Heroine (2012) *HQ*

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The film starts off with the breakdown of a once upon a time superstar Mahi Arora (Kareena Kapoor) who courtesy all her insecurities and blow hot and cold, mood and spoilt mannerisms has come spiraling downward in her career. She hails from a broken home and takes to alcohol for the slightest of problems.

Most of Mahi’s insecurities arise out of her relationship with superstar Aryan Khanna (Arjun Rampal) who is seeking divorce and wants to keep their relation under wraps. Mahi’s eccentric ways only increase from thereon as she takes of drugs, more alcohol and cigarettes. After breakdown no 1, the actress bounces back and kick starts her career afresh with the help of a PR agent (Divya Dutta) who turns Mahi into a brand, keeps her in news, gets her endorsements and suggests her to date a famous cricketer Angad Paul (Randip Hooda) so as to be in the news. However, despite all her efforts, her career once again comes crashing down and she actress tries picking up the pieces almost through the film after her countless breakdowns.

Madhur treats the theme of HEROINE with extreme simplicity and unfussiness for the avid moviegoer to decipher. I am sure, the viewer would experience explicit contentment to witness the truth behind the made-up faces of the film world, the shadowy secrets that lie behind the enchanting veneer. The lifestyle, the betrayal, the promiscuousness, the inane tittle-tattleā€¦ all this and more is what is expected from a plot that covers the movie industry and it’s all there in profusion in HEROINE.

Whether it’s a sexual or emotional subject matter, Madhur has never cringed from telling the truth the way it is. Like his previous attempts, HEROINE astounds you with its brutal bluntness. Also, the director illustrates the heartrending and lamentable realities of the movie world brilliantly. The party sequence, in the first hour, is simply outstanding. Also, the politics behind casting in films is well illustrated here. The assorted relationships — between Kareena and the two men in her life, between Kareena and her co-star Shahana Goswami and also between Kareena and her PR manager Divya Dutta — are attention grabbing. The screenplay [Madhur, Anuradha Tiwari and Manoj Tyagi; additional screenplay: Niranjan Iyengar] is compelling largely.

On the flip side, although the writing borrows from reality and has ample shock value, the writers could’ve avoided a few episodes in Mahi’s story, which seem unimportant. Besides, the track involving Ranvir Shorey and his film is stretched. Also, the writers have tried to cram too many instances/episodes in the screenplay, which only elongates the run time of the film. Moreover, the film focuses more on the lows than the highs. Had the writing depicted her stardom with the same zeal as the downfall, the impact of Mahi’s fall from grace would’ve appeared more persuasive. One more thing: FASHION depicted glamour in abundance and one would expect an encore in HEROINE, since it talks of the movie industry. The emphasis is more on drama here. Yet, despite the hiccups, the writers ensure that the screenplay never loses grip, never loses focus from the core issue. Furthermore, the film gathers steam yet again during the closing stages, with Madhur handling the culmination with adroitness.

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