Director Vinil Mathew’s film is layered and twisted, so much so that you are intrigued and wanting to know more
Whodunnit? It’s Dinesh Pandit. Who is Dinesh Pandit? Nobody but everybody. It’s fascinating how the word ‘Haseen’ or ‘Haseena’ is used interchangeably with a woman’s wickedness and bold streak and not just her facial beauty. Haseen Dillruba is thrilling full of masala elements, slow midway, but still keeping your interest alive. This a film that you watch with a smile, for the inherent style that it carries.
Watch the trailer here:
A wife is suspected for her husband’s murder. The investigation reveals details, much to the shock of the police.
The story, screenplay and dialogues are by Kanika Dhillon. Good. Very good. How a fictional crime novelist Dinesh Pandit takes the center stage without ever being present is the most interesting part of the film, ofcourse apart from the naturally hilarious and inevitable situations in an arranged marriage. The story is simple to say the least if you look at it in totality. But how the screenplay presents the bits and pieces of it and it unfolds as you go ahead is something that makes you glued.
The opening sequence starts with a bang, or rather a blast and the story ensues. You know there is more to the leading lady than what is revealed. Yes, much comes to light slowly. But then, your main character takes a back seat and allows someone else to emerge in the spotlight. Then the third one appears and you know some sparks are sure to be ignited. Who will do what in what manner is something that keeps you guessing and confused, both in a pleasant way. The story also doesn’t linger on for too long at one spot, enabling the narrative to move quickly.
The screenplay does dip in its pace after the interval point. It is here that some might lose interest. Having said that, the twists compensate. The fact that you are not able to root for one character is why you like the film. There is no clarity till the final 15mins of the film, making it an enriched piece.
The situations are dual. For one, when the family is shown and things are developing between a couple, things are relatable with hints of misogyny and patriarchy. There is comedy, drama, fair share of human emotions playing catalysts to the nature of the story. On the other hand, the crime is brutal and violent, making you wonder if somethings similar would happen in real life. But such is life. Extreme is the only normal, especially in a cinematic world.
Looking at Taapsee Pannu’s filmography, you would feel this must have been a cakewalk for her. But no. This one is not an easy role to play. There are so many shades to her character, which she switches like every 20mins in the film. To be able to do that convincingly is a feat in itself. You aren’t able to understand if Rani (character played by her) is good or bad, and that’s the biggest victory for Pannu.
Vikrant Massey also is very good, exhibiting layers to a role that is also equally unpredictable. What do you make out of a man who is timid, shy, reserve, reticent, but dangerous, bold, strong, egoistic at the same time. Massey brings this all to the table with grace.
Harshvardhan Rane looks charming. And he uses his charm to his maximum advantage. On the acting front, he is okay, but suits the nature of the role for sure.
Aditya Srivastava should have been given a substantial role given his talent and stature. Even for the role of the police inspector, the character isn’t properly etched out. Otherwise Srivastava has done a decent job.
Yamini Das is fantastic. Dayashankar Pandey is also very good.
The songs by Amit Trivedi aren’t memorable but suit beautifully during the course of the film. They work wonders conveying the essence of the situations. Background score by Amar Mangrulkar is noteworthy particularly when the maker wants you think in a certain way about a character. Greatly done. The instruments used are also not the conventional ones, hence the score stands out.
Cinematography by Jaykrishna Gummadi catches your eyes for the usage of different colours, more so the red shades. The colour palettes define the key points of the film and makes you pay special attention. Production design by Madhur Madhavan and Swapnil Bhalerao also adds to the visual appeal, especially during the indoor sequences. The space is well established with clear demarcation of boundaries through elements and crisp colours and hues.
Editing by Shweta Venkat Mathew is also sharp for it keeps the interest level sustained throughout. The film goes back in time many a times giving you portions of information as they come. It’s like reading a book page by page.
It’s a good decent film. It could have been better mid way but overall the impact stays. Watch out for the twisted quirky narrative.