Ronnie Screwvala, Madhur Bhandarkar, Siddharth Roy Kapoor.
Cast: Kareena Kapoor, Arjun Rampal, Randeep Hooda,
Shahana Goswami,Ranvir Shorey, Divya Dutta, Mugdha Godse,
Sanjay Suri, Govind Namdeo, Helen, Pooja Chopra, Shilpi Sharma,
Achint Kaur, Lilette Dubey, Rakesh Bapat, Dilnaz Irani.
Every time a heroine oriented film is due for release, which is
not very often, I am asked to give my views on why heroine films
don't work. I used to give detailed explanations hoping that what
I said was understood. I think Madhur Bhandarkar's latest film,
Heroine, has made my job easier. Next time I am asked this question.
I can just say, "Go watch Heroine and you will know why. Heroine
is usually what our heroine films are all about, which is certainly
not a Lara Croft movie; this is not even a The Dirty Picture or
a Kahaani! Usually, those plotting a heroine oriented film end up
making their heroine's character weak and exploited and this is
not what people want to see."
has a mould ready in which he can cast his fashion model, a corporate
woman or a heroine. The profession changes but the shape, size and
sound remain the same. The events, the ups and downs, the drama
are rewritten around his new protagonist but the essence remains
the same. Bhandarkar is supposed to be one of the progressive filmmakers
but what he has been making since Chandni Bar is like what Jacqueline
Susanne and Jackie Collins wrote and was filmed as long ago as 1970s!
Heroine, Kareena Kapoor is a whimsical girl with a troubled childhood.
She has run away from her home in Delhi, come to Mumbai and has
become a top film star; the film does not dwell on how. Her character
in the film tells the story of what is supposed to be happening
in our film industry, especially star relations, emotions, exploitations,
betrayals, insecurities, media and PR stunts, almost all exaggerated.
is celebrating the success of one of her films and expects super
star Arjun Rampal, who she is passionate about, to attend which
he does not. Their romance is kept back successfully from the media
in a scenario where, otherwise, each star bitches about the other
and leaks scandals to media. Kapoor has self destructive tendencies
coupled with her insecurities about her top slot. And her lover,
Rampal, makes her pop pills, drink continuously and smoke like a
chimney. Her suffering is generally self-inflicted. Her pressure
on Rampal to marry her finally leads to him dumping her. In search
of love, she falls for the successful cricketer, played by Randeep
Hooda. If she was in a hurry to tie the knot with Rampal, here Hooda
is in hurry which, she feels, will be detrimental to her career.
The romance breaks. Kapoor's career is all but over when she engages
the services of a noted PR person, Divya Dutta, who knows all the
tricks, usually dirty, of keeping her client in limelight.
is back on covers and in the endorsement market but a big film
offer eludes her. Always exploited, Kapoor decides to play dirty
to get that one offer. But she dodges advances by Sanjay Suri
and he in turn reduces her role to a cameo.
Kapoor says yes to two offers, one to do a shoestring budget film
and the other to attend a wedding in Delhi for a fee. Rampal is
on same flight on his way to attend the same wedding. The lovers
unite and decide to do a film together. But, again, Kapoor's insecurities
get the better of her and as a result she loses both, the film
as well as Rampal. But before that she has played her last card:
releasing her sex video with Rampal on the net to promote the
shoestring budget film she did. If such tricks worked in real
life, every willing-to-strip newbie would be a star on debut.
However, here it works for Kapoor and people flock to theatres
to watch her small budget film as if the sex video was its trailer!
basic plot of this film remains same as his earlier film. The
problem in case of Heroine is that there is no story as such to
hold a viewer's interest. The film tries to cram in all that is
supposed to be evil about the film industry with all its stereotypes,
including a bitching friend, a gay dress designer, a bisexual
guy on hand when in need, a loyal secretary as well as a cunning
one, party scenes, bought media loyalties, forgotten stars and
so on. It is all used to deliver 147 minutes of tedium. So whose
story is this, a heroine or the film industry?
casting is poor in that those vying for or competing with Kapoor
for the top spot look like side actors. Kapoor and Rampal are
the best the film has to offer. Stars draw people to the cinema;
making an economical film with small timers does not mean low
admission rates. Heroine does not have much to offer and the viewer
is saddled with faces he does not care to watch. Bhandarkar disappoints
both in writing as well as direction. Except at three or four
places, dialogue is routine. Musically, the film has one item
number in Halkat jawani, which is well choreographed, along with
two hummable numbers, Tujhpe fida and Khwahishein. Photography
was the film for Kapoor to show her acting skills but that does
not happen because of her ill-defined character. The character
lacks consistency due to which one fails to identify or empathise
with her. Rampal is okay but looks spent in this film. Shahana
Goswami impresses in a brief role. Others who do well are Ranvir
Shorey, Datta, Helen, Govind Namdeo and Hooda.
comparison with The Dirty Picture becomes inevitable after watching
Heroine and one concludes that Heroine has nothing of what made
The Dirty Picture a hit.
has had huge amount of promotion which has not helped it get a
decent opening and the bad reports will only make it suffer further
at the box office.