Boys are bad, girls are good, that gets established in the first episode of Addatimes’ web-series Virgin Mohito based on four girls who have come from different areas of Bengal and settled in the city of Kolkata. They become roommates, and every roommate story of adult women begins with a candid conversation about their sex lives. It happened in FRIENDS, it happened in Desperate Housewives, it happened in Pretty Little Liars, it happened in Sex and the City and now it is happening in Virgin Mohito too.
Except, this one is in India so there will be too many innuendoes. Virgin Mohito is the story of Tepsy, Paula, Bhutu, Nina. Paula is the innocent virgin, while the rest are sexually active young adults who educate Paula on men, romance, heartbreaks. But it’s less of an education and more of mortification. Mortification for being different under circumstances.
The episode begins with Paula’s mother and grandmother strictly warning her to uphold her virginity since that’s the place where her entire family’s dignity lies, thereby she mustn't lose it until she gets married. A docile Paula is afraid of boys she meets, she is under the impression that all men out there are planning to molest her. It gets established in the introductory credit sequence and if you listen carefully you can figure out that the audio is taken from various Hindi films, Barfi being one of them.
There are moments which remain unexplained. Paula, a student of Physiology feels awkward when her crush who is also her classmate, Mohit, explains to her a diagram of a penis, completely for educational purpose. There’s a double meaning in each of the conversation they have with each other, which doesn’t remain funny but plain and simple immature; the kind of joke a 15-year-old would crack after knowing about sperms, and periods in their biology book, but that is hardly expected from medical students. The most depressing moment about Virgin Mohito remains, that it ends up going against what it stands for.
Virgin Mohito was produced to establish that it's wrong to judge a woman who is open about her sexuality. Instead, it ends up moral policing women who wear shorts, it questions the woman’s attire when she gets eve-teased, it shames a woman when older men are falling for her. So, it ends up glorifying women who are submissive virgins. Over the years we have had enough films by Swapan Saha which has dominated the bourgeois mentality where women who wear jeans have been shamed while only the ones who wear saree have been glorified. Sex-workers did not have the right to live a safe life and the mother-in-law is always right, even when she is asking for a dowry.
This needs to stop, especially in a web-series which is out there to shatter stereotypes. Despite the bad direction and lack of effort from the cast, something urges you to look beyond it since you expected this show to be progressive. In the presence of an elderly woman, three young adults feel ashamed that they wear shorts inside their rooms, in the complete privacy of their own company. Instead of politely conversing with the elderly lady, who happens to be the mother of Paula, the three young-adults, Tepsy, Bhutu and Nina cook up a story as an excuse for them wearing shorts. However, in the absence of Paula’s mother, the same women shame Paula for being a virgin, a woman who can’t talk to boys.
In many ways, Virgin Mohito beats the point of its sketch and gives us a glimpse of what Sex And The City would have been had it fallen in the hands of the wrong director. The idea of Sex and the City had been about four women, Carrie Bradshaw, Samantha Jones, Charlotte Young and Miranda Hobbes supporting each other, although they had a different sex life. Carrie was obsessed with Mr Big but was open to having sex with other men too, Charlotte was traditional and believed in settling down with children, Miranda loved sex but she loved her job more, and Samantha was experimental. As Carrie had once put it, ‘she is a man in a woman’s body,’ but why should sex be the desire of a man? This had been the motive of Virgin Mohito, however, it sadly ended up being otherwise.
Rating: 2.5/5 stars