Haseena Parkar Hindi Movie Review

Feature Film | UA | Biopic, Drama, Thriller
It's brave of a really young actor Shraddha Kapoor to want to play Marlon Brando in The Godfather. And full marks for effort. But Haseena Parkar is a poorly researched film, which just makes you laugh at the end of it all.
Sep 22, 2017 By Manisha Lakhe

It's brave of a really young actor Shraddha Kapoor to want to play Marlon Brando in The Godfather. And full marks for effort.

Not easy wanting to wear jowls a la Brando and wear a burkha that is tightly fit around the face. Jowls need room to be, you know, jowly. They need to hang about your jaw and look at the world with despair because the person who wears the jowls (as Brando did) has seen and done it all. The young actor mostly looks like a balloon animal gone wrong and you feel bad for her. She deserved better.

The film is based on the single court appearance of the original Aapa (older sister, everyone addressed Haseena Parkar as Aapa). But were the court proceedings at the time so ridiculous? Why was the prosecution so strident, piling on accusations after accusation without proof? All on the basis of one FIR registered for something not related to Dawood, the brother of Aapa? How does a judge sitting there simply allow so much leeway that the prosecutor asks the accused about everything to do with her brother?

Let's say the filmmakers used the court as a device to tell us the story of the journey of a young girl who turned into Godmother. But then should they not do a little bit of research into how the courts work? The prosecution (played by stage actor Priyanka Sethia) is allowed to rant away as if she were acting for a prize in a high school one-act play. Was the real Roshni Satam really that over-the-top dramatic? A little bit of search on Google would have been helpful. But no! The proceedings get sillier and sillier and you are forced to turn to other things you would have ignored had the story kept you hooked.

For example, Haseena's make up. Now jowls we understand. All actors take pride in pre-release press coverage about how they lost or gained weight for the role or how they sat for the three hour make-up process every day, or how they had to bear the intense heat of the body suit. But the audience cannot be fooled into judging the film if the story is weak and the storytelling is just silly.

In Haseena's case, they use a bronzer to make her look darker than she really is. But the effect is more yellow than brown and the skin looks more like a mask than real. The other actors are there as well: the angry dad, the rebellious brothers (one of them being Dawood!), the poor Muslims, the husband of Haseena, assorted gunmen, policemen and women, and yes, the defence lawyer Keswani (who was supposed to be a brilliant man) and the last but not the least, the judge presiding over this hotch-potch case being presented. But all these actors are cardboard cutouts, including Dawood, who is supposed to be a quiet, fearsome creature. He is played by Siddhant Kapoor (Shraddha Kapoor's brother in real life) who is just the opposite. He calls his sister, 'Beta' (child) when he looks like he is one himself. The fact that he looks like one himself, and is set in seriously terrible idea of a gangster (you will drown in laughter when you see him answer his phone while sitting in a bathtub, or dining with his 'foreigner' wife...

You end up laughing when you should be reacting like when you watched The Godfather for the first time. And so many terrible wigs have been used in the film, take care or you might dislodge your own while guffawing in disbelief at the film.

Manisha Lakhe