New Delhi: Normally, Madhur Bhandarkar is perceived as a filmmaker who tries to remain close to the apparent reality; however this strategy doesn’t work all the time. The style that Madhur has adopted since ‘Chandni Bar’ (‘Trishakti’ is a forgettable film), has so far worked for him, except in ‘Aan’ and ‘Jail’. His fundamental idea seems simple, read newspapers carefully and turn those events into celluloid moments. ‘Heroine’ also features the same mantra and thus there are some doubts in considering it as a biopic or rather the true story of the film industry.
The level of insecurity is definitely high in Bollywood, we have seen weird things happening in the past including a certain heroine pouring wine on her husband’s ex-wife, but showcasing such incidents doesn’t make ‘Heroine’ a biopic.
It’s not like that Bollywood has made better biopics in the past but still ‘Heroine’ fails to touch ‘The Dirty Picture’ and ‘Paan Singh Tomar’. Making a biopic is not an easy deal; the director has to be a good content editor also, otherwise one gets tempted to put in all the incidents which can surprise the audiences irrespective of the fact whether they are part of the main story line or not. Despite a predictable end, ‘The Dirty Picture’ remained true to the basic and known story of Southern starlet Silk Smitha, ‘Paan Singh Tomar’ was presented in a very non-spicy way, but ‘heroine’ focussed more on the glamour side than the actual factors leading to the loneliness of the film stars.
Leave aside what we saw in ‘Chaplin’ or ‘The Aviator’, even Indian biopics such as ‘Bose-The Forgotten Story’ or ‘Gandhi My Father’ seemed reluctant in being too frivolous, and mind you these films were made with commercial angle.
The most impressive thing in ‘Heroine’ was the attempted objectivity with which Madhur Bhandarkar chronicled the incidents; he didn’t blame anyone for the misfortune of Mahi Arora (Kareena Kapoor) apart from Abbas Khan (Sanjay Suri), who seemed to be taking some kind of personal revenge. But, this objectivity gets invisible towards the climax, ‘Heroine’ finds it difficult to match up to Bhandarkar’s own standards that he has set in the past.
The film opens at a melodramatic high point but soon gets reduced to a psychologically disturbed woman’s rant against the unjust male dominated film world. ‘Heroine’ might not be essentially a biopic but the incidents gathered from here and there presented the Hindi film industry in dim light.
Digs at actors who go to reality shows or adoption centers hampered the real essence of ‘Heroine’. A fantastic opening credit promises a lot but somehow the whole story summarizes in a dialogue from the film only, “Tum star ho, actor ban ne ki koi zaroorat nahi hai,” (You’re a star, don’t try to be an actor).
In the end, we may not give Bhandarkar the credit of being ‘too’ realistic this time, but he should be praised for at least trying to find a solution that his heroine discovers in the end.
The Dirty Picture
Paan Singh Tomar
Bose - The Forgotten Hero
None of these