Mahi Arora’s (Kareena Kapoor) outer world is as glamorous as her inner world is empty. Desperate to fill it with meaning, she clutches onto superstar boyfriend Aryan (Arjun Rampal), even going so far as to sidelining her career. But when Aryan tosses her aside (quite literally), Mahi’s life goes into a downward spiral as she tries to salvage a fading career, all the while falling into the trappings of fame.
Heroine is touted as being Kareena’s magnum opus, but does the film live up to its expectations? Read our Pros and Cons list to find out!
+ It’s voyeuristic. There’s something that attracts us towards the glamour of Bollywood, and most of us have spent at least some time wondering what it’s like to be on the inside. Heroine gives you a glimpse into that life (over-sensationalised though it may be), and it’s all there: all the substance abuse, cursing, manipulation, politics, and insincerity that one imagines lies within the industry.
+ Kareena Kapoor. She delivers a fabulous performance in the film, even going completely unglamorous for portions of it. She is especially good in the climax, and is by far the highlight of this film.
+ Great supporting performances – especially by the heroines! Pallavi Sharda is fantastic (and what a surprise it was seeing her in the film), Divya Dutta makes an impact as the cunning PR professional, and Shahana Goswami makes full use of her short screen time, delivering a very good performance. As for the boys, Randeep Hooda is good, Arjun Rampal is satisfactory, and Ranvir Shorey is memorable.
– The dialogues. Yes, there are some good ones, like Mahi’s spiel during the press con, and one involving the IPL that will probably rub Preity Zinta the wrong way. But for the most part, the dialogues consisted of random lines with “babes,” “bro,” “baby” (and other such variations) thrown in. Do me a favour – if you go to watch the film, tally the number of times those words are used, and do let me know the final count. That’s a blog post waiting to be written, I tell you.
– The film drags. Over and over again, we’re made to sit through Mahi’s various tribulations, which, frankly, are draining and never-ending. There are too many problems, which just add to the run-time and make you restless. What makes it worse is that the film focuses almost completely on the downside of fame, and only briefly touches upon the glamour – unfortunately, all the negativity just gets exhausting after a while.
– There’s no real story graph. Take Bhandarkar’s previous film, Fashion, for example (the comparison has to come up at some point): you can see a storyline – a budding model rises to the fame slowly, gets caught in the tangles of stardom, falls to rock-bottom, and then slowly begins rebuilding her career. But Heroine is mostly just a string of bad moments tossed together in a series of “2 months later” and “4 months later” type flashforwards – which is capped off with an abrupt and unsatisfying climax.
It’s worth watching only for Kareena Kapoor! The film may not live up to its expectations, but Bebo definitely lives up to the title. (2/5 stars.)