A Madhur Bhandarkar movie is always a much awaited fare as he tries to expose the under belly of each profession or field he tries to project on screen. So keeping his past record in mind i.e. Chandni Bar, Satta, Page 3, Traffic Signal, Corporate and Fashion, I was eager to find out what he had to show about the movie industry through the eyes of a Heroine played by Kareena Kapoor. To tell you frankly he disappointed me badly.

If you have followed the movies made by Madhur, you will see a set pattern in every story he brings on screen, where a wannabe becomes a person of importance or peaks his/her career and then because of arrogance and pride hits the bottom of their career only to resurrect and find a meaning above the profession he or she is pursuing. Case in point Satta, Page 3, Corporate, Fashion and now Heroine (here he has done away with her struggling phase and concentrated on her downfall). Let me also tell you that Heroine is no ‘The Dirty Picture’ that released last year and is now regarded as a cult movie,  and garnered awards as well as rewards for everyone connected with it.

Coming to the movie, it is the story of a successful movie star Mahi Arora (Kareena Kapoor) who is in love with a much married actor Aryan Khanna (Arjun Rampal) who does not acknowledge their relationship out in public or print. She is more concerned about getting a commitment from Aryan than concentrating on her career until she realizes one day that her career as well as her relationship with Aryan is heading no where.

She soon tries to take charge of her career and in the process takes some bad career decisions, exploits people and relationships only to fall flatly in every account. There is not much novelty in the story as we have seen such stories and situations earlier. As a viewer, one would love to see the unknown facet of the movie industry and not the cliched stuff where every actor wants to sleep with every actress, homosexuality, back biting, cut throat competition, drug and alcohol abuse etc.

On close inspection one could notice that the writers have heavily borrowed couple of instances from actress Manisha Koirala’s life eg: the alcoholic and eccentric behavior of Mahi (Manisha was known for her alcoholism and eccentric behavior during her prime which lead to her career dwindling down), the sex scandal highlighted before the release of her movie (something similar to what happened during ‘Ek Choti Si Love Story’ in 2001 where Manisha accused director Sasilal Nair of filming nude and love making scenes with a body double without her knowledge) when her career goes scaling down and she has just one movie to make her mark. Even the part where Mahi is shown living a life of anonymity in Europe in the climax of the movie (something similar to what Manisha did in the last couple of years before she got married and divorced recently) etc.

Now coming to performances; Kareena Kapoor has given a good performance however not a National Award winning one as we have seen her doing much better in many other movies in the past eg: Chameli, Jab We Met, Dev etc. Arjun Rampal seems wooden in the first half only to resurrect in the second half with some good acting display. Randeep Hooda, Divya Dutta, Shahana Goswami gives some wonderful performances in their brief screen space. Govind Namdeo as Kareena’s secretary is plain okay, I still don’t figure out what Achint Kaur was doing the movie (there was no reference to what or who she was in the movie). Helen as a fading actress does an average job.

Direction by Madhur is strictly okay but the story lets him down heavily, so he needs to work with better writers the next time he makes a movie. Dialogues by Niranjan Iyengar were plain okay and the most irritating part about them was that, every character mouthed ‘Babes‘ in every sentence they spoke. Music by Salim-Suleman is plain below average with just one hum-able ‘Saiyan’ and an average ‘Halkat Jawani’. On the whole I would rate this movie ‘Average’ and on the Box Office I do not see it making bigger numbers like Barfi or Raaz 3 that released in the last couple of weeks, it might just sail through in the name of Madhur and Kareena.

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