Hate Story – Movie Review
Posted by FATEMA H.KAGALWALA on April 20, 2012 | No Comments
PRODUCER – Vikram Bhatt
DIRECTOR – Vivek Agnihotri
WRITER – Vikram Bhatt
CAST – Gulshan Devaiah, Paoli Dam, Nikhil Dwivedi
MUSIC – Harshit Saxena
‘Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned’ aptly proclaimed Shakespeare. Sidney Sheldon wrote an entire novel (Best laid plans) on it which went on to become a best-seller. No doubt, a wronged woman seeking revenge is a compelling subject. But put a strong story-line in the hands of mediocre Bollywood and it is not going to fail to make a mess of it. Even if it diligently invokes Sidney Sheldon which Hate Story does relentlessly.
Here’s the premise of the story, for those who have been fortunate to escape the pre-release publicity bombardment of this so-called erotic thriller. Kavya (Paoli Dam) is a journalist and does a sting operation on Siddharth Dhanrajgir’s (Gulshan Devaiah) company. Siddharth in turn avenges himself by employing Kavya, seducing her and throwing out of the firm. In true Bollywood style Kavya immediately gets pregnant and Siddharth gets her kidnapped to eliminate the baby. Utterly humiliated and devastated Kavya decides to destroy Siddharth by using sexuality as her weapon. Thus ensues a drama of one-upmanship between the two that wants to be chess but turns out to be more like a teenager’s kabaddi.
It is an earnest film by all means, seeking to establish a hate story with a lot of drama and twists. However, it completely misses out on the erotica part of the promise but then that was never the theme of the film, just that of its marketing. Kavya uses her body to manipulate important men connected to Siddharth’s business and the director uses a lot of shuffling and sound to imply sexual proceedings. But that doesn’t take away anything from the thriller. What does is the utter lack of logic, characterisation and depth with which it unfolds.
There is a lot of pace in this very Sheldonesque story, but unlike the stories that had the pulp novelist’s intuitive understanding of character motivations, it gets so convoluted in its own smart-ness that the effect is rather dulling than exciting. Superficiality of writing matches the ham-handed direction and brings out the loudest performances we’ve seen in years. Paoli Dam performs without inhibition and it is pleasant to see an actress give herself up to the role so. But the world she is set in and the tone of the film strips her performance of any shred of relatability or engagement. It is equally distressing to see her clothed in dresses that scream shoddy. Gulshan Devaiah clearly seems out of his depth essaying the role of a headstrong young man with a father issue. Nikhil Dwivedi, as the staunch support is probably the only actor who keeps a balance but in all the high drama, he just ends up getting lost.
With all its good intentions Hate Story fails miserably because of a myopic script and direction. Its production values like Paoli’s styling are tacky, as loud and superficially glossy like the film’s sensibility. The fury it meant to stir up, unfortunately sums up to become a mere storm in a teacup.