When you go to watch a Madhur Bhandarkar film, you know what to expect and definitely what not to.
Heroine is the story of Mahi Arora (Kareena Kapoor), a walking on the edge character who goes through downs, and some more downs in her career and personal life, as she fights to stay on top in the big bad world of Bollywood. From losing her position at top to a failed relationship with the biggest star, she pops pills and downs liqour till it reaches a point where there is nothing that remains sane.
Madhur Bhandarkar is back after the ho-hum Dil Toh Bachcha Hai Jee and a box-office dud Jail.
The hype around Heroine was huge specially after Kareena replaced Aishwarya Rai Bachchan who got pregnant and could no longer fit the role. And after Chameli, where she had played a prostitute, an author backed role like this was just what Kareena must have thought would strengthen her position and get some awards... a National may be. Remember Fashion and Priyanka Chopra...
This is Kareena's most skin on display film of her career. She has gone all out to try and beat The Dirty Picture. Alas this film is not even close to the bindaas act that TDP was.
The writing is acceptable in the given set-up of Bollywood exposes, yet it could have gone a little more deeper and created some better scenarios which have some meaning unlike the lesbian track.
But where Heroine disappoints most is the direction.
There are scenes crying out to be taken a step ahead by the director, but he fails.
Kareena is in terrific form throughout, from looking drop dead gorgeous to a puffy eyed self destructing mess. Infact her scenes make you wonder what went wrong with the direction of the rest of the film.
If you are making a real comment, why go so down that it looks like a spoof at certain points. Disastrous support cast, sad representation of the gays and a comic set up for a so called hardened prostitute madam... the list is long..
Madhur knows his formula, lets not fool ourselves, but how easy it is to comment on the industry he himself is a part of? Looking at Heroine, it is obvious compromises were made.
Arjun Rampal is looking tired on screen, Randeep Hooda is charming, Helen puts in a guest appearance and Shahana Goswami is totally wasted with only her bust standing out, Sanjay Suri is unconvincing as a debauch superstar, though Divya Dutta plays a sharp PR shark well. And oh, Ranvir Shorey as a Bengali art-house director is a riot despite his slipping accent.
So will the masses go watch Heroine. My guess is they will. They, who are gossip lovers, glamour struck and grab at every morsel that Bollywood scandals throw their way, might give it a shot. They won't be disappointed. Its a tabloid with bad grammar, but who cares about grammar, right?
My rating 2.5 / 5