HATE STORY. Its very first promo became the topic of discussion, went viral, managed to scandalize one and all with its audacious and explicit essence. Outrageous and shocking, the promo hit you like a ton of bricks, generating heat and hullabaloo due to its unconcealed sexuality, making it the most discussed promo on social networking sites that day of the week. In fact, the distribution rights of the film were picked up instantly thanks to the remarkable influence of this promo.
Vikram Bhatt [he's penned the story] falls back on the formula of the 1970s and 1980s, when vendetta fares ruled the roost. In HATE STORY, the protagonist seeks vengeance and uses her sexuality as a weapon to settle scores with the wrong-doers. A compelling plot that has the potential to keep the viewer captivated, the film tantalizes and teases the spectator thanks to the intrepid dare bare scenes by Paoli Dam, but is quite unpersuasive at certain junctures as well.
The story revolves around Kaavya [Paoli Dam] and her transformation from a simple middle class journalist to a sex worker to seek revenge. Kaavya, who doesn't have anything to lose anymore, uses her sexuality as a lethal weapon to rip Siddharth [Gulshan Devaiah] apart by using everyone connected to him one way or another. Thus begins the journey of hatred and brutal vengeance.
This affects everyone around Kaavya, including her family and her best friend Vicky [Nikhil Dwivedi], who secretly loves her.
Movies with such an audacious theme generally ignite debates and HATE STORY is sure to meet with severe reactions. The makers ought to be prepared for some bouquets and brickbats. What makes the movie watchable is the vengeance aspect. But the ease with which she makes her way to the people she sets her sights on is hard to digest. First, the CEO [Joy Sengupta] followed by the influential politician [Mohan Kapur]â¦ the woman barters her body for getting closer to her prey. But the manner in which she executes her plan seems so unworkable and unrealistic.
Fiery dialogues and explicit visuals had prepared the viewer as to what to anticipate from HATE STORY, so that the moviegoer isn't in a state of astonishment at the daring on-screen happenings. The movie has an assortment of sexually explicit scenes and also extensive use of tainted language, which may appeal to those who relish steamy thrillers.
Director Vivek Agnihotri has filmed HATE STORY most stylishly. In fact, his approach to the narrative flabbergasts you and at times also renders you speechless, but a cohesive script would've worked wonders. The reason that compels Paoli to seek vengeance is completely justified, but the wars fought in the board rooms and the corporate jargon at places doesn't leave the desired impact. The twist in the tale in the final sequence, though shocking, seems unwarranted. A better thought culmination would've only been more impactful.
There's not much scope for music [Harshit Saxena] here, yet the songs fit the situations well. I'd like to make a special mention of the background score. It's electrifying. Another aspect that deserves to be highlighted are the dialogue. A number of dramatic scenes get enhanced due to some blazing lines. Attar Singh Saini's cinematography catches your eye.
Cast in a multi-dimensional character, Paoli, who won acclaim for her performances in Bengali films, makes a confident debut in Hindi films with HATE STORY. She facilitates in keeping the anxiety escalating with her authoritative act as her character stoops to frantic measures to make life hell for the man who disdained her. Gulshan, earlier seen in films like DUM MAARO DUM and SHAITAN, is a talent to watch out for. He plays the anti-hero with gusto. In fact, the film is about the conflict between Paoli and Gulshan's characters and the impact is heightened as they indulge in the game of cat and mouse. Nikhil is the sole character who's positive, while the other characters are either negative or have shades of grey. He's decent!
Mohan Kapur is efficient, Joy Sengupta leaves a mark, Saurabh Dubey is excellent, Iravati is wasted and Bhairavi Goswami appears in a cameo.
On the whole, HATE STORY banks on the age-old vendetta theme, but what takes it beyond the mediocre mark is the cat and mouse game played by the protagonist and antagonist, besides, of course, the bold and provocative scenes that add spice to the proceedings. Though engaging in parts, there's no denying that the second hour seizes your attention, making it a watchable experience.