Why 'Heroine' failed

Despite bringing the grim realities of life on screen, Madhur Bhandarkar never actually breaks stereotypes and 'Heroine' is the latest proof

The verdict is out and 'Heroine' has failed the test. If the box-office results are anything to go by, the film had a weekend collection of only Rs 21.5 crore as opposed to The Dirty Picture's collection of Rs 32.25 crore for the first weekend. Before Heroine's release, the film was being compared to 'The Dirty Picture' but what came out was a mish-mash of Bhandarkar's earlier films-Page 3, Corporate and Fashion.
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Anyone who is clued into the Hindi cinema will be aware of Madhur Bhandarkar's school of film making. Unlike his contemporaries, Madhur's source of inspiration is never another film but the society he lives in. He picks up a strata of society, be it the downtrodden (Traffic Signal) or the bold and the beautiful (Fashion). His narrative always follows a linear path constructed carefully around a female protagonist. His first big hit as a director was 'Chandni Bar' which had a tight storyline coupled with steller performances by Tabu and Atul Kulkarni.But despite bringing the grim realities of life to the screen, Madhur never actually broke stereotypes. His depiction of any profession whether it the fashion industry or the beer bar is heavily based on what the audience believes it will be.
Pics: Kareena's Heroine look

Time and again, Bhandarkar has said that his characters are mirror to the society. While this may be partly true for his earlier protagonists, in his latest film, he actually plays safe. His heroine is not the product of industry politics but of a bipolar disorder which leads to her fall. Perhaps he is too scared of taking a swipe at the industry he represents? In 'Heroine', Bhandarkar relies heavily on the clichés associated with the film industry. From having an affair with a married actor, MMS scenes, unscrupulous PR agents to controlling star wives, the film attaches itself to every possible prototype the audience believes the industry to be. 'Fashion' and 'Page 3' also stuck to stereotypes, there were moments in the film which saved them from getting too melodramatic and seemed almost believable. While he doesn't shy away from having a stereotyped gay character in every film, here the exaggeration is insufferable.

Watching 'Heroine' is like watching all of Madhur's earlier films at one go and the fallacious plot proves the old maxim true-If you have seen one camel, you have seen all.

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