By now you must be aware of the hype created by a certain offensive piece of tripe masquerading as a film. It has garnered much attention and hatred, and I hate to add to the publicity surrounding this exercise in myopia, given that its message is “PEOPLE FROM A CERTAIN COMMUNITY ARE EVIL BECAUSE I SAID SO!” But there’s no getting away from it. I’m afraid I have to talk about Heroine.
As you can tell from the name, Heroine is a film about Jews exploding in space. I especially love Bhandarkar’s approach to nomenclature. I can’t wait for him to make a film about films titled ‘Film’. Also, baby-naming ceremonies at the Bhandarkar household must be so predictable:
“Madhur, I want to give our baby a name that commands respect, something that is synonymous with greatness, courage and ambition.”
“Let’s call him... Baby.”
“You already named his brother that.”
“How about Diaper?”
Heroine goes on for more than 2.5 hours, or if you have good taste, 47 days. In case you missed it, here’s a quick scene breakdown:
EXT. STREET: NIGHT
A car screeches to a halt and Kareena is thrown out the passenger door.
Kangana Ranaut: Hey, that’s my line!
INT. POLICE STATION
Kareena walks in, looking dazed and confused, like someone just asked her to add two numbers.
Cop: Superstar Mahi, do you want to file a complaint?
Secretary: (rushing in) Oh no, no complaint. Come Mahi, there’s clunky exposition to do.
FLASHBACK TO: JOURNO-CUM-NARRATOR PERSON WHO WILL KEEP POPPING UP TO EXPLAIN THE PLOT AS IF THIS WERE A DOCUMENTARY ABOUT THE HIGGS BOSON
Journo narrator: This is a layered story about a highly complex individual trying to find herself while negotiating a cesspool of money, power, greed and lust. LOL JK. Mahi’s psycho. Loco. Mental. Batshit. Yedi. End of story.
CUT TO: MUCH-TALKED-ABOUT SEX SCENE
Kareena: Arjun, you and I are two super-hot people. It would take real talent for someone to make this sex scene look bad.
Madhur: CHALLENGE ACCEPTED.
Kareena: Oh and I’m totes gonna record our session of badonka-donka-donk! Foreshadowing, yo.
Arjun: Babes, don’t use big words around me na. Head hurts. Babes. Please. Babes. Babes. Protein shake. Babes.
(Fact: About 93% of the dialogue is just the word ‘babes’. The rest is the sound of English teachers shoving their heads into a woodchipper.)
CUT TO: TOKEN GAY/
Gay guys: Hieeee!! In case you didn’t get it, we’re like, totally gay. Homo. Fruitcake dipped in rainbows fried in fruitcake. And if you think that’s insulting, you should see how we’ve been portrayed in this movie. SQUEEE!
Bisexual guy: Iss industry mein zip aur zabaan sambhal ke kholni chahiye. Yes, that is the actual line they gave me, right after I secure favours by 377ing a rich dude. Yay diversity!
CUT TO: KAREENA
Kareena: Hey Rampal, Y U NO DIVORCE YOUR WIFE? I LOVE YOU HOW DO YOU NOT GET IT WHY WOULD YOU NOT WANT TO LEAVE YOUR STUPID, NAGGY WIFE AND SPEND ALL YOUR TIME WITH THIS CLINGY BUNDLE OF AWESOMENESS? *crazy eyes*
Arjun: Wait, I’m trying to emote.
Kareena: This could take a while. ITEM SONG!
CUT TO: Halkat Jawani, which is like regular jawani, but with more navel.
CUT TO: DRAMATIC
Kareena throws a drink in Arjun’s wife’s face.
Arjun: WTF? Why did you do that?
Kareena: Dunno. But I’m probably the first Kapoor to waste alcohol. Maybe I should go lick it off her?
Arjun: OUTTA MY CAR NOW! AND AGENT VINOD SUCKED! *push*
Audience: YAY! We’re fre- wait, that was just the first half?
I wish I could tell you more about the film, but by this point, my brain was leaking out my ears. The second half had a couple of decent moments, such as the hot dog and caramel popcorn. That aside, Heroine was a loud sermon on the fickle nature of Bollywood, delivered by a man who has perfected the art of using a giant canvas to say nothing. I would have had way more fun just staring at my toenails for three hours. In fact, I’m going to do that right now, and end this column here. Or as Bhandarkar calls it, ‘Full Stop’.
Ashish Shakya is a writer and a stand-up comic. He co-writes the TV satire, The Week That Wasn’t. Sometimes he’s even sober while doing so