Movie Name: Heroine; Genre: Drama ; Starring: Kareena Kapoor, Arjun Rampal
To be candid, I was really looking forward to watching Heroine, a film which has been in news for such a long long time!!- Aishwarya’s photoshoot for the film at Cannes, then her storming out of the project, barrage of accusation between her and director Bhandarkar, Kareena being roped in, her intimate scenes between her male co stars, the big publicity blitzkreig with the flick releasing on Kareena’s bbday- Heroine has been everywhere, for all right and wrong reasons!
But most importantly, it comes from the stable of Madhur Bhandarkar, the maverick director who believes in exploring the dark side of every industry, with a female lead as a protagonist. So whether it was the gritty life of Bar girls in Chandni Bar ( Tabu), The dynamic social and media life in Page3( Konkana), the political upheavals in Satta(Raveena), the fashion industry in Fashion( Priyanka) , and the corporate czars in Corporate( Bipasha), all delved with this grim and dark genre. His latest flick Heroine deals with the reality behind the most glamorous industry of today- Bollywood, showcasing the life of a female superstar ,the glitz surrounding her career, and her dark side to fame and eminence. Sadly , this hugely hyped film just turns out be another pedestrian and monotonous cinema from Madhur, with nothing new in terms of story-line and presentation.
The story revolves around the gorgeous Mahi Arora ( Kareena), an insecure, hyperbolic, and moody superstar who is highly proficient and affluent in her professional life, but is deeply insecure within herself, leading to a highly dynamic and unstable relationship with her only love of life , the reigning superstar Aryan ( Arjun Rampal). Her sole focus to find happiness from her love and not from within leads to a series of events and controversies , broken relationships ( including a fling with cricketer Angad(Hooda)) , and eventually, her complete downfall from super stardom to a life of a loner!!!
Heroine encompasses all the ingredients of a Bhandarkar film – Oodles of Sex and Sleaze, dirty politics, scandals, gay fashion designers, rendering it a tedious and recurrent look throughout. You are never introduced to a new thing in Heroine, because you have already seen all this in a Fashion or Corporate. Adding to it, Madhur tries to incorporate several sub-plots in this prosaic storyline-the lesbian angle between Kareena and Shahana, the prostitute track, tape scandal- making Heroine agonizingly long and boring! So while the first half has nothing new to offer, second half springs back with some interesting and engaging moments, but are in bits and spurts. And yes, there are several platitudes about how to survive in this big bad world of Bollywood, which only makes Heroine preachy and humdrum.
I was pretty surprised to see the gay and lesbian track again , which i guess, is slowly turning out to be Madhur’s another fascination of sorts. So we have dialogues like :“Hamari industry mein zip aur zabaan dono band rakhni chahiye’. You just cant empathise here, but end up laughing your hearts loud! Heroine never really shows the rise and fall of Mahi, instead it just focusses on the downward spiral of a reigning superstar. Her insecurities are not well defined, and the film simply fails to rise above the mediocre.
The soundtrack of Heroine has been overshadowed by one single track ” Halkat Jawaani“, which h been picturised well. But soft tracks like Saiyaan and Khwahishen have been integrated well with the narrative , and are hummable. Cinematography is good, specially in the second half.
Heroine belongs to Kareena Kapoor, without a doubt. Playing an insecure , troubled, uncertain and forlon superstar, Kareena fits the role to the T, and does complete justice to her role. Apart from looking stunning and gorgeous in every frame, Kareena displays the ranges of emotions magnificently- her triumph and dissapointments, her desperation and frustrations, innocence and connivance..each and every emotion has been portrayed with sheer honesty and brilliancy. A special mention of her acting talent during the climax portions- fabulous!
Arjun Rampal , playing the role of a confused lover is decent, though in terms of screen space and talent, is completely wasted. So as Randeep Hooda and Shahana Goswami, who are impressive in their brief roles. Govind Namdeo doesnt have much scope. Divya Dutta, otherwise an extremely talented actress, does go over the top in several scenes. Ranvir Shorey, in a brief role of a art filmmaker, is strictly ok. But its yesteryear star Helen who steals the show in limted space of time.
Heroine is more of a Kareena film rather than a Madhur Bhandarkar film. Sadly, Heroine is not even a film, its just another boring and stretched to the limit cinema, testing the patience of the audience. Watch it if you are a Kareena Fan, else, just give it a miss!
Watch it out for: Kareena Kapoor, thats it!