Movie Review of Haseen Dilruba : A cringe love story with clichéd ode to violent love

The movie begins with the past through the testimony of the important suspect in the crime that has been committed – the wife of the alleged victim- who tells the police about her rocky marriage and how she was suffering in silence. She goes out to give vivid details to the police. 

Rani Kashyap is the alleged criminal wife here, who has killed her husband. Rani starts to narrate the story on how they both are arranged to meet each other for marriage. Even though the mother of the groom did not like the bride, Rishabh insist on marrying her, at the end the mother gives up and they are married. 

As Rani recounts the saga of her first meeting with Rishu, her early displeasure with her choice of partner in an settled marriage, his awkward efforts to win her over and the intense stiffness that later sets in between them – she appears not to mince words about her own role in the weakening of their relationship. 

What clarifies on screen in the first half is slightly enjoyable even if it reenters the notion that lack of social grace, rudeness and even meanness are a mark of feminine coolth as well-defined by Bollywood in the past period. When the possible groom visits the house of Rani, there was no motive of Rani to be dishonest about how she behaved, even she wanted the groom to like her.

It is incomprehensible why Rani stayed with Rishu if she was dissatisfied from Day 1. If her choice is hypothetical to be a declaration on the compulsoriness of marriage in Indian women’s lives, then it is offered with no wisdom or shade.  

Soon, Rani’s inoffensive tiffs with her mother-in-law give way to a frightening explanation of ferocity and a lethal frenzy in ‘love’. It might be argued that Rani could have been overstating Rishu’s conduct in her account to the police but even after the nuts and bolts of the essential crime are exposed, the film remains firm in its message: “If love does not push you to the brink of insanity, it is not true love.” 

Haseen Dillruba mirrors Tere Naam’s explanation of ardent, strong feelings for a woman as being identical with mania, might, and craze. 

Its worrying politics apart, Haseen Dillruba never quite boosts off the screen. Despite an outstanding initial midair shot, Jwalapur, the town by the Ganga in which it is set, it does not at any point come alive with wonders, echoes or the bundle and activity of regular everyday-life. In fact, the film seems uncomplicated and aloof from itself throughout. 

Even the large surprising disclose in the end is irrational, highly unlikely, and unconvincing. It is also not as original as the tone suggests. As far back as in my teens, I remember understanding another crime saga about a pregnant woman who murders her husband with exactly the same ingenious weapon used in this film.

Taapsee Pannu stars as the dissatisfied wife, Rani Kashyap. Vikrant Massey plays Rishabh aka Rishu Saxena, the spouse she allegedly murdered, who is also madly in love with Rani. Aditya Srivastava is Inspector Kishore Rawat, the policeman tasked with cracking the case and who knew from day one about who had committed the crime. Rishu’s sexy cousin, Neel Tripathi is played by Harshvardhan Rane who is a spoilt brat.

I would like to give the movie 2.75 stars for the performances; the story could have been more than the violent love story with little logic.

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