Taapsee Pannu, who is known for doing different kind of films, has come up with a suspense murder mystery drama Haseen Dilruba. Taapsee Pannu Kitna starring Taapsee Pannu, Vikrant Massey and Harshvardhan Rane, directed by Vinil Mathew, is sure to enthrall the audience. Let’s review.
Haseen Dilruba is the story of a wife who is accused of killing her husband. Rishabh Saxena aka Rishu (Vikrant Massey) lives in Jwalapur with his mother Lata (Yamini Das) and father Brijraj (Daya Shankar Pandey). He is looking for a girl to marry and her search leads him to Rani Kashyap (Taapsee Pannu) in Delhi. Rishu immediately falls in love with Rani. Lata learns that Rani is not the simple and homely girl she is looking for. But Rishu is adamant on marrying Rani. Finally both of them get married. Rishu fails to handle the wedding. Meanwhile, Lata starts scolding Rani for lying. One day, Rishu overhears Rani talking to her mother (Alka Kaushal) and her aunt (Pooja Sarup) that Rishu does not perform well in bed. Rishu gets sad hearing this. One day, Rishu’s cousin Neel Tripathi (Harshvardhan Rane) comes to stay with Saxena. Neel is flamboyant and well built and Rani gets attracted to him. Neil learns that Rani is attracted to him and the two start flirting. Rani falls in love with Neil to such an extent that she learns to cook so that she can feed him her favorite dishes. One day, Neel expresses a desire to eat mutton. Rani, who is a vegetarian, agrees and goes out to buy meat. The same day, she tells Neil that she wants to end the marriage and stay with him. A commitment-stricken Neil panics and runs away. Rani is hurt and she tells the truth to Rishu. Rishu wanted to make a fresh start but this confession hurts him even more. A few months later, an explosion occurs at the Saxena residence, killing Rishu. Investigating officer Kishore Rawat (Aditya Srivastava) is convinced that Rani killed Rishu. What happens next will be known after watching the full movie.
Kanika Dhillon’s story works only in parts. The characters are interesting and with the setting, the story had the potential to become a great murder mystery. But things go bad in the second half. Kanika Dhillon’s screenplay is not coherent. Some scenes are very well written and thought out. The first 45 minutes raise the expectations of the next hour to be thrilling and keep you hooked. But the later parts suffer from inept writing. Kanika Dhillon’s dialogues are sharp and fine.
Haseen Dilruba starts on an exciting note and sets the mood instantly. The scene where Rishu meets Rani for the first time is hilarious and one such scene is where Lata protests by pretending to kill herself. Then the sequence in which Rani lashes out at Rishu in the bedroom is going to make the audience laugh. In other words, the first 45 minutes to 60 minutes doesn’t give viewers any reason to complain. Later, however, the film slows down and seems incomprehensible. Some developments are not easy to digest and surely the audience will not like it. The pre-climax once again picks up interest, especially in the lie detector scene. But the finale disappoints.
Vinyl Mathew’s direction could have been better, especially when we saw how well he handled his first film. The story keeps going up and down and at some point the film goes to a different level where the interest starts to lose from the film. The opening sequences are interesting, even Neil’s entry adds spice to the story. However, the biggest problem of the film is the climax. In a suspense thriller, the audience is curious to know the suspects, the real killer and the motive behind the murder. The identity of the killer as well as the motive disappoints in the climax which is difficult to digest.
On the acting front, Taapsee Pannu has once again given a stellar performance. Taapsee has left an indelible mark every time with her acting and like every time she has lived up to the expectations. Taapsee does full justice to her character. At the same time, Vikrant Massey also gives his best shot. In fact, there are a lot of shades in his role and it is interesting to see that he suits every one. Harshvardhan Rane’s entry is late and his screen time is also limited. But even in less screen time, he has done well. Aditya Srivastava reminisces one of his roles in the TV show ‘CID’. But he is very good and also brings laughter in some scenes. Yamini Das is hilarious while Daya Shankar Pandey is fine. Alka Kaushal and Pooja Sarup are good in their small roles. Ashish Verma (Afzar) is fair.
Amit Trivedi’s music is forgettable. ‘Dil Melt Melt’ is well placed. ‘Lakeer’, ‘Flip Jaa Tu’ and ‘Mila Tu’ are not remembered so much. Amar Mangrulkar’s background score is good and makes a mark in the thrilling sequences. The cinematography of Jayakrishna Gummadi is apt and the locations of Rishikesh are well shot. Madhur Madhavan and Swapnil Bhalerao’s production design is good. Taapsee’s look has been given a realistic touch by the costumes of Varsha Chandnani and Shilpa Makhija. Vikramjit Dahiya’s action is understandable and not over the top. Shweta Venkat Mathew’s editing is not right as the film should have been shorter.
Overall, Haseen Dilruba is a film packed with some great performances but the incomprehensible storyline and disappointing climax in the second half dampens the impact of the film.