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  • Amit Shankar

Hassen Dilruba:Nothing ‘Haseen’ about it




It makes me wonder, which one of the two was worst, Ray or Haseen Dilruba.

While Ray was an over the top, overhyped celebration of Bahdralok cerebral and artistic prowess, the latter, Haseen Dilruba, was an apt reflection of writers' quandary; whether to produce a C grade, raunchy plot or an insight driven narrative?


But what holds both these recently launched Netflix narratives together?

Cliches!


Haseen Dilruba has certain inherent problems beyond the curative ability of any director; badly etched, faulty characters and their respective motives.


The basic premise of exploring the ever-evolving relationship between a saucy wife and her ever romantic, smitten, shy husband set against the backdrop of simmering extramarital romance was promising. But then we all know how cliched characters hamper even promising plots owing to its uni-dimensional nature.


The writer had no clue about a small town and its nuisances.

When was the last time you actually met a Mother discussing sex life of her daughter?


Fine, in the movie the conversation was led by the ‘know it all' massi' but in a small town

set-up, do you think Moms sit across video calls, sharing tips and tricks on seducing husbands?


Frivolous to say the least.

If the film wanted to portray such a relationship between mother-daughter, in one of the earlier scenes there must have been some build-up, some context to a different kind of mother-daughter relationship.


What kind of cop would not know a surgically chopped-off hand from one severed during a blast? I am sure even the dumbest of the forensic team would have noticed it.


The heroine watching her beefed-up brother-in-law exercising, blushing, fantasizing etc. cribbing mother-in-law, coy husband, amicable father-in-law, a good for nothing best friend, roadside romeos heckling the heroine are such cliched instances.

Yet in 2021 we are forced to go through the torture again.


Remember Barelli Ki Barfi?

Or Dum Laga Ke Haisha?

Both these films are also set in small towns, have middle-class characters, but look at the characters. So well etched, so refreshing and anything but cliched.


If there was one saving grace in this movie, it was Vikrant Messey.

As a man caught between mother and wife, the ever romantic hubby and the revengeful lover, he portrayed all shades with panache. Tapsee Pannu was as ordinary as in any other movie. She tries so hard that it takes away the soul of the character. Even her vivacious, bull character has been done to death.


And you know what is the worst part?

The premise and the murder scene of Haseen dilruba is a rip-off from Roald Dahl's ‘Lamb to the slaughter.'

How original.


-Amit Shankar

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