Heroine – Movie Review
Posted by FATEMA H.KAGALWALA on September 21, 2012 | 2 Comment
FILM – Heroine
PRODUCER – Ronnie Screwvala, Madhur Bhandarkar, Siddharth Roy Kapur
DIRECTOR – Madhur Bhandarkar
WRITER – Madhur Bhandarkar, Anuradha Tiwari, Manoj Tyagi, Niranjan Iyengar
CAST – Kareena Kapoor, Arjun Rampal, Randeep Hooda, Pooja Chopra, Shahana Goswami, Ranvir Shorey
MUSIC – Salim Merchant, Sulaiman Merchant
By now one knows what to expect of a Madhur Bhandarkar film. The director picks subjects full of high glamour and sets them in a mere controversial context to give his audience a broad picture of the industry it is set in. He began with Chandni Bar, went onto Page-3, Corporate, Fashion and now tackles the big bad world of Bollywood in his latest film ‘Heroine’.
Story of an unbalanced star Mahi Arora (Kareena Kapoor), the film makes itself into an expose of the rise and fall of the actress amongst the attendant film industry clichés that appear frequently in the newspapers. An eccentric diva, Mahi shines on Bollywood’s horizons only to find herself quickly overwhelmed by its hard-nosed competitiveness and her own addiction to glory. A manic depressive with a troubled childhood, Mahi begins to lose her balance between a heartless industry and unsuccessful relationships. Until driven to desperation she resorts to cheap strategies in a last bid to save her career and fame.
Madhur Bhandarkar’s films are replete with stories we hear often in gossip columns but with a dedicated ingenuity, he prefers to keep the exposes to the surface, colouring them with sensational drama alone. Heroine is no different in that aspect. He presents the industry as a pot-pourri of clichés that includes bitchy stars and columnists, stereotyped homosexuals and filmmakers, and the media. For an audience that thrives on film industry gossip, the film unfolds like a voyeuristic pleasure and a two-plus hour stint with a Bollywood glossy in all its glamour and high fashion. The film does not pretend to delve deeper into the psychological trauma of its protagonist or the complexities of her psyche but simply aims to give us a sketchy picture full of colour, extreme emotions, sound and fury. At one level, all of it does deliver what it promises.
It is a high-pitched dramatic film that rides itself upon the eye-ball grabbing antics of its protagonist and Kareena Kapoor lives out her role with admirable flair. She is not shy of showing skin or appearing haggard, without make-up and sporting dark circles. She commands her role with confidence but then rarely has the actress, who has a naturally exuberant screen presence, failed to display that. As Mahi Arora, the girl falling apart, she is suitably unnerved and deranged, but somehow as Mahi Arora the diva she appears to be trying a bit too hard, reflecting the slightly posturing attitude of the film itself. She carries the film on her shoulders with breezy elan but sidelines the male characters – Arjun Rampal (superstar and boyfriend Aryan Khanna) and Randeep Hooda (cricketer and boyfriend Angad Paul). Ranvir Shoerey and Shahana Goswami make a special appearance as stereotypical symbols of the marginalised film industry, the former an art-filmmaker and the latter a regional film actress, both managing to invest a certain gravity to their sketchy roles through the sheer dint of their talent.
The film has a lot of gloss and goss to offer, especially for its glamour and scandal-loving audience. The disappointing music then may not be much of a deterrent especially when there is also the suggestive item number performed by Kareena Kapoor. Heroine can be quite a guilty pleasure if one isn’t too overwhelmed with the clichés and doesn’t find the entire sleight of hand typically over the top.