The first word that is spoken in Madhur Bhandarkar’s 'Heroine' is ‘Bastard!’. Not a very pleasant beginning, one may say, but the opening scene isn’t pleasant either. Kareena Kapoor, who essays the title role, gets thrown out of a car, mutters the B word, and stutters to a police station. Kareena plays Mahi Arora, a top film actress, who finds it difficult to come to terms with what she construes as failure; and helplessly watches herself drawn into a whirlpool of emotions – love, jealousy, anger, possessiveness, arrogance and helplessness. Kareena’s performance is outstanding; her presentation of imperfections in her character are perfect. The final scene—in which she finds the clue to happiness— is impactful.
Madhur Bhandarkar, who has written the script (assisted ably by Niranjan Iyengar), has provided a story line and scenarios that provide ample opportunities for Kareena to emote. In fact, the best moments are those where Madhur poignantly brings out the frailties of Mahi. It is easily Madhur’s best directorial effort.
However, he has unnecessarily 'exposed' Kareena. The song and dance sequences could have been done away with.
The rest of the star cast—Arjun Rampal, Randeep Hooda, Ranveer Sheorey—also deliver superbly, in this heroine-oriented film. Even the stalwart Govind Namdeo, who plays the role of the heroine’s loyal secretary, makes his presence felt in a distinguished manner. Amongst the female supporting artistes, Helen is the only one who is impressive.
A serious problem with Heroine is its length. Despite that, Heroine is a must-watch.