This is not the first time that director Apoorva Lakhia is handling a gangster film. However, this is his first time at bringing a real life inspired story alive onscreen. This is also a first for actress Shraddha Kapoor, who has only played the simple, sweet girl-next-door roles so far and haven’t been lucky to be offered to play lead in a female oriented story. A lot is at stake with Haseena Parkar since expectations are high. Especially after another film, Daddy, on a Mumbai based gangster Arun Gawli, failed at impressing. Does Haseena Parkar turn out any different? Read my review…Also Read - Honsla Rakh Review: Shehnaaz Gill-Diljit Dosanjh's Film Has an Unplanned Child, But Planned Laughter And a Lot of Entertainment!
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Haseena Parkar, gangster-turned-terrorist Dawood Ibrahim’s sister, is accused of running the business of the D-Company, acting upon the orders that he passes sitting in Dubai. While she is being tried in the high court, she escapes conviction due to lack of evidence. The film, Haseena Parkar, traces this journey of a brother-sister duo of Dongri’s Kaskar family of 14 people. While the brother’s illegal ways force him to leave the country, Haseena goes on to playing the ideal housewife and living happily with her husband and four kids. But a few inadvertent, unfortunate incidents destruct her life. In those helpless times, is it power that Haseena Parkar intentionally seeks to save herself? Is her ‘bhai’ instrumental in making her the Godmother of Nagpada, also called ‘Aapa’? Is she really guilty of running his illegal business in his absence? These are some of the questions that have remained a mystery post Haseena Parkar’s death in 2014. The film doesn’t try to solve this mystery behind the wind under her wings that helped her turn from Haseena to Aapa but takes us through her journey, without taking any side. Also Read - Sunny Movie Review: True Story of Distress Amid Pandemic But It's Too Soon to Relive it!
Shraddha Kapoor delivers a masterstroke as Haseena Parkar. The actress hasn’t been given the opportunity or canvas to let herself lose so far, but as Haseena, she shows us what she is capable of. Yet, let me not call this her best performance till date and hope that her best is yet to come.
Talking about the story, it refrained from glorifying the gangster or his sister or try to make any valid excuses for the path they chose to tread on. That in itself is a feat and an approach that most gangster sagas miss to take into consideration. Recent case in point, Arjun Rampal’s Daddy (September 8) which sketched the gangster-turned-politician as a good soul, who has buried the demons of his past for a novel start.
The casting was bang on, at least when it came to the look of the real life characters that played pivotal role in the narrative. However, some went OTT with their performance, while some failed to put in required efforts to play the part. And that brings me to what I found disappointing in the film.
If not more, Dawood Ibrahim’s role was as important as Haseena’s in the film. While Siddhant Kapoor looked the part – both as Dawood and onscreen Haseena’s brother, his acting wasn’t up to the mark. His performance failed to create an aura of a don that his character needed. Also, it seemed like he’s given just one line in the film, ‘aur beta, sab khairiyat?’ So much so, that after a point you know what his conversations with Haseena will be like. Not that she is given any better dialogues. Gangster films thrive on punchlines and one-liners that have potential to become catchphrases but Haseena Parkar leaves you with none. (ALSO READ: Haseena Parkar Quick Movie Review: Shraddha Kapoor’s Earnest Performance Is The Only Saving Grace In A Juvenile First Half)
Add to that a non-gripping storytelling with juvenile approach towards some of the most important characters. As if there is still scope, the jumpy narrative in the first-half leaves you confused and irritated.
What to do?
Ditch Haseena Parkar without any guilt. You won’t be missing much. Save that money, order a pizza and cola and watch Once Upon A Time In Mumbaii, Shootout At Lokhandwala or Company instead.
India.com rating: 1.5 stars