“Haseen Dillruba’s romanticising of toxic relationships and dangerous view of seeing cruelty as a form of caring wanders off from its dirty book context to sudden profundity. The only reason it doesn’t feel as absurd as it really is because Taapsee and Vikrant are in complete sync with Rani and Rishu’s staggeringly volatile personality. The actors make sense even when their actions do not.”
“The pallid writing perhaps explains Pannu’s deadpan performance here. It is nice to see a woman actor listed first in a film’s credits, going against the Bollywood norm of giving a man pride of place in cast lists, but I do wish this particular woman had not picked this particular film, especially considering that a sequence featuring a loving wife running after her husband with his purse every morning as he leaves for office in Haseen Dillruba almost seems designed as a spoof of an insightful motif in her earlier film Thappad that served as a commentary on man-woman equations in traditional, patriarchal Indian homes.”
“Perhaps a big reason Haseen Dillruba survives its own rubble is the performances. Taapsee Pannu’s role is a comic-book riff on her Manmarziyaan persona; it’s disarming to see her succumb to the Tamasha-ness of a script. The bubbly Delhi “firecracker” is a done-to-death caricature, but Pannu – as evidenced in thrillers like Badla – manages to manifest a greyness that straddles the human bridge between empowerment and frailty. She plays a woman who wants to feel like a heroine, and not vice versa.”
“I imagine Taapsee Pannu must have started grinning midway through reading Kanika Dhillon’s script for Haseen Dillruba. For sheer scenery-chewing potential, Rani Kashyap is a tough role to beat. She gets to play a grieving widow, a fish-out-of-water bride, an acidly funny diva, an adulterer and a scared murder suspect—and this is just the first hour. Pannu’s achievement is in making all this cohere as one character, to a greater degree than Vinil Mathew’s film manages.”
Excerpts & links to reviews of Jhund by some of India’s topmost film reviewers Starring: Amitabh Bachchan, Ganesh Deshmukh, Vicky Kadian Director: Nagraj Manjule India release date: Genre: Biography,...