If you study all the projects made by the national award winner director Madhur Bhandarkar post his PAGE 3 then you will easily spot a fixed kind of pattern followed by the veteran with only a single exception to the rule which was DIL TOH BACCHA HAI JI. But before that whether it is COPORATE, TRAFFIC SIGNAL, FASHION or JAIL they all are based on the same model of taking a realistic, believable plot appealing to the viewer which also has some serious shocks in store for him mostly related to his own daily routine life. So for that reason, one always felt like instantly related to a Madhur Bhandarkar film somehow with a keen urge to see it at the earliest. However the same wasn’t the case with HEROINE which failed to excite majority of audience through its uninteresting promos lacking the novelty.
Being the owner of a creative thinking mind, Madhur willfully tried to break the above mentioned routine style of his with DIL TO BACCHA HAI JI, but couldn’t find any takers. So he forcibly returned to his good old winning formula of realistic films and made HEROINErevolving around his own film industry and its dark secrets. Now no doubt he once again successfully serves you a fine lead performance along with some severe scandalous revelations about the glamorous entertainment business as per his unique style. Yet, this time it’s more repetition all through the movie for a common man rather than having some fresh original content from the thoughtful director. The last year Hit THE DIRTY PICTURE, his own FASHION and the recent RAAZ 3, made on the similar subjects might be one of the reasons of this ‘seen before’ kind of feeling from the film. But the conclusion is that the master is not at his best in HEROINE and fails to give you something novel as always expected from him according to his own fixed standards.
While watching the film, I strongly felt that Madhur shouldn’t have continued with the same script after watching TDP which was released almost one year before, giving him enough time to take the decision. Being a talented writer and director he should have added some new twists & turns in the plot in order to put it on a different path altogether from Vidya’s big hit of 2011. But since he didn’t opt for the changes so, HEROINE unfortunately gives you the same old content starting from the intermission of TDP with many more spicy ingredients added to win over the audience.
In few words, HEROINE has nothing new and the film even doesn’t have any good songs to keep the tempo up. It straight away begins with a tense scene and then picks up rarely in its 148 minutes of duration, unable to generate any kind of lasting impression on the viewer. The film majorly lacks on the entertainment quotient since it doesn’t have any major entertaining or enjoyable sequences right till the end and becomes too slow (& stretched) post intermission. Thankfully, Kareena scores well & looks stunning with one of her career best performances which remains the only reason why it can be watched once, in order to honor her honest attempt. The lady is in her boldest avatar ever in HEROINE and also gets terrific support from the entire cast featuring Helen, Shahana Goswami, Randeep Hooda, Arjun Rampal, Divya Dutta, Govind Namdev, Mugdha Godse and Sanjay Suri in that given order. Cinematography and Background Score does not give you anything special to enjoy but the costume designers do give you many open spaces in their dresses to peep in.
To be honest, I strongly disagree with Madhur’s outlook this time as he goes completely NEGATIVE in the film degrading the already frightful image of the film industry further to many folds. In fact the only positive scenes & dialogues in HEROINE are the ones featuring HELEN posing as an old time successful actress who is not treated well by the present industry people in her old age. And apart from that, every single character in its script is an opportunist who is just interested in using the other person for his own benefit and nothing else. So you have a purely humiliating or shameful depiction of the Film Industry here in HEROINE revealed by a veteran director of the industry himself. In other words, its a VIBHISHAN kind of act by Madhur Bhandarkar in which he ridicules his own chosen industry, reveals its ugly darker side like a insider and makes fun of it in the end with an open climax.
Considering the film’s subject from a realistic angle, Yes there are mostly corrupt and opportunist people here who are always on a hunt to use the talent of others for their own mutual benefits, but Are the same people not there in any other businesses or in your daily offices too?
Yes, there is a darker or negative side of the film business which often gets revealed in the media at the right time to en-cash the planned timely publicity but isn’t the same done by all the Big Brands operating in the consumer product industry too?
Yes, the film people do use the print & visual media for their own hidden purposes but doesn’t the print & visual media also in-turn uses the Stars & their stories in order to sell their own channels and magazines too?
In a broader sense it’s all a mutual game going on here in the materialistic world where everyone is using each other for their own hidden interests. And the Film Industry isn’t the only negative industry in existence as portrayed by the film in particular. The dark features prevalent in film business can easily be found in all the other major businesses too involving big investments. But the problem here is that Madhur in HEROINE paints such a dreadful image of the industry on the screen which straight away gives you a strong impression that there cannot be anything worst than the Film Industry in the entire world.
Watching the kind of relationships shown in the film where veterans are not respected, directors are thrown out of the offices by shutting down their months old projects, roles are cut on the editing table, publicity is planned for only a chosen few, actors are signed on hidden recommendations, films are planned like canned food and sex is practiced in its all (questionable) forms ranging from straight, gay & lesbians……I seriously doubt any concerned parent would like to send his daughter or son in the film line after seeing HEROINE.
Interestingly, the last year’s hit THE DIRTY PICTURE was also about this dark revelation of the film line. But there the director was more interested in entertaining the audience with some great mix of fun, song, dance, sex and drama. But here in HEROINE, such is the impact of negativity sprayed on the screen by Madhur Bhandarkar that one is bound to ask that “Is there nothing positive or good in the Film Industry at all?”
In fact that is the biggest failure of this project since it only stresses upon the negative side of a coin and tries to sell itself like an evil film to the audience. Quite strangely Madhur doesn’t include even a single positive scene in his script which tries to highlight the few good people functioning in the industry too along with the bad ones. In truth, negativity or evil cannot survive alone in existence as it does need the assistance of goodness essentially to make its presence felt. But since Madhur only deals with the evil in HEROINE, it falls flat and fails to impress.
Ending on a social note, I would like to put up some questions to the writer-director that if the Industry is really is so bad then why he is still there operating in the middle of such hypocrites? And if he is willfully still there becoming a part of these manipulations, then why he was not interested in giving some solution to the grim situation instead of just focusing on the problem in his film. At present HEROINE remains a feeble, one sided realistic attempt to explain the situation, which wasn’t expected from an intelligent director of Madhur’s stature. More importantly the film is not only capable of further ruining the already grey image of the Film Industry but it may also discourage many talented creative youngsters to choose a different career other than of creative arts like films and music.
Besides, the release time of HEROINE itself is a spoof on its director and producers themselves since they exactly do the same thing in real life as planned by the fading actress Mahie in their script to gain some extra free publicity on her new film’s release. In the film she leaks an intimate video clip to the media for getting a good opening at the box office and in real life Madhur smartly plans the release of his film on Kareena Kapoor’s actual birthday.
Because in reality ….its all Show Business and a part of the game.