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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
"What a stupid movie", my wife exploded, as we left the theatre, "in the first half, we were at least watching her dresses, her jewellery, her looks. Second half didn't even have that", she fumed.
Allow me to elaborate further. This is one bad-ass, regressive, depressive, narcissistic, over- indulgent, formulaic and overall, pathetic film. There are at least three occasions when you feel its ended, your spirits soar, only to have them cruelly dashed as it finds another useless story thread to explore. You feel absolutely nothing for any character, least of all the central character, who is shown to be rude, ill-mannered, insecure, manipulative, vacillating constantly between career and love, needy, dependent, unprofessional and about emotionally as stable as a suicide bomber at a security checkpost.
Am not quite sure what the film was about. Kareena, obviously, plays the title role, constantly seeks what she doesn't have and disregards what she does. Her central motive or motives remain unknown through the film as she runs through commercial films, edgier topics and off- beat films as part of her career. She runs through different men, Arjun Rampal and Randeep Hooda, being the primary. She changes staff and endorsement deals with rapid regularity. Her known temperamentalness obviously causes producers and even her heroes to shy away from her. Her end-goal, right till the end, remains as mysterious as her rise to stardom.
If we are supposed to feel sad at all this, any sympathy for her, then the loud music, constant shrieking, rivers of tears and some extremely hammy acting by some of the character actors (especially the gay designer, journalist) help nip that in the bud admirably.
Normally, the central character performance is what usually redeems such a film, but despite being a huge fan of Kareena's acting abilities and looks, she is saddled with such a hopeless, flawed character that nothing can be salvaged from it. The only saving grace, if at all, is her constantly careening cleavage, which provided a few moments of solace.
There are so many beautiful things in the industry to explore. I've known artistes to work amazing hours, to be ready on time for shots, work round the clock on triple shifts, to be patient, firm, never lose their cool. Like Kareena in real life, they explore different roles, experiment with different looks. But unfortunately, in the eyes of the writer-director, this wouldn't have made an interesting enough film and so he gives us a caricature of a human being instead, who is deeply troubled psychologically and inflicts mental agony upon the hapless audience as well. More at apurvbollywood.blogspot.com
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