Rating: 1.5 stars (One-and-a-half stars)
Star cast: Kareena Kapoor, Arjun Rampal, Randeep Hooda, Divya Dutta, Shahana Goswami, Ranvir Shorey.
What’s Good: Some performances; the title track and Saiyaan song.
What’s Bad: The story and script seem to be in an endless loop; stereotypical, uni-dimensional characters; Kareena’s frequent breakdowns in the movie.
Loo Break: Any number of times.
Watch or Not?: Heroine movie irritates more than entertains, but some of the performances are nice.
An apt title to Madhur Bhandarkar’s magnum opus would be Bipolar rather than Heroine as the movie seems more like a peek into the head of someone with a serious psychiatric disorder than into the glamorous world of acting, movies and the like.
Mahi Arora (Kareena Kapoor) is the moody, spoilt actress on top of her game. Not only does she have the best movies in her kitty, she’s also in a relationship with the much married superstar Aryan Khanna (Arjun Rampal). While Aryan is trying to get his divorce finalized, Mahi goes from being the adoring lover one moment, to stark-raving-possessive girlfriend in the other. Going with the flow, our pouty actress also has a drinking problem and regularly visits her shrink for prescription drugs. The ominous narrator announces how Mahi was always about extremes: consumed in love or withered with fury.
After another of her screaming incidents, Mahi gets humiliatingly dumped by Aryan. Her career is down in the dumps and so is she. Enter fairy godmother/PR person (Divya Dutta) who waves her magic wand and gets our heroine out of the molasses. Mahi also finds love again, this time with the charming cricketer Angad Paul (Randeep Hooda). To sharpen her skills as an actor, Mahi also signs up for an art film directed by a national award winning director (Ranvir Shorey), which co-stars Shahana Goswami.
The movie does a rinse-and-repeat from here on with heartbreak, love and heartbreak again. Watch the rest of the movie for more close-ups of Kareena’s blood-shot eyes, her incessant break-downs and some really confusing blocks in the story.
Heroine Review: Script Analysis
Madhur Bhandarkar may try and claim his stories to be “real” every time, but this time the writer-director is downright lazy. He, along with writers Anuradha Tiwari, Manoj Tyagi and Niranjan Iyengar, has taken page-3 stories about stars and based them around a few characters. This wouldn’t have been a problem, except that the movie comes out as being too fake.
It’s annoying to see the stereotypes played out in almost every character: the designers are gay, reporters have a bitchy aura and always sport funky jewellery, the path to the dark side begins with cigarettes and alcohol, bad people sleep around etc. Except the few lead characters, everyone else is as good as cardboard cut-outs. The writers seem to be intent to stuff in as much tragedy as they can into Mahi’s woe-is-me life and towards the end you just can’t stop rolling your eyes. While they might want you to feel for Mahi, you find yourself laughing off her character than ever rooting for her. The 3 hour long movie gets repetitive with Mahi’s heartbreak, psycho rage and love doing cartwheels repeatedly. The bright side is that the writers have shown the number of problems heroines face in the industry with their short shelf life, lecherous actors, being written off after marriage etc. Niranjan Iyengar’s dialogues are alright though the ones like “Manipulate karo ya ho jao” doesn’t really certify his ingenuity.
Heroine Review: Star Performances
Kareena Kapoor owns the movie as the, er, bipolar actress Mahi. As much as you would like to appreciate her ability to showcase the mood swings behind the camera, her character badly suffers from hackneyed writing. Arjun Rampal is alright as Aryan with Randeep Hooda bettering him as the suave Angad. Divya Dutta does well in her uni-dimensional role as the PR agent. Shahana Goswami and Ranvir Shorey are very good in their small roles.
Heroine Review: Direction, Music & Technical Aspects
The captain brings the ship down, sail, deck and all. Director Madhur Bhandarkar made his movie from a magnum opus to a monstrous blob that has too many leaks to be fixed. And the leaden script is of no help. Madhur should have focused on a few aspects of Mahi’s life instead of thrusting everything into a 3 hour long haze with alcohol, psychological problems, mummy-issues, role mongering, lesbian relationship… Salim-Sulaiman’s music is nice with Halkat Jawani, Saiyaan and Heroine being the noteworthy songs. Editor Devendra Murdeshwar has done a passable job. Cinematography by Mahesh Limaye is good.
Heroine Review: The Last Word
Kareena Kapoor does a good job and, heck, you even get to see her in a pseudo lesbian scene along with other steamy scenes. If that’s enough to drag you to see Heroine, go ahead. Give it a miss otherwise.
Heroine releases on 21th September, 2012