On paper, Haseena Parker is a juicy story. Here is a woman who was so powerful, the police had trouble even bringing up a case against her. Yet she didn’t need to build a gang. She just needed to drop her brother’s name and things would get done. I am sure, with the right effort, hers would be an interesting story to tell. In its current avatar however, it looks like the sole research on the story consists of newspaper articles. The scenes are neatly dated and places spelled out, but that’s how far it goes in capturing reality.
The story starts off strangely in a courtroom where two over-enthusiastic lawyers spar. Here the prosecution lawyer is not interested in laying down facts of the case, rather she is busy telling Haseena Parker’s story to all who would listen. Whoever thought about making this a court drama, failed miserably. The court proceedings have a certain juvenile element that makes the feign-on seriousness of Haseena and the aggressiveness of the lawyers tiresome.
So Haseena is growing up in a house with a dozen kids and while her constable father makes money on the side, he has no tolerance for his kids taking the wrong way out. And he tries to solve the problem with the force of his police belt. That doesn’t work and soon her brothers are growing in stature in the underworld. A few killings later, where it is hard to figure who is killing whom, Dawood becomes the undisputed king and engineers the infamous Mumbai blasts. The whole transition of Dawood from a small time thug to an underworld don feels like snippets from a documentary. Dawood escapes to Dubai and Haseena steps in her brother’s shoes, running his empire in Mumbai while he is holed up abroad.
This film is a hagiography rather than a true depiction of Haseena Parker. She is a victim of her circumstances, you see. She doesn’t even want to run her brother’s business. It just happened, almost like a fluke. There is no mention of her land grabs, movie distribution deals, hawala racket.
As far as performance is concerned, Shraddha Kapoor in the titular role just doesn’t cut it. Her deliberate slow drawl is irritating rather than menacing. Never does she show the gravity her character demands. It’s a completely one dimensional portrayal. Siddhanth Kapoor makes a rather funny shifty-eyed Dawood Ibrahim. He looks like an unsure man instead of one who could orchestrate one of the biggest crimes against the country.
Director Apoorva Lakhia helmed this project after a four year hiatus. You would think one would use the time to create a layered portrayal of the titular character. What we get is flat characterization with little depth, remaining strictly cosmetic. The background music is unrelenting. I doubt there is even one scene in the film bereft of pulsating background score. And to top it all, there is also an item number as the end credits roll. Another gangster film high on noise and low on content.
By Source, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=54867258
Rating : 1/5
Starring: Shraddha Kapoor, Siddhanth Kapoor
Director: Apoorva Lakhia