It’s Kareena Kapoor’s show all through Heroine. But for her, is there anything else to the film?
Pseudo realistic films appear ever so often like ugly warts on smooth skin. After the mildly amusing ‘Dirty Picture’ it’s the melodramatic ‘Heroine’. The film is akin to a celluloid version of a glossy Mumbai rag where the gossip columnist writes with obvious innuendo and you preen after guessing the star she’s (female writers have better access to boudoir conquests) referring to. ‘Heroine’ could well be a ‘spot the star with reference to the scene shown’ contest. There are the shenanigans and the starry skirmishes. The screen is crammed with stereotypes mouthing arcane ‘filmi philosophy’. While the protagonist is the complex child of a dysfunctional family there’s the philandering hero, an insecure star wife, the journo who writes favourable things depending on favours rendered, a cricketer who preys on starlets and of course the gay dress designer. There are overt references like Sanjay Suri playing a star strikingly like Shahrukh (quivering voice intact) with a possessive wife who decides his heroines. There’s a dig at Priety Zinta about how fading actresses latch on to tycoons and buy IPL teams. Of course, there are the ex-editors who end up ghost writing star autobiographies! Nobody can deny anything that happens on-screen but as usual Madhur Bhandarkar scratches the surface. It’s not an expose or an honest version of a female star’s life like Shyam Benegal’s brilliant ‘Bhumika’. Talking about actresses you could call it Kareena’s lucky stars or nature’s timely intervention that she landed the role in ‘Heroine’. The Bachchan ‘bahu’ was originally to play the coveted role but the stork’s mistimed visit robbed her off the chance. Madhur sulked and even dared to enter into a war of words with the Senior Bachchan ( when you’re bitter, get on twitter). Everything happens for the good and if Aishwarya Rai had played the role we’d have been deprived of watching a stunning performance by Kareena Kapoor. Ash would have looked the part but would not have been a patch on what Kareena has managed. As a troubled and lonely actress yearning for success and love, her felicity of face is remarkable. The way her beautiful, expressive eyes reflect fleeting emotions is to be seen to be believed. Madhur chooses plenty of close-ups to capture her face and the way she reacts when others are speaking is captivating. Kareena Kapoor is the sole reason for watching ‘Heroine’. The Kapoor cousins have to order bigger showcases because I’m sure they’ll sweep all the important awards even if they refuse to perform during the show!
It’s strange, this charade carried out periodically by Kannada news channels when they sense a controversy. Yash, the upcoming star has been accused by the wife of a late actor and a few others of swindling their money years ago. Nobody knows who’s right and who’s wrong but the warring parties go to two different channels and trade charges. While the channel hosting Yash is sure he’s innocent the other wants him to return the money, pronto. The amusing part is that the warring parties watch the rival channel during commercial breaks and react. Forget Yash who’s been mouthing the same thing for two full days there are viewers who confess they’re hooked. This will die down too. Remember the Darshan episode. Everyone thought his release in the aftermath of the wife beating episode, ‘Sarathi’ would tank at the box-office. It turned out to be his biggest hit. Don’t be surprised if Yash’s next release ‘Drama’ gets a bumper opening!