Friday, September 22, 2017 18:28 IST
By Ankur Karan Singh, Santa Banta News Network
Cast: Shraddha Kapoor, Siddhanth Kapoor, Ankur Bhatia

Director: Apoorva Lakhia

Rating: *1/2

Gangster sagas have always remained an inseparable muse of Bollywood big shots. From Haji Mastan to Dawood Ibrahim and from Arun Gawli to Manya Surve every dreaded name of Mumbai underworld has received the honor of getting painted on the silver screen. Even recently this insatiable thirst of our Bollywooders looked conspicuous when movies like Raees, Daddy etc made it to Cineplex. But director Apoorva Lakhia decided to tread a different path and came up with an idea of weaving something around the life of Haseena Parkar, sister of most wanted Indian don Dawood Ibrahim, who was accused of running his brother's underworld business in Mumbai after he left India. Haseena Parker is not some kind of docudramas like Daddy, or a commercial gangster potpourri like OUTIM. Directed by Apoorva and scripted by Suresh Nair, Haseena Parkar is a dreary courtroom drama in which the protagonist is hauled before the law to defend herself against grave criminal charges. Before going ahead with the detailed review, I would like to make the mention of point right at the onset that after films like Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai, Black Friday and Company, to name a few, which showed the underworld through a vivid filter, Apoorva Lakhia's latest offering Haseena Parkar fails to impress.

Haseena Parkar (Shraddha Kapoor) lives with her family and is very close to her elder brother Dawood Ibrahim (Siddhanth Kapoor). Dawood always puts his father in a spot by doing petty, illegal things around the vicinity. In the meantime, Haseena gets married to Ibrahim Parkar (Ankur Bhatia). She lives a happy life until Ibrahim gets murdered by the rivals of Dawood.

Soon after, Dawood shifts to Dubai and Haseena emerges as a lady don of Dongri. Mumbai police fails to trace Dawood and hence summons Haseena in the session court for further investigations including Mumbai bomb blasts held in 1993. Does Haseeaa manage to come out clean or end up paying for her brother's crimes? To know you have to watch the film (maybe after reading the review you may decide to give it a skip).

It's not for the first time when Apoorva Lakhia has tried his hand in directing a gangster film. In the past, he has proved his mettle with movies like Shootout At Lokhandwala, which highlighted the real-life gun-battle of Maya Dollas in 1991. But this time, he goes haywire completely with Haseena's life. Maybe because this time he was under the pressure of creating an engrossing biopic, but unfortunately the idea backfired on him. After seeing this latest creation of Apoorva you get confused whether you should hate Haseena or should sympathize with her. Garnished with Juvenile story-telling and tons of melodrama, Suresh Nair's screenplay assumes that nobody in the audience has watched a Dawood Ibrahim origins story before. In nutshell, even the screenplay of Haseena Parker fails in doing any wonders for the movie. As far as pace of story of Haseena Parker is concerned then it is even slower than the walking pace of a 100 plus-year-old tortoise.

Moreover, Apoorva also fails to create the era of the 1970's and what adds to the disaster is wrongly chosen star cast. Unlike Apoorva's style of filmography this flick incidentally based on real-life incidents has no concrete conclusion and the all it has is an open-ended climax. May be Apoorva can try doing some more research next time if he ever intends to come up with some biopic again. The background score is a lot similar to the Sarkar franchise, but it is surely more horrifying at times you may get confused that whether you are watching biopic or some horror cine chronicle.

The music by Sachin-Jigar does not in any way contribute to elevating the flavor or the context of the narrative.

Although Shraddha deserves accolades for stepping out of her comfort zone, as far as her performance is concerned then she completely failed even in touching the average benchmark. Without an iota of doubt, it can be said that while zeroing down the face to play Haseena's character makers could have thought about some more mature performers like Kajol, Tabu or even Vidya who may have made Haseena's character immortal. Be it any aspect of her performance, from donning that aura of Haseena to dialogue delivery, Shraddha fails on every front. In nutshell, Shraddha looked like a tutee who decided to appear for an exam without even going through the curriculum. After seeing the iconic performances of Ajay, John, Sanjay Dutt for that matter even Vivek Oberoi as gangsters, probably nobody would like to see a tiny looking don appearing on the screen every now and then. Yes, we are talking about Siddhant Kapoor, who played the character of Dawood. If I have to put Siddhant's performance in a few words then I will just call it amateurish, laughable, and shoddy. And I am pretty sure that after seeing Siddhant's performance as onscreen Dawood, the real-life don must be cursing the makers for roping in Siddhant to play his role. The only person who somehow manages to emerge as grace saving titan is Rajesh Tailang who plays the character of Haseena's defense lawyer Shyam Keswani. Ankur Bhatia in his short stint is again just ok

To sum up, with numerous flaws, perfectly mis-casted bunch of actors, flimsy plot, and a faltering execution makes a Haseena Parker is a PERFECT POTPOURRI WORTH A MISS. And there are ample chances that after watching the kind of mistreatment his sister's Dawood may hurl curses on the makers.
Haseena Parkar
Reviewed by:
Ankur Karan Singh
and Rated:
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