HEROINE movie review: Kareena Kapoor makes it bearable!

Fri, September 21, 2012 8:30am UTC by 30 Comments
HEROINE movie review: Kareena Kapoor makes it bearable!

Kareena is the only saving grace of this cliched and clumsy Madhur Bhandarkar film

Heroine tells the story of Mahi Arora (Kareena Kapoor) – the reigning queen of Bollywood. Mahi is in love with the star Aryan Khanna (Arjun Rampal), who is married, but separated from his wife. Mahi wants commitment but Aryan is not ready. Mahi becomes needier as he refuses to acknowledge their relationship in public. Finally, she ends up miffing a star wife at a party and being dumped by Aryan. Mahi loses her standing in the film industry and gets completely distraught. But she soon picks herself up, hires a new PR, finds a new boyfriend (Randeep Hooda) and tries to rebuild her career and life. But suffering from bipolar disorder doesn’t make things easier for her. She continues to struggle to find her way through the manipulative and dirty world of Bollywood (as is made just way too obvious by the director). The final nail in the coffin comes when she becomes desperate and uses a cheap publicity stunt to make her movie a hit.

On the face of it, Heroine had great scope to be developed into an interesting story. But director Madhur Bhandarkar gets confused – he wants to reveal the big bad world of Bollywood to the outsiders and tell a human story at the same time. There are lose references to real controversies – a star who edits his co-actor’s role, female actors partnering with a businessman to buy an IPL team when their careers are going downhill, a leaked MMS which brings ample publicity to a couple, a gay designer who is known to design saris and is a close friend to some top female actors, a star wife who decides which heroines his star husband will work with after a recent linkup and so on. The director entertains you by giving you a guessing game. You get busy trying to find out whether a character is based on a certain star or not. But that’s where the fun ends.

Bhandarkar makes sure he incorporates all the clichés – some that he has already used in his previous movies – a gay friend, a bisexual director sleeping in return for a favour, MMS scandal, heroines dating cricketers, struggling female actors sleeping around with big stars to rise in their career, philandering male stars and their manipulative star wives. Now that is the image of Bollywood in the eyes of the common man anyway! Bhandarkar simply affirms the stereotypes instead of adding a new dimension or depth to these impressions. Cutting the paraphernalia and sticking to Mahi’s story would have done the film a whole lot of good.

The saddest part is that everything comes across as just too wannabe. Characters forcefully use words like babes, dude, bro, bbm etc. Bhandarkar plants a so-called bold element by showing a sexual encounter between Kareena and her female costar (Shahana Goswami). Sensational, yes…aesthetically acted out, yes…but is it important? Well, it could have made for a great plot line, but it ends up being totally irrelevant to the story.

There are some good performances that give you a glimmer of hope. Arjun Rampal as the confused star and Randeep Hooda as the loving and caring cricketer give mature performances. Divya Dutta as Kareena’s PR person is decent too.

Almost all the characters though are seen puffing a cigarette and gulping down alcohol giving the impression that every person in the media – journalist, actor and PR – smokes and drinks all the time!

My heart goes out to Kareena Kapoor, who carries the film on her solitary shoulders. She looks ethereal and makes the most of whatever has been offered to her in terms of her character. She brings depth to the role of a moody and emotionally unstable fading star. Some scenes are over the top and that affects her performance too. But Kareena especially shines in some scenes – when she is completely down and out and just nods in agreement to her manager, when she comes face to face with her ex-boyfriend and when she watches the TV to find out whether her publicity stunt has worked. But a clichéd script, some clumsy dialogues (by Niranjan Iyengar) and naive direction let her down.

The story begins when she is at the top of her career and follows her downfall. But since you don’t get to see her rise or her struggle to the top, you don’t have a reference point. You don’t feel for the downfall of the character because Madhur makes it clear right in the beginning that she is mentally unstable – that she follows her heart because her mind doesn’t work. How do you sympathise or empathise with Kareena’s character when it is so weak? Instead one ends up feeling bad for Kareena – the actor.

The biggest weakness of the film is that there is no structure. Where is the beginning, the middle and the end? The flaw is with the basics. A high point is followed by a very predictable and dreary development – a bummer. A rather boring and flat first half gives way to slightly more promising second half. But as the story unfolds you are just going through the motions, mainly because of a confused plot.

The film has no similarities to The Dirty Picture (except that both show the downfall of a star) because TDP claimed to be an out and out entertainer and it was. Heroine tries to be an expose on the film industry and pretends to be bold, but it is amateur and stereotypical. It fails at the research level, script level and in the development of the plot and characters. It becomes bearable only because of Kareena. I give her five stars, but the movie doesn’t deserve them.

Rating: * *

* Poor – Avoid!

** Average – Give it a shot if you are desperate!

*** Good – One time watch!

**** Very good – Must watch!

***** Excellent – Don’t miss!

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  • sadia

    how sad better luck next time…she was flying b4 its … so this was gona happen…

    • zaf

      its not a bad story at all.. The media is rating this as low just because as usual Madhur Bhandarkar showed the true face of Media too…

  • sheena

    serves her right too much self praise and rubbishing other actors . she should marry her old man and learn to be diginified . let the public decide who is the best .

    • Myopinion

      I totally agree. Kareena needs to shut up and realize that she’s a flop actress & the only reason she survived in Bollywood is because her last name is Kapoor. I don’t know anyone who respects her. This film was doomed the minute Kareena took over for Aishwarya! Kareena has always been a flop because of the bad karma she creates. She needs to have some respect for the other actresses who are truly successful due to their own merit – not like Kareena who pays PR reps to lie, exaggerate & create false hype about her being #1. Puhlease! Go Vidya, Aishwarya, Kajol & Priyanka, the true top bankable heroines in the biz!!!

      • katie

        i totally agree with u. instead PC without much talking is a clear winner for Barfi this time

      • Ursisastupidopinion

        Kareena is a good actress…I think u need to shut up. All the critics seems to be praising..u r an idiot..

      • Urownopinion

        That’s ur own opinion. It doesn’t matter. Ur approval does not make her a good actress nor ur opinion will make her any less of an actress. I know for a fact that Kareena is a good actress. The film has got bumper opening..hope this will put ur mind rest…Plz keep ur opinion to urself honey…

      • Tamanna

        Everyone has their own opinion….u won’t be able to do half as well as her even if u sell yourself …. So if you can’t say somethin good about her then shut up…

      • Ahinkya

        Kareena is above any comparison. For that matter, no other actress is worth comparison even with Kareena’s jooti, leave alone Kareena’s….whether the movie does well or not, bebo, u will remain my favourite….

  • soud

    It was a wrong decision by Kareena. Madhur’s movies are not good anymore. Good that Aishwarya dropped the movie. Thanks to her pregnancy.

  • public

    hi, i saw the movie, sorry to tel u it a bad sciript.not like dirty picture where u feel conected. Not worth spending money

    • zaf

      its not a bad story at all.. The media is rating at as low just because as usual Madhur Bhandarkar showed the true face of Media too…

  • Chirag

    Guys have u totally lost ur mind…well done bebo…we all love you
    All the best

  • love

    love the movie kareena u rock!!!

  • zaf

    …it’s not a baaad story at all.. The media is rating this as low just because as usual Madhur Bhandarkar showed the ugly face of Media who are sold out… :(

  • SUDHIR THAKKAR

    nice movie , i like and enjoy karina i love u and pl abhi bhi time he sef se sadi mat karo,aap ko koi bhi achha partner mil jayega dear.

  • Tamanna

    A really silly film… Something similar to fashion..

  • Kapil jadwani

    Average movie.not expected this from madhur.look at his previous ones,chandni bar,fashion etc.no good songs,not a good story.i think what he wanted to show he wasn’t able to show on the screen.last scene was also not upto the mark,in the whole movie i was just waiting for the climax.the last scene showed that when u have no work,just leave the profession,leave the country where u were stayed frm childhood.the scene must have something bold,like d movie fashion had.

  • Kamran shan

    Hi Karena i really like ur movie specially ur charactar im really surprised to see that its happend in real life..?? i also wana be an actor but after seeing this movie i think i have to change my mind.. but ur rock and i love u so much muuuuuuuhaaaaaaa

  • vibha

    dresses were nice..:-)

  • seema

    kareena rocks in the movie she has proved it that she can carry a movie on her shoulders all alone she looks dammn beautiful in the movie.

    dammn beautiful in the movie.

  • Karisma

    Heroine is worst movie I want my money and time back!!!!!!! Ur review was tooooo generous 2 stars is 2 much!!!!! Should be zero stars only!!!!!!!

  • pankaj

    I just want to say don’t marry with saif,u r rock and u can get very good life partner better then saif.ur friend pankaj rai

  • namrata

    Kareena acted very well. Some one like Aishwarya would have never been able to carry. Is some one trying to sabotage KaREENA’S carrier. The dance is not vulgar, maybe the cheepos were looking out for Sheela ki Jawani with Sheela dancing as the ants were troubling her in her bumps. That is not dance and not vulgar like Munni badnam hui. Guys brush up your knowledge regarding art and acting and then open your big mouth.

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  • NADEEM R2DO

    IT COULD BE A GOOD MOVIE IF MADHUR USED SOME TRUE STORYLINE. SUCH AS MEENA KUMARI’s REAL LIFE STORY. SHE WAS SENT TO ORPHANAGE BY HIS FATHER, WORKED IN EARLY AGE TO SUPPORT THE FAMILY. MARRIED IN EARLY AGE AT THE PEEK OF HERCAREER TO AN AGED KAMAL AMROHI, WHO USED HER TALENTS, MONEY AND TIME IN HIS FILM “PAKEEZAH” FOR WHICH SHE REJECTED MOVIES WITH BIG STARS. KAMAL KEPT RESHOOTING THE FILM BEING A PERFECTIONIST. FIRST TO BLACK N WHITE TO COLOUR THEN TO CINEMA SCOPE. MEANWHILE SHE LINKED UP WITH YOUNGER TO HER IN AGE,CAREER AND EXPERIENCE DHARMENDRA VERY EMOTIONALLY. ALMOST ALL THE FILMS SHE DID WITH DHARMENDRA DID NOT DO WELL BECAUSE OF THEIR AGE DIFFERENCE. SHE TRIED TO LOOK YOUNGER TO MAINTAIN THE GAP BY DOING SILLY MISTAKES. AT THAT POINT SHE WAS SO DESPERATE THAT SHE CARED NOBODY. SHE LOST ALL HER MONEY, GLAMOUR, CAREER, CHARM AND ABOVE ALL HEALTH FOR THIS STAR. SHE WAS AGAIN REUNITE WITH AMROHI TO COMPLETE THEIR FILM. BUT IT WAS TOO LATE, BEING AN ADDICT TO ALCOHOL SHE WAS IN HER LAST DAYS WHILE SHOOTING AND MOREOVER BEFORE THIS MOVIE HALF A DOZEN OF HER FILMS HAVE BEEN RELEASED WHERE SHE HAD PLAYED OLDER LADY’s ROLE IN FILMS LIKE ABHILASHA, JAWAB, DUSHMAN & MERE APNE. fILM PAKEEZAH WAS FLOP BUT AS SOON SHE DIED WITHIN A WEEK FILM PICKED UP AND APPRECIATED. EVEN TODAY FILM PEOPLE REMEMBER HER AS A TRAGEDY QUEEN OF HER TIME. THERE WAS A LOT OF MATERIAL IN HER LIFE THAT STILL CAN BE USED IN A FILM.

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  • Qamar Ali Shah

    HERIONE IS GREAT MOVIE. KAREENA IS BEST ACTOR AS COMPARED TO OTHERS.

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