Film Review: Mostly Sunny

mostly_sunny.jpgDirector: Dilip Mehta

Writers: Deepa Mehta, Dilip Mehta

Stars: Daniel Weber, Sunny Leone

Review by Gilbert Seah

 MOSTLY SUNNY is not the first documentary made on a porn star. Two of the most memorable documentaries made on a porn star are PORN STAR: THE LEGEND OF RON JEREMY in 2001 and SAGAT: THE DOCUMENTARY. Both of these films featured a male porn star, one an American and the other French. Both of the adult stars like SUNNY, became more famous than they ever imagined.
All the three films are radically different in the way they dealt with their subjects. RON JEREMY was well- known not because he was handsome or attractive but because he had an enormously huge tool that could be kept functioning for long periods of time. Despite the humorous treatment of Jeremy, the doc took quite a serious look at the underground pornography industry. SAGAT, only 80-minutes in length was as lively as its subject, Francois Sagat was. And Sagat is quite the showman. (I have seen him perform in Toronto during the Gay Pride Military Party where he was not too bashful to jerk-off onstage. But that doc treated the subject in dead seriousness, tracking Sagat’s rise to fame.

In MOSTLY SUNNY, Dilip Mehta (COOKING WITH STELLA) continues the lightness of his previous film with his portrait of Indian porn star Sunny Leone. For those unfamiliar, Sunny Leone is the most famous of all the porn stars in India and who has now ventured into Bollywood Cinema.

MOSTLY SUNNY is produced by Deepa Metha (FIRE, WATER, EARTH, MIDNIGHT’S CHILDREN, THE BEEBA BOYS) and her husband David Hamilton. For those wondering about the connection, Dilip is Deepa’s brother.

Those venturing to watch MOSTLY SUNNY should not expect too serious a film or a message or even controversial film. Metha’s treatment of his film and subject is as breezy as his subject Sunny Leone. Sunny is filmed in most scenes smiling or laughing. Even when talking about a serious topic like the reason her father chose to live in a small Ontario town of Sarnia, she is laughing and giggling. So, the subject of Sunny in the adult film industry, infuriating her parents and Indian community is treated as a brush off. Her fame in porn is also treated lightly. Those expecting to see Metha in any sex act in his doc will be disappointed, though there are a few nude pictures. The only one time Sunny gets really open, is when she tells the camera (through a past interview) that she is bisexual and got really excited when she shot a film segment in which the male came in both hers and another girls’ mouths. Metha shows more of Sunny in her non-porn Bollywood films than in her porn films.

The film runs at slightly over 80 minutes. Metha is short of material on his easy-going doc as evident in the segment where he tries to get any member of Sunny’s family still living in Sarnia to have a word or two to say to the camera.

As it turns out, Metha’s doc about a porn star is not really about a porn star – but about an ordinary hard-working Indian immigrant who just happens to turn out to be a porn star by accident. And it is not a bio-pic of Sunny either. Sunny is teated as mostly normal throughout the film, also marrying the one true love of her life – her manager who has accepted her past work. Perhaps a more appropriate title of the film wold be MOSTLY NORMAL.




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