Her long face and sad eyes are good for conveying melancholy, but if those were the only two essential qualities to pull off a story with a script as scattered as this one, then we have a winner on our hands. But given that it takes more than that to make a story stick, the fact is that sitting through two and half hours of Heroine is quite the ordeal. Because, what we have here is loosely packaged pulp that is as sensational in depicting the life of a Bollywood heroine as it is messy.
The script is neither here nor there in allowing the viewer to take a stand on whether one wishes to sympathize with our heroine or tell her to knock it off. One moment she wants stardom, the other, love. And the moment after that, she wants superstardom, love be damned. Oh, and in the midst of these variances, she also wishes to be an artist. Well, such is apparently the life of a Marilyn Monroe-styled actress in today’s Bollywood.
We’re told there’s plenty of alcohol and substance abuse, sex for favors, and an insatiable appetite for self-love. That might seem like an interesting mix of ingredients for a story that might speak of the rise and fall of a diva, but what we’re offered is quite a pathetic hodge-podge of a series of neurotic episodes that our heroine attempts to navigate time and time again without much success in any sense of the word. Narcissism is alive and well is what we’re made to see, but beyond that there is little else we know of our heroine. When characters aren’t developed, they eventually appear hollow and lacklustre.
Kareena Kapoor is tolerable enough, but no high marks here for any exceptional performance. I suppose with a script as weak as this one, and the demands of portraying every negative emotion from one frame to the next, it would be a tall order for any actor to deliver with conviction. At the risk of sounding unkind, I’d say that her eye-makeup is the only variable on her face. Her two male co-stars are equally forgettable, although Mr. Rampal seems to have a little more chemistry with her than Mr. Hooda.