Haseena Dilruba meaning beautiful beloved is a story where the lovers are left alive. Didn’t it make sense? Well, the movie didn't either. It starts with an explosion where Rani, beautifully played by Taapsee Panu, is spotted crying looking at her husband’s piece of hand with her name tattooed on it. Did he die? What was the blast about? Was she the killer? Who killed him? The story is about all the questions that will rack your brain with interesting twists and turns but what disappoints us is the cringe-worthy domestic violence and character development in the script.
If you haven’t watched the movie, beware of the spoilers here! Rani becomes the suspect of her husband’s death. As she is taken for trial in the police station flashbacks take us to their first meeting. An ordinary Indian arranged marriage! Rishabh Saxena aka Rishu played by Vikrant Massey is a siddha saddha engineer with a typical mom and a casual father who has got not much to say throughout the film. Rishu seems to be a kind and an innocent fellow who is engulfed in his work. Though he wasn’t ready for a marriage at the moment it was love at first sight for him on seeing the gorgeous and stunning Rani. Marriage takes place and Rani moves from Delhi to Jwalapur though she isn’t very happy about it. A lot of ancient sexiest dialogues and things that we are still trying to erase about the ideal bahu types, like cooking skills and home management paints Rani in a bad image in her mother-in-law’s mind. She has this innate desire for sex which her Rishu isn’t able to address. As the dry spell puts her into depression and Rishu keeps a distance, boredom and womanly cravings rise in Rani’s heart. And we, as She, don't blame her for that.
The Love Clash
Curiosity hit my mind here. Facts state that about 80% are unhappy on their bed and are not satisfied with their partners’ performance. Much to Kaan Johar’s Lust Stories pleasure, it's still true and in most cases, women opening up about it is not welcomed in a good way. But Rani here isn’t that shy type. She is the bold badass Delhi girl who speaks with an open mind and tells her husband what exactly she wants but things don't work between them and this is where everything starts to fall. Neel Tripathi is the hot cousin who fills the gap. Rishu’s cousin is adventurous, fun, loving defending and everything Rani looked for in a man. Sparks fly instantly between them and Rani who is devoid of her womanly pleasure and basic expectations from her husbands started finding it from Neel. They fall in love and they grew in its passionate sex and silly romance. It's weird to kiss and jump to bed with your husband’s cousin and if that's not weird enough, look out for what's coming after that. Well, maybe we can make peace with their relationship accounting for the fact that Rani wasn't happy with Rishu and he wasn't expressive to her as well. Rishu didn’t have time, patience or enough understanding to help out this Delhi girl who is bored colouring her father-in-law’s hair and listening to her mother-in-law’s taunts. When you eventually start to find reasons and digest the love between Rani and Neel, the handsome Harshvardhan Rane ditches her and rams away. Of course, he didn’t want to start a family with his cousin’s wife. He just wanted a little fun time. But sadly Rani was in love and she confessed it straight to her innocent husband. She tells him Neel left her and ran away while she was planning to move to Delhi and live with him.
The Birth of the Psychopath
Rishu is completely traumatized as he should be but he strangely acts reactionless to her and which makes Rani slowly fall in love with her own husband. Now the bold sassy character of Rani vanishes and Rishu’s innocent image also flies away. He starts acting like a psychopath to kill her. From gas burns to tripping and falling from the stairs with heavy injuries we seriously couldn’t understand why Rani still stayed with Rishu even after realising he was trying to kill her every single day. They call it love and we don't know why. I’m also not sure who the real psychopath here is- is it Rani for staying in a toxic relationship? She says she deserved it as she was the one who screwed it up but does that mean letting a man do whatever he wants to perish you? Or is it Rishu who tells he loves his wife unconditionally but never knew how to express it and make her feel the same but suddenly, after knowing his wife was getting things that he didn’t give her, becomes this beast who watches her with a smile as she rolls down the stairs and bleeds? What nonsense? Even in this mess love blossoms in them and he forgives her for cheating on him. After this, you may feel you are the psychopath cause boy, what’s really happening in here?
The Lovers Survive
As things get unreal, the movie takes an unconvincing path without focussing on one subject. There is too much going on with love, revenge and infidelity and also a murder case to be solved. Neel gets back to Jwalapur to talk out and also by blackmailing Rani with her images from their lovemaking. Though totally an unnecessary part in the script this is where everything ends. Poor Rishu fights Neel but couldn’t help, bleed from Neel’s powerful punches. Scared Rani uses frozen meat to hit Neel on his head and -baam- he is dead! The rest of the story gives us Drishyam vibes of how to hide a perfect murder which was unintentional but purely situational. Rishu cuts his own hand and creates a blast making it look like he is the one who is dead.Of course the police couldn’t solve the case and the lovers survive and start to live aiming to get things right in life at least from then. and the movie ends there.
Perfect Casting but…
As it goes unsaid the movie has talented artists Taapsee Panuu, Vikrant Massey, Harshvardhan Rane, Aditya Srivastava and much more. These stars who have proved their potential in several other movies did perform their role to the fullest, living each character as their own. But we feel the script didn’t make use of the actors' potential and laid them down in making a point or sending out an actual storyline to the audience without just a blank cringe left behind. The character development did not meet our expectations and the abrupt turns in the story weren't goosebumps worthy but just left us saying ‘oh god why!’ With a star-studded cast, the audience did expect a thriller experience as promised by the director Vinil Mathew but it was just not enough.
Frames and Colour Schemes
Something you'll love in the movie would be the artistic aspect of colouration, mood-setting and styling. Pretty sarees Rani wore in the initial few scenes and the charms of streets and noisiness and neighbours’ innuendos are the minute aspects the team has very well taken care of. It actually gives us the feel of a middle-class family and Vikrant’s impeccable acting as a workaholic husband in a conventional home. The frames and angles of each scene met the standard and the portraying of each scene was convincing enough through the cameras but not enough for the emotional understanding of human beings.
In short, Haseena Dilruba is a one-time watch mystery romance thriller where you can enjoy watching the actress explore and wear the character’s skin and give us an authentic performance but don't expect much from the story as it is like rain, poured over all places.