Bollywood is going through a phase of biopics where the filmmakers are seen making movies depicting life of several eminent personalities. While Indian Cinema lately witnessed biopics MS Dhoni, Neerja Bhanot, Mahavir Singh Phogat, Mary Kom etc, the recent entry in this list has got the B-town buzzing.
We are talking about Haseena Parkar: Queen Of Mumbai which revolves around the life of underworld don Dawood Ibrahim's sister Haseena Parkar.
The movie features Shraddha Kapoor essaying the titular role along with her brother Sidhanth in the role of Dawood Ibrahim.
Haseena Parkar caught the attention with its intriguing trailer leaving the audience wanting to know more about the lady don of Mumbai. Besides, Shraddha's commendable transformation from being a girl-next-door to getting into the shoes of Haseena Parkar did add on to the buzz around the movie, making it one of the much awaited releases of the year.
So, if you are planning to know about the life of Haseena Parkar, we bring you a quick review about what the leading dailies are saying about Shraddha Kapoor's crime drama:
Deccan Chronicle: Director Apoorva Lakhia has not tried his hand directing a gangster film for the first time. Earlier, his Shootout At Lokhandwala, which highlighted the real-life gunbattle of Maya Dolas in 1991, that released in 2007, was a good attempt by the director, but this time, he totally goes haywire with Haseena's life.
Seems he aimed to make a gripping biopic, but it turned out to be boring and meaningless. One gets confused whether to sympathise with Haseena or hate her.
The film is a complete a mouthpiece of Dawood's sister. Precisely, there is no reason to make a life on his sister's life when there is nothing extraordinary about it.
It is highly peachy, at the same time, has a very diplomatic approach towards Dawood and his crimes. Still wondering how many filters it passed through on its scripting stage, censor or maybe Dawood's family.
Times Of India: You walk into the film, hoping to understand the controversial journey of a woman, who became the aapa (elder sister) or the Godmother of Nagpada.
But all you get is a silly costume drama that inadvertently victimises and thus justifies Haseena's unlawful actions and warped sense of power under the pretext of 'protecting her family'.
While the intention is still subjective as it's a filmmaker's interpretation of a character, the film's biggest drawback is its lack of depth.
The crime drama fails to offer an insight into Haseena's life whatsoever as an individual, beyond her infamous identity as Dawood's sister, who dropped her bhai's name to settle property disputes, extort money from builders etc.
Bollywood Life: The biggest problem with Haseena Parkar is the story. Haseena Parkar is not a docu drama like Daddy nor is it a commercial gangster entertainer like Once Upon A Time In Mumbai.
And it does not fare well as a biopic either. We don’t get an insight into the inner world of Dawood – Haseena nor is her journey to being an Aapa told in some detail.
The film moves at break-neck speed leaving you with zero takeaways. The linear narrative gets boring after a point of time. In a film, that is supposed to trace a bro-sis story, there are no high-impact scenes between the two.
We get exposed to their inner world at a very surface level. Shraddha Kapoor is very patchy throughout the film. While she is superb in the scene by the tap, she fails to evoke any menace as the elder Aapa.
As a slightly middle-aged female don, she is totally disappointing. Siddhanth shows promise in the initial stages but then his presence is brutally reduced in the film.
It looks like he is there just to enquire about Haseena’s well-being post interval. The second half falls flat due to the poorly-written characters of the two in the latter stages of their life.
There was scope for so much drama and emotion in the post 1992 riots scene but the film wraps up quickly leaving us totally unsatisfied. Her journey post her husband’s death is not delved in any detail.
Daily News & Analysis: The film begins by establishing the bond that the Alaskan siblings share. The chemistry between real life siblings translates well on reel. The story is told simply and is fast paced. It's a fascinating story, we wish it was told better.
Shraddha Kapoor is horribly miscast. Prosthetic makeup is supposed to be an additional aid for an actor, but here it becomes a hindrance for Shraddha. The actress goes from an overly-expressive young Haseena to a stone-faced Aapa.
The transition isn't smooth, though she does try her best. Unfortunately, she never really becomes Aapa. Siddhanth is earnest, but there is no standout performance here.
The movie falters in various departments. The dialogues are cheesy and are borderline juvenile at times. Shraddha's makeup is patchy and inconsistent.
Blatant brand placement, especially of a jewellery and water brand that probably didn't exist in that era, is an eyesore. All this ends up making Haseena Parkar one of the weakest gangster movies to hit the screens.
Filmfare: Shraddha Kapoor’s performance as the stone faced Haseena pouting dialogue with a slur is patchy. She seems okay when she keeps a straight face, but every time the narrative makes her an emotional girl, especially in the earlier parts of the flashbacks, she looks less convincing.
Yet, the actress has given the role and the film an earnest shot. The prosthetic inserts in the jaw do little to enhance her performance though. Siddhanth Kapoor as Dawood Ibrahim, her brother, has a hit and miss role.
He doesn't get the right scenes nor the screen presence to play a character like Dawood. Supporting performances by Ankur Bhatia, Priyanka Serbia and Rajesh Tailang are average at best.
Haseena Parkar could have been a real thriller had it been serious about telling serious story. But it tries to add too much masala and style to story and serves up absolutely no substance. As a result, the only female who made a presence in Mumbai's fabled underworld is reduced to being a stylised character with fancy dialogue but no real meaning.