone to enter the 5th season. The visuals of Sunny and Sundeep spending every minute possible with their dying father sure moves one to tears. Not to mention the 5% chance Sundeep agrees to take, just to not their father. A tear-jerking goodbye is followed by the Indian and Jewish weddings of Sunny and Daniel. Oh boy, Sunny looks like a million bucks in that bright pink lehenga. Karenjit starts a new journey with a happily-ever-after with Daniel. She accepts the call from Big Boss season 5 (only after a 100,000 dollar signing amount), from India, and grabs her chance to start afresh!
The character evolution of Karenjit to Karen to Sunny is a brilliant portrayal of a moving story that has many layers. The ZEE5 original doesn’t even seem like an out-and-out biopic, although it is the story of Sunny’s life she agreed to narrate for her fans. Sunny’s ability to make a mark in this cut-and-thrust world and not standing in the shadow of anybody else’s decisions does speak volumes of her confidence and grace in the series. The supporting cast – Marc Buckner, Bijay J. Anand, and Grusha Kapoor utilize their screen space to the optimum and bring out the overall best. Each of them pops up from time to time, leaving a lasting impression.
The background score stands out as a major highlight. The Indo-western track during the wedding sequence and the flute one before Sunny takes a flight to India only elevate our emotions. As for the direction, albeit we feel few scenes could have been left at the edit table, they did add a lingering flavour nonetheless.
Karenjit Kaur is now Sunny Leone. But are you interested in Karen or Sunny?
Don’t forget to catch the finale of Karenjit Kaur, now streaming on ZEE5.