‘Jawani janeman haseen dillruba, mile do Dil Jawan nisar Ho Gaya, Shikari khud yahan shikar Ho Gaya’ thus sang Parveen Babi in Namak Halaal at that time we never visualised or even thought in our wildest dreams that we will be viewing and reviewing two vastly different movies which are titled with the first two letters and then the subsequent two letters of the song.
So we had a dud in Jawani Janeman of Saif not too long ago, my sympathies with Aliyah Furniturewala, now it’s the turn of Haseen Dilruba which is aptly described in the follow up line of the song i.e. Shikari Khud yahan shikaar ho gaya, any which way you see it.
Now streaming on Netflix fresh out of Bollywood oven – which has this as it’s catch line ‘A damsel in distress or a devil’s mistress’ presenting the effervescent ‘Haseen Dillruba’. It is a frothy mix of many stories like Taming the Shrew, Unfaithful, Fatal Attraction, Hate story, Super Deluxe etc. and a completely new tale emerges from this heady mix.
Haseen Dillruba the movie is docile like it’s characters i.e. Rishi and his father, Bubbly like Rani and opportunist like Neel and Dumbstruck like the Police Inspector. It starts like any Aryamaan Khurana type small town story, from Jwalapur Rishi played by Vikrant Massey who meets his Delhi 6 type in Tapsee Pannu’s Rani who looks down on the small town boy does not understand his love and she tries her luck elsewhere and ends up in the cot with Neel. Rani has the gall of confessing this to her hubby that she is having a roaring affair with his cousin right under his nose, we thought he would reel, but beware of the anger of a patient man is played out well here, then a blast.
All this is part of the story that she is narrating to the ‘ever so confident who the criminal is’ police inspector. You are now seeing the story from two angles, she dunnit or not.
The style of direction is quite in the face and upfront by Vinil Mathew who also directed Hasee toh Phasee, without delving into any dilemma, right from the dialogues of the motor mouth mother-in-law, which are quite funny actually, including her interaction with her Bahu, (they provide some comic relief in the drab affair), to the girl’s confession about her affair, and the instant getaway of the lover-boy etc.
Harshvardhan Rane fits the role of Neel – a Dilli ka playboy to a T. He is smart, strong and handsome, for whom any girl will give a leg or her husband and his arm. Oops the cat is out of the bag or is it, that you need to see for yourself.
Vikrant Massey as the hubby keeps growing as an actor and has transgressed all audio video mediums i.e. television, OTT on your phones and iPads and now for the big screen too, though right now the movie released on OTT due to Covid. His character undergoes a metamorphosis from a docile B-town guy to a dangerous avenging husband. He portrays the simmering anger with cool as cucumber exterior.
Tapsee Pannu fits the bill of a dissatisfied wife and a heartless, stone cold, homicide accused, however acts a bit matter of fact and emotion less way, like some girls of her Dilli antecedents.
– Review by PAWAN GUPTA
Cast of Haseen Dillruba:
Taapsee Pannu as Rani Kashyap
Vikrant Massey as Rishabh Saxena
Harshvardhan Rane as Neel Tripathi
Aditya Srivastava as Inspector Kishore Rawat
Ashish Verma as Afzar
Yamini Das as Lata
Daya Shankar Pandey as Brijraj Saxena
Amit Singh Thakur as Kashyap
Alka Kaushal as Mrs Kashyap
Puja Sarup as Beena Masi
Credits of Haseen Dillruba:
Production companies – Colour Yellow Productions, T-Series, Eros International
Produced by Aanand L. Rai, Himanshu Sharma, Bhushan Kumar, Krishan Kumar
Directed by Vinil Mathew
Written by Kanika Dhillon
Music by Amar Mangrulkar
Cinematographer – Jaya Krishna Gummadi
Edited by Shweta Venkat Mathew
Streaming on Netflix
Running time – 136 minutes