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HASEENA PARKAR IS JUST ANOTHER BIOPIC GONE HORRIBLY WRONG

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We all know her, but do we really? That’s the big question this week’s biopic release, Apoorva Lakhia’s Haseena Parkar, sets out to explore. Based on the life and times of Haseena Parkar, the sister of the world’s most wanted man Dawood Ibrahim, the film traces the journey of a girl born and raised in a Mumbai chawl, who went on to be known as the Queen of Mumbai.

First things first. What do you expect when you walk in to watch a biopic? Gain insight to those aspects of a famous personality that never meet the public eye, right? We walked into Haseena Parkar with just the mindset and what happened was, let’s just say, not an ideal start to the weekend. For all the limitless potential that Haseena’s life holds, the film adaptation ends up being a loud, garish and never-ending courtroom drama.

Barely ten minutes into the film and you know there’s something wrong here. Random montages, un-required moments of humour and unidentifiable characters shooting down each other is what makes for the initial moments of the film and before you know Dawood Ibrahim (Siddhanth Kapoor) has already grown up from being a notorious kid to a dreaded smuggler. We understand that the film is about Haseena Parkar (Shraddha Kapoor with a stuffed mouth so bad that it could even give tobacco companies cancer) and not Dawood but director Apoorva Lakhia fails to recognise the importance of other characters and events in Haseena’s life and just seems to be on a mission to glorify the woman.

And this is not the only instance where Lakhia completely messes it up. The way he treats the 1993 Mumbai Serial Blasts is proof enough that Haseena Parkar is one big misfire. An event which not only changed your lead character’s life upside down but changed an entire nation just cannot be done and dusted away with one horrendously-done slow-motion CGI shot. For god’s sake, if not for the audience, at least for the sake of your own film? Even though it was made way back in 2004 on a shoe-string budget, the way Anurag Kashyap treated the blast scenes in Black Friday is so powerful that we still get goose bumps. Mr. Lakhia, take some notes please.

We respect art and we know what it takes to make a film but the sad part is that Apoorva’s goof-ups not only hamper his film but also the efforts of his actors. We have no qualms in admitting that we never imagined Shraddha Kapoor even attempting to pull off a role like this. But her in-film transformation from a simple & uniformed girl to the most feared woman in the city is incredible. She lives her character inside out and shows great potential—there’s this one particular scene where she beats her son in front of a bunch of people and tells her daughter not to feed him for the night. Cut to, she’s sitting next to a man who might be almost as old as her in real life, caressing the same wounds and feeding him with his own hands. That is the moment you know that all said and done, Haseena was also a daughter, a sister, a wife and most importantly a mother and Shraddha does justice to each and every role. The same goes for her brother Siddhanth Kapoor. We’ve all seen glimpses of his raw, earthy and powerful skills in films like Ugly and Shootout at Wadala. With Haseena Parkar also he manages to send out a message that here’s an actor we need to take notice of. His resemblance to Dawood is uncanny and his chemistry with Shraddha is on point. If only both these characters were better written! *sigh*

Films like Haseena Parkar make you realise the power of writing in films. Right from the cheeky dialogues to the terrible screenplay by Suresh Nair, it’s all a downhill ride in the writing department. To add to the woes, editor Steven Bernard makes things worse by bringing in his Rohit Shetty-isque editing style to a gangster biopic. We don’t even know what to say anymore!

To sum things up, Haseena Parkar leaves you feeling sad—not only for yourself but also for story that could have been so much more but ends up being just another sorry affair.

A humble plea coming straight from the heart of a person who is nothing less than a Bollywood maniac: It’s 2017 for god’s sake! Can we please make some better films?!

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