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After his incredible run of women-centric films from Chandni Bar, Page 3, Satta and Corporate to the blockbuster Fashion, Madhur Bhandarkar now turns his lens inwards and presents his most ambitious work yet - Heroine. The film is based on the life and times of a superstar heroine from the dream factory we call 'Bollywood'. The film is a daring, shocking, glamorous, scandalous behind the scenes account of the reality behind the world of glitz and glamour that our film stars inhabit. For a country obsessed with films and film stars, Heroine will take audiences on a voyeuristic journey to see what really goes on behind the closed doors of make up rooms and vanity vans. It will give them a chance to go beyond the gorgeous smiles and politically correct quotes, to see what really happens in the lives of India's sweethearts. The bitching and the politics, the secrets and the lies, the incredible highs of fame and the lonely depths of failure.Written by
A huge controversy arrived in film industry after Aishwariya Rai opted out of the film due to her pregnancy the newspapers reported that the film makers might introduce the clause of pregnancy to actress when they are signing the film. See more »
When Kareena is rehearsing with Arjun for a dance, a clear shot of her back, shows that the outfit is backless. However, when the scene shifts to the makeup van, Kareena is wearing the same outfit but a strap has appeared on her back. See more »
As the title indicates, this is the story of a Bollywood heroine (in fact a collection of some episodes from her life and career). People keep on coming in and going out of her life and she finally ends up running away from the arc-lights and the sounds like Light, Camera, Action, Cut etc., i.e., instead of being a crowd-puller, feels better being a part of the crowd. She is indecisive or confused as to what she actually wants from her life - a successful career or a love-filled life with the man of her choice. And as a Hindi maxim tells - Duvidha Mein Dono Gaye, Maaya Milee Na Raam (in the condition of being in a fix, the person may get neither God nor wealth), she finally gets none of them.
The way every coin has two sides, the same way every world or field has two altogether different sides – one bright one and one dark one. And the so-called realistic filmmaker – Madhur Bhandarkar has typed himself as a filmmaker concentrating on the dark side only of the field he is dealing with in his movie. The problem is that he always takes his audience for granted and wants it to believe whatever he shows as true.
Madhur Bhandarkar has not shown any strugglers or acting lessons or a sincerity towards the profession. Instead he has chosen to show only the successful heroes and heroines and their activities involving mud-slinging, leg-pulling, scores-settling and dirty politics. And just like Fashion, he has shown smoking, drinking, drug-consumption, unsocial behaviour in the parties and casual sex (both heterosexual and homosexual). Is this all the film industry contains ? Is this the only scenario of a heroine's life ? After spending more than a decade in the film industry, do Madhur Bhandarkar and Kareena Kapoor want to tell the world that this is what they experience in this line ? Madhur Bhandarkar has shown that hype is everything and bad publicity is also considered as commercially beneficial. Well, this applies to this over-hyped film itself.
In the beginning sequence of Subhash Ghai's Pardes (1997), Amrish Puri says to a Westerner, 'In your country, love means Len-Den, i.e., give and take whereas in India love means Dena Dena Dena, i.e., give give give. However Madhur Bhandarkar has shown that in this industry (which he himself is a part of), there is only give and take. Every talk, every gesture, every emotion, every relationship is artificial and motivated by self-interest. Well, he and Kareena Kapoor know better.
Chums and dress-designers hovering around heroines are shown as speaking and behaving quite theatrically. Every female smokes. Every heroine is addressed by the talking person as 'babes' or 'baby'. Partisan media persons believe in settling their scores with the stars. Awards are negotiated. Heroes' possessive wives decide the heroines of their movies. Heroes do editing themselves, cutting the roles of those who do not come to their terms. Heroines devote more time to backbiting (or bitching) their contemporaries. Well, at least this is one fact which is confirmed through Kareena Kapoor's own life because she used to do it with her rival heroines till a few years back. For the rest, I am not sure to be fully true. All the same, how can I challenge the perception of Madhur and Kareena of their own line of work ?
The hard-hitting dialogs serve Madhur's purpose best. In one dialog, the ruthless PRO (Divya Dutta) of the heroine says that in the film-line, if you utter a lie with confidence, people consider it as truth. And in another scene, one party-woman says to her talking companion that who is not a fraud in this film industry. Well Madhur, do you say the same about yourself too ? The movie leaves such an impression only.
Technically, the movie is good. Music is in line with the mood of the movie. Though engrossing, the movie appears to be too long and the director seems to have attempted to cover as many facets of the cine-world, as possible which has, after a point, made the movie as burdensome. It has got reduced to a collection of some good and some bad sentences instead of being developed into a well-written impressive article.
Performances are all good. Even those who have been forced by the director to go over the top, have not disappointed. Kareena Kapoor has taken her heart out to invest in this movie and this movie seems to be a take on the real life and career of this aging actress (completed 32 years). All others have done well. Special praise is deserved by Divya Dutta as the PRO and Helen as the heroine of the yesteryears. In addition to the entertainment value, it's the performances and the track of Helen which can be considered as the pluses of this movie. Madhur Bhandarkar's realism seems to be a different name for tried and tested entertainment only.
The biggest thing that the movie subtly conveys is the dictum which I learnt quite late in my life – 'When you chase things, they run away'. When the 'heroine' in the movie chases love, love runs away from her and when she chases success in career, success runs away from her and all of her efforts prove to be counter-productive only in the end. Hence the great lesson rendered by default is never to run after anything. Let it go after a point.
Finally, I conclude my review with a dialog of the PRO to the heroine in a scene – 'Either you manipulate others to your benefit or get ready to be manipulated yourself'. Madhur Bhandarkar seems to have grasped the essence of this dialog and this time he has manipulated.
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