HATE STORY (2012) Bollywood Film Review

Review: Hate Story

By Arnab Chakraborty/IBNS

Illogical Revenge with masala and spice

Paoli Dam makes her debut with a dare to bare revenge thriller that sparked up as much criticism as fanfare but the attempt fails to make a complete mark despite having potential.

The background

Kavya (Paoli Dam) does a sting operation (yup a journalist’s wet dream) against an infrastructural giants Cementec Infra exposing their corrupt ring leader Siddharth (Gulshan Devaiya). Obedient Beta Sid of big bull Papa now wants revenge. Shrewd and later lewd Sid befriends Kavya to exploit her emotionally and physically coz he “f**k those who f**k with” him (ya you guessed it there are a lot of f-word profanities being showered). With Kavya’s world torn to shreds she now puts on the garb of the dark avenger (I say dark but it’s actually a lot of red and then a lot of nothing too) to crush Sid’s empire and bring him to his knees.

The story – 2.5/5

Sure you may find glaring similarities with revenge tales spun in the 80’s and the 90’s but hey, aren’t you also running after the remakes? In case however you aren’t too much fan of the idea of redoing the so called classics let me remind you that human emotions haven’t changed for ages so let’s be honest we are all working on a tightrope here. Now what works in favour of this story is the fact that we are all a little tired of only angry young men and we needed some more “Mrs. Bagchi”-s to follow suit but unfortunately that’s where the novelty stops.

This erotic revenge thriller offers skin show but also a scenario of taking vengeance that is only skin deep and even bordering on the fringes of childish doodles at times. How can a clever journalist like Kavya fall into a trap that appeared oh-so-obvious from the word go? And why would she choose to “izzat bechna” (prostitution) when she has grey matter? Well you could argue she needs money and power to fight but then why did every man meeting her turn out to be a Casanova? Yup no answers for these and any other but corporate world related non-logicalities aside the story itself was out of the current clichés of macho men fighting for the love of their lives. Banzai to that, but to everything else not so much.

The direction and technique – 3/5

Vivek Agnihotri has produced a typical Bhatt-like film with stylized scenes capturing your fancies and portions of rabid libidos (they are there don’t worry). So you see a lot of bare backs and jumping and grunting but all done with a certain amount of cinematic panache that doesn’t let the offering become a monotonous baritone.

So its slick sex and smooth cinematography that makes Hate Story visually pleasing. The dialogues I am afraid work with restrictions. They can blow you away at times with the old world feel of powerful tongue wars but they can also seem overused and rather laughable at times, not the intended use I know but what to do when someone spurts out something like “sabse badi r****I” as a career option.

Also editing makes the scenarios tight and focused at most points but then there are some points left untouched that should have been thrown to the grills. Well, what to do its bolly after all and you just can’t do without a rain dance, can you?

The acting – 2.5/5

Paoli Dam is the talk of the town, be it for her (blue painted) nudity on posters or for other reasons (most I don’t know of, I admit) but she does show a lot of potential as Kavya. It isn’t just the oomph factor (there were a lot of wolf whistles at times) but also for a powerful screen presence that she does present at times. Yet after some screen time her acting credibility just loses steam (she doesn’t mind you!) and she appears to be over-reacting or not reacting at all.

Gulshan Devaiya as the stammer stunted conniving fellow does a rather good job. He only stammers when Papa is around but at other times he is outrageously loud and menacing; and that is not a negative thing. It was pretty enjoyable.

Nikhil Dwivedi made a pseudo-cameo appearance (don’t ask me the technical term for his actual screen and script presence, if ever there is one!) but did good on whatever little he got as did the rest of the cast.

The music – 3.5/5

The background score for me is the real winner. It was gripping and haunting but also had a quick enough pace laced with energy. Amar Mohile, you are the man!

Songs are not that bad either and fuses nicely, even managing to grow on you at times.

So to Hate or not to Hate?

Well if skin show and revenge pot-boilers make you squirm then watch it for its entertaining punch.

If not, then give this story a skip.

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