Review: Heroine

Movie Reviews

If you have seen one Madhur Bhandarkar film, then you have seen them all; there is not even a feeble attempt at novelty. It is surprising how such blatant stereotyping of the glamour world is not offensive to the celebrities who the director claims to be 'realistically' portraying. In Bhandarkar's films there is no one place for the grey: celeb town just consists of people who are psychotic, adulterous, do drugs and are homosexual.

There is a passing mention that Bhandarkar's protagonist in 'Heroine' has bipolar disorder; if the central character of the film is psychotic then whether she is a heroine or a housewife, she will be insecure and hysterical. Fame, or the lack of it, has nothing to do with it. Mahi Arora (Kareena Kapoor) is an A-list heroine whose insecure relationship with her co-star drives her to desperation and she puts her stardom at stake. Every attempt at reviving her sinking career fails which further pushes her to the edge.

It is hard to look for a silver lining in a film which is so depressing. It is not depressing because it has a sad story like 'Chandni Bar'; it is distressing because there is nothing real about the film. Bhandarkar fails to believably execute, a Page 3 party, a press conference or even a filmi award ceremony. Every scene is artificial because of an overdose of melodrama and heightened hysteria.

'Heroine' does not only have the most predictable plot trajectory but is also saddled with the most vexing clichés possible. Bhandarkar seems to have created a prototype for his homosexual/bisexual characters and his portrayal of the gay designer/sidekick is not only annoying but downright insulting.

I guess Kareena had hoped that this would be a National Award winning performance and to give credit where it's due, Bebo's neurotic portrayal of Mahi Arora is not all bad. But if this one was an acid test for her abilities as an actor, she is yet to prove her craft.

I don't know if it's correct to fault the actors when the script is so flawed but Bhandarkar has reduced his characters to mere caricatures in this film. Randeep Hooda is the only person who essays his cameo with all sincerity. Lillete Dubey, Shahana Goswami and Ranvir Shorey, in bit roles, are apt for their parts.

Trying to watch 'Heroine' was such an ordeal that I was completely exhausted by the interval. If Madhur Bhandarkar claims to make 'real' cinema then his perception of reality is definitely warped. Watch it if you must, Kareena's 'Halkat Jawani' will not disappoint you.

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