Movie Title: Heroine
Cast: Kareena Kapoor, Arjun Rampal, Randeep Hooda, Shahana Goswami, Mugdha Godse, Divya Dutta, Sanjay Suri, Rakesh Bapat.
Director: Madhur Bhandarkar
Producer: Ronnie Screwwala and Madhur Bhandarkar
Story: Madhur Bhandarkar
Music Director: Salim- Suleiman
Run Time: 150 minutes
Film Critic: Nayandeep Rakshit
Trotting the untrodden is something that has been this film maker’s forte. Called the best Indian realistic filmmaker, after gifting the world with gems like Chandi Bar, Corporate and Fashion, here comes another definitive move. A film that envelops the itsy bitsy world of glamour, the scandals, the scoops, the paparazzi and most importantly the life of a ‘Heroine’ is one that had packed in all the punch with its paunch dialogues and epic renditions.
Mahi Arora, a top notch actress of the Indian film industry is moody’, ‘over emotional’ and ‘sanki’ (cranky). In short she has all the essentialities that qualify her as an astounding actress. Introducing the protagonist with the first reel, Madhur takes his conventional theoretical way to develop an out an out entertainer that takes you on a roller coaster ride, with some deep valleys and some steep mountains in between. The film captures an actress’s road to fame, getting into the minutest details. The dark alley, the deep dungeons of Fame that encompasses this otherwise glitzy world of stardust is effectively brought on screen, courtesy Madhur’s brilliant cinematic genius.
The film incepts brilliantly with a reckless, depressed and alcoholic Mahi lodging a complaint at a nearby police station.Mahi is impulsive, vulnerable, and has a complicated life. With a broken family around, Mahi is forced to take the wild route to stardom. Gayatri,and Rhea , her competent contemporaries suffer jolts when Kareena goes the bitchy way and makes it a point to leave all her fellow heroines with tottered dreams. Mahi falls for Aryan Kapoor, played by the sexy Arjun Rampal who is non committal and ultimately ends up physically assaulting Mahi. But after a round of steamy scenes, erractic behavior and selfish maneuvers bring Mahi notches below her stardom and thus she embarks upon a voyeuristic journey to re-establish her almost sinking career.
Most of the characters are grey, the protagonists, the antagonists, each character is reduced to a mere caricature of people from the industry. Those times are really nerve wrecking. Another major wart in the plot is the incessant trial to make a refreshingly new story with the same plot as of Fashion. But the effort is clearly visible; it is the same age old story of an actress’s life twisted to blow in a dash of glamour and glitz into it.
Madhur Bhandarkar returns to a genre which he conquers and rules like no other film maker. He captures the trail of his Heroine in some beautiful scenes and overwhelming shots. With such an impressive narrative and an exciting plot line, Madhur triumphs with his magnum opus and voila, what comes out is a treat for the audience. His excellence in brain work works wonders for this rather stretched film, which is a little too long at 2 and half hours. But the way he throngs upon the emotions of the actress, who slowly starts losing her stardom and glory, and ultimately gets resigned to a backseat is simply breath taking. The inside story, the plotting, planning and the manipulative brains are given an insight into, and that too with conviction.
Salim Suleiman’s music is rather okayish with ‘Halkat Jawaani’ and ‘Saiyaan’ being the ones that stay even after the show is over. Plus, the cinematography is top notch and there is a major flaw in the film’s editing. Few scenes could have been easily chopped to give the much needed brevity to this rather long film, that seems a tad too stretched at over 2 and half hours!
Kareena Kapoor as Mahi Arora is a scene stealer of sorts. She is bitchy, she is feminine, she is fetchy, she is glamorous and gossipy. That’s the true signs of what we call a ‘Heroine’ With such lucidity and clarity in her maneuvers, Heroine regales on her performance and how! She essays the role with aplomb and carries herself with the much needed panache. Graceful and elegant, ‘Heroine’ is an out and out Kareena Kapoor masterpiece which has Blockbuster stamped on it. A dream role of sorts for the actress, she fits into the shoes of the character almost instantly and there’s not a single frame where you can catch a hoax in her on screen portrayal. Her evolution as an actress, the complete metamorphosis that she has undergone is extremely bewitching. From films like Ra.One, Bodyguard and Agent vinod where this talented actress is just reduced to a mere eye candy, she soars high like an eagle and does much more than just looking good. A pinch on all her critics and a silent ‘Shut Up’ to most of her contemporaries, Kareena walks away with the cake in this really engrossing flick. Her emotional drives, her bitchy lines, and argumentative stances turns her insecurity into an obsession.
Arjun Rampal rises above the level and has more than his half expressions to show to the world and Randeep as the suave cricketer steals screen from a rather blunt Arjun with even littler to do. Mugdha Godse, Shahana Goswami packs in punch too. Govind Namdeo as Mahi’s secretary lends support to both the character and the film. Helen sizzles in a short cameo. Divya Dutta is powerpacked as the PR official Pallavi Narayan who brings her lost glory back with an added self confidence.
THE FINAL VERDICT:
The film is good in most of the parts, with the editing being a major flaw in its plot. The narrative is lucid but the characters are reduced to mere mockery. But one thing is for sure. ‘Heroine’ is more a Kareena Kapoor film than being anyone else’s. It is not the usual Madhur Bhandarkar film, except the similar characters that reminisce of Bhandarkar’s ‘Fashion’. With scandals, goof ups, manipulative masterminds, sex tapes, homosexuality and casting couch, and all others, Bhandarkar makes it a point to bring everything under a spotlight. Kareena’s arrogance, her pompousness as an actress drowns her into the cradles of addiction and obsession and that is effectively portrayed on screen. Kareena is simply mind bloggling and bedazzling in all the frames that she appears on screen. Kareena with Halkat Jawani raises the temperature to a sky rocketing high,
Lost alone, Kareena’s Mahi suffers from a bipolar personality, searching for reality in a bad bad world that broke into pieces. From a fading brand the way she rebuilds her soon-to-be-over brand into mammoth magnitude speaks volumes of her inner strength and tenacity. Divya Dutta’s Pallavi Narayan reconstructs Mahi’s self confidence and takes it to an exhilarating high, and a Gutsy Kareena Kapoor rises from the ashes, just like a phoenix.
More than everything, this movie is somewhat average and will not leave you with a bad taste. So, go catch it up soon, at least for the enthralling Kareena Kapoor who gives her heart and soul to make this movie believable! And there is a raunchy pseudo lesbian scene between Kareena and Shahana too!