Ravi Jadhav, the director of the handsomely produced and well-received Natrang (Marathi, 2010) and Balgandharva (2011), turns his attention to sex education in the comedy BP (Balak Palak). “BP" also stands for “blue picture", which is how four teenagers (two boys and two girls) educate themselves about the facts of life since their parents refuse to.

The story unfolds as a flashback. In present-day Mumbai, a couple (Subodh Bhave, Amruta Subhash) stumbles upon their teenage son’s pornographic stash. The clock winds back to the summer of 1986, when four chawl-dwelling adolescents embark on a journey of sexual enlightenment. Avya (Rohit Phalke), Chiu (Bhagyashree Shankpal), Dolly (Shashwati Pimplikar) and Bhagya (Madan Deodhar) follow the advice of Vishu (Prathamesh Parab) in discovering the joys of what he calls dhichuk-dhichuk.

They pore over adult literature, spy on a love-making couple and finally settle down for a clandestine screening of a porn movie. Naturally, the group equations change thereafter: Bhagya starts lusting after the chawl’s resident sex symbol, Neha (Sai Tamhankar), while Avya clamps Chiu’s hand in his sweaty palm.

To Jadhav’s credit, he stays away from double entendre and keeps the movie firmly on a UA-rated course despite the boldness of the subject. The young actors perform their roles admirably, and betray no awkwardness about being avid consumers of adult material.

Like many contemporary Marathi films, BP is rooted in an identifiable milieu. Presided over by the stern but kindly Kadam (Kishor Kadam), the working-class chawl is both convivial and conservative. It provides the space for adolescent adventures but has enough moral fibre to keep the adventures from going haywire. BP is a message movie about the importance of talking to children about the birds-and-bees business that doubles up as a nostalgia piece about a community-based way of life in which experimentation and edification share an address.

BP (Balak Palak) released in theatres on Friday.

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