Hello July! Half of 2021 has gone by and we are at our first weekend of a brand new month, a weekend that yet again brings us some interesting new releases. And with that I have just finished watching the latest offering from Bollywood Haseen Dillruba on Netflix. Right from the time its trailer was out, it seemed extremely promising. But, a part of me was also skeptical due to the previous track record of the writer. Well to be fair, Kanika Dhillon’s previous writings have had interesting premises that did not quite translate well into a satisfying screenplay, particularly the business end of the movie be like Judgemental Hai Kya or even to an extent Marmarziyaan. But this is a brand new film, does it manage to impress or does it flatter to deceive yet again, lets find out.
Story & Screenplay
Haseen Dillruba is the story of a woman being investigated for the murder of her husband that exposes her thorny marriage. What is the truth? The story is again interesting but some generous amount of dark humour. As mentioned earlier, I was skeptical about the screenplay but thankfully the screenplay scores, and scores well! Right from the very first scene, it keeps you hooked. That explosion really gathers your attention and you are into the movie! While the first half has some light comedic moments along with a dollop of romance, the movie flips on its head halfway through with a good amount of tension being created that perfectly goes well with the mood of the drama. If you see the filmography of Kanika, she falters usually in the second half. But here, she is in top form bringing out some interesting nuances to all the characters which are grey. So your sympathy doesn’t lie with any one particular character. Having said that, if you watch closely, you will be able to guess the mystery in the final act. At this point of my life, I have a huge acumen for cinema which means certain twists do not come as a shock, infact I do expect them(no not boasting😅). But the difference here was the way it was written was absolutely spine chilling. Just one thing that could have been explored was if it had had an open end, allowing the audience to discuss about the mystery(I cannot reveal anything more here). But the screenplay is really excellent here.
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are outstanding and there are some gems in the form of one liners here. The music by Amit Trivedi is highly underrated and I really enjoyed the soundtrack here. The BGM is excellent too though I found it to be a little overused particularly in the first hour instead of allowing the scenes to be as they were. Director Vinil Mathew who returns after a hiatus of 8 years having previously directed Hasee Toh Phasee is in top form here. Minor flaws in the writing were successfully countered with his sharp direction. The direction makes this a deliciously dark drama.
The performances are top notch. Dayashankar Pandey and Ashish Verma have moments to shine. Yamini Das as Lata as some of the finest written lines and she delivers a brilliant performance, you will find yourself laughing more often than not. Aditya Srivastava as Kishore just nails some of his one liners! In my review of Taish, I had mentioned about Harshvardhan Rane being a talent which cannot be kept quiet for long. In a totally different shade, he just nails his role as Neel here. Absolutely a beast of a performance, and he also looks like a million bucks here. Maybe his role was a touch underwritten but just an absolute pleasure watching him onscreen. Vikrant Massey as Rishu is one of the most underrated actors who is finally carving a niche for himself. In one of my favourite characters from the film, he has such a good character arc and so many emotions to play with, he nails each one of them. You feel sad for him in one scene and totally the opposite in another which signifies a memorable outing for him. And Taapsee Pannu as Rani is an absolute delight to watch. She has increased her oomph factor here in a subtle way, yet the brilliant actor that she is couples it with so many shades to her character that you as an audience will keep guessing until the very end. Another trio here that create magic onscreen.
Haseen Dillruba is a delicious dark murder mystery backed by brilliant performances. This one might have mixed reviews but it has worked like a dream for me culminating into a chilling final act!
Available on Netflix and Highly Recommended.