Heroine Movie Review

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By Martin D'Souza, Glamsham Editorial

HEROINE, as the poster suggests, is the story behind stardom. So here we have Madhur Bhandarkar, award-winning director who is known to create 'close to home' cinema, spilling the beans on the way Bollywood functions. So after watching Bhandarkar's latest film in association with UTV, we now know (we are being sarcastic, of course) that there are heroines in Bollywood... Come from broken families. They are always looking for the love they never found in their homes. That they have a set of friends around them (read chamchas), a few of them gay. These gay friends will also sleep around for them to help out for a role. That they are highly nervous and always on the lookout for an opportunity to run down the other actor, grab their contracts and even go to 'extreme lengths' to seal a movie deal. We also now know that they are highly dependent on alcohol, cigarettes and 'other pills' to get them through this stressful phase or 'fierce competitive business' they are in. Yes, they also forge their age, not only in Page 3 parties, but also on their passports. They are desperate to get married even when their career is right on top. But when they have a marriage proposition, they want to be right on top. They shoot videos of their love-making scenes with their boyfriends, to be used later when their career is falling apart. A PR strategy. That the star is a puppet in the hands of a Public Relations manager and vice-versa. We also know now, that film journalists get freebies from stars not only for themselves but for their entire families; like clothes, holidays to exotic destinations etc. This in turn ensures a good coverage in the media. Yes, a Heroine also befriends a journalist not because of who she or he is but because of the position she or he is in. It's a surprise Bhandarkar does not show the HEROINE 'sleeping' with the director to get a role. SURPRISE! SURPRISE! That in detail is the story of HEROINE. So now for the million dollar question, how is the movie? One word: Disastrous. Technically it is super flawed. The lighting is so flat that it reminds you of a cheap, low-budget soap on television. The screenplay reminds one of college set-ups. Take for example the very first scene at the Colaba police station. Everything that shouts out is D I S A S T E R. The set, the design, the content of the scene, and yes the lighting. Also the party scene where Mahie Arora (Kareena Kapoor) empties a glass of wine on Aryan's (Arjun Rampal's) wife's head; the Awards scene backstage or even a scene where Angad (Randeep Hooda) goes to Sara (Rashmi Nigam) to ask for a role for Mahie. The howler is a scene where a Nun literally assaults Mahie refusing her adoption request. This Nun is not nuts... There is no reasoning why Mahie wants to adopt. Then there are dialogues which are absolute juvenile. Sample this: "Zip aur zabaan industry mein sambhal ke khulna chahiye" or "Kyun ki tu meri maa nahi" or "Yeh industry mein insaan ya actor hota hain." How can we forget that pearl where Angad tells Mahie at a party ("Mein bhi moved on hoon"). It's delivered with rare, 'flat emotion'. The music is nothing to write about and in some scenes, Randeep has been so heavily made-up that it takes away his rough edges that will make him look more like a cricketer that he portrays. His character spends more time chasing Mahie than on the cricket field. Kareena Kapoor is expected to give a fine performance. As expected, she does just that. That is not a surprise. The surprise here is how she got saddled in a film with no meat in the script? Her famous cousin Ranbir Kapoor managed to salvage films like ROCKSTAR and BARFI on his acting prowess alone. But Kareena is not able to do the same here because the film is not even technically sound. The plot is so predictable that you know exactly what is in store in the following scene. The only performances of note come from surprise quarters; Shilpi Sharma who plays Arjun's wife and Ranvir Shorey who plays the eccentric, highly acclaimed, Bengali filmmaker. Both dig deep into the characters they are to portray and come up trumps. We have seen DIRTY PICTURE, Bhandarkar has also shown us FASHION and PAGE 3. DIRTY PICTURE was a clean take on starlet Silk Smitha; FASHION was more HEROINE and an extension of PAGE 3, while the very teaching of HEROINE is convoluted. It shows the industry in a very poor light. True, some of the things may be happening out there. But which industry is spared from this? What is also missing is a soul in the film. Daughters are a big boon; I guess Aishwarya Rai must be thanking Aradhya! Rating - 1/5

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