Faridoon Shahryar's Blog

Friday, September 21, 2012

Heroine: A Half Hearted Entertainer

'Heroine' is a looooooong story often told before either by the same director or others. Yes it does give you an insider's perspective on the gossip-n-games played within the film industry but when you keep coming across supers stating '2 months later', '2 years later' and the crowd in the cinema hall starts jeering for the film to get over sooner-rather-than-'later' then you know it is not a positive news for any film whatsoever.

Like most of Madhur Bhandarkar movies, the production values are shoddy-n-tacky and it is a put off especially since one is talking about the world of glamour-n-make-believe. The sets of a film award show or a hurriedly put together press conference and at many other instances, the look-n-design of the film is substandard.

If you've seen 'Page 3', 'Fashion', 'Corporate', 'Traffic Signal', 'Jail' then you can easily predict the trajectory of 'Heroine'. The Nobodies who gossip at parties, professional rivalries-n-jealousies, the rise-n-fall and then the redemption of the protagonist, the awkward looking Gay fashion designers and Love that was never Meant to be. The manner in which in-film advertising has been blatantly forced in the film, is putting off. Too many products and too much of in-the-face 'selling'.

Divya Dutta as the smart-ass film publicist is superb. She is clear, focussed and ruthless in meeting her objective of getting publicity (good, bad or ugly) for her client Mahi (Kareena). Mahi and cricketer friend Angad (Randeep Hooda) make an exit out of a restaurant just-at-the-right moment for the media to get an 'opportunity' to hound them. Now, many a times, the pictures clicked at odd hours of a superstar and an actress with a film release on hand or a star coming out of his rumoured girl friend's home (right after his film's release) are not merely scoops. They are manufactured by the publicity machinery of the stars or for creating the buzz around an upcoming film.

There are several references to real life events that have happened with Bollywood celebrities in the recent times and it is interesting. Mahi exposes the forged date of birth of Rhea (Mugdha Godse) in her passport. Reference to context: Deepika Padukone wishing to see Katrina's passport in Koffee with Karan or the controversy surrounding Mallika Sherawat's 'real' age. An item song is added in superstar Danish Khan's (Sanjay Suri) film and the actress who performs the song is promoted more than Mahi, the film's heroine. Reference to context: Chikni Chameli promos hammered all across and thus becoming the mainstay of the promotions of Agneepath. The media is shown in a poor light in the film. But yes, many of the film journalists, in reality, are bad ambassadors of their profession. But the cheap cardboard boom mike covers are such a put off. Not done.

Kareena's tryst with realistic cinema where she wants to gain critical acclaim instead of merely being a showpiece within the film has poignant moments. Her lesbian fling with Shahana Goswami is organic and it doesn't evoke cheap thrills. Shahana is competent and shines even in a small role. Kareena's relationship with character artiste Helen is a noteworthy one. Madhur portrays the plight of lesser important stars-n-actors and the poor manner in which they are treated, in a sensitive way. The controversial leaked video meant for hyping up a thanda film up-for-release is a shocking ploy but such things do happen.

Randeep Hooda is wasted in a unidimensional role. Arjun displays various shades of grey and white but even he is unable to do much beyond a point. Many actors who've done bit roles, look untrained and unprepared. Kareena has delivered a very fine performance. The vulnerability, the edginess, the nervous energy, childlike innocence and a fiery temper are combined superbly in a performance of a lifetime. Music by Salim-Sulaiman is decent but not their very best. Editing is all over the place. The film needs to be chopped by at least half an hour. Niranjan Iyengar and Madhur Bhandarkar's dialogues are catchy in parts. "Producer ki biwi chai se lekar chapaati tak ka hisaab rakhti hai," says a production designer, making you crack up. There are several punchy dialogues but there are many that fall flat too.

'Heroine' is a watchable film if you have loads of free time and are willing to be generous enough to overlook several loopholes and the lack of novelty value.

Star Rating: ** 1/2 stars


  1. finally a sincere review i say

  2. Well...that answers my question..but it begs another. Why would people sign up for this one? They dont need the exercise..

  3. I feel Madhur has become a "Commercial" Director and I say this after checking his last three movies including Heroine. He wanted to make sure that this one makes good money.
    He has lost that "Signature" stuff long back and now has become another run of the mill Director of Bollywood making movies to make money - how pointless the movie may be.

    I totally agree with your views.

  4. Was is MB best work like kareena said? or she just said that for promotion