Hamari Adhuri Kahani : Regressive and regrettable
Mohit Suri is a dependable name. Few flops but most of his films are hit. They have the typical Mahesh Bhatt formula of always agitated, sad hero with a troubled childhood, a heroine who is damsel in distress and a friend who is always there. Hero is always in search of a solution to heal his troubled past and heroine provides that solace. Many a times hero has weird indigestible reasons for all that agitation. Nevertheless, coupled with good music and decent performances, these movies provide sufficient mainstream entertainment. And when names like Vidya Balan, Rajkumar Rao gets attached with a project by Mohit Suri and that too written by Mahesh Bhatt, expectations ought to be there.
Hamari Adhuri Kahani is a story which is too late in time. In hindi films, such stories had acceptance in the decade of 50-60s (and somewhat in 80s). It lost relevance even in regional cinema before 20 years. It is a story of a woman, Vasudha (Vidya Balan), who is suppressed by her father and then her husband, Raj Kumar Yadav (Raj Kumar Rao) under the pretence of traditions and culture. She is told and made to believe that she is property of her husband and shall be under his debt for the life-time.
1 year after the marriage and having a kid, Rajkumar disappears. For 5 years, Vasudha managers her life and bring up his child. She regularly keeps followup with the police about her absconding husband. One day the same police tells her that her husband is a terrorist and killed the american journalists he took to jungles. Vasudha gets shattered but continues her life strongly.
She is a florist working at a big hotel. One day a VVIP guest Aarav Ruparel (Imran Hashmi) is impressed by her work and gives her offer for his Hotel in Dubai. Later they fall in love. But at the same time, Rajkumar returns in Vasudha’s life. What happens after that ? Was he really involved in the terrorist act? Does the distance of so many years change his attitude towards his wife? What choice Vasudha makes? All this answers are in found in the film.
Mahesh Bhatt returns to writing after a hiatus and unfortunately this is the worst of the story he could pen. The film, supposed to be based on his own life (as always?), is utterly weak in writing and the suspension of disbelief does not work at all. Not only weak, the writing is cringeworthy with dialogs suitable for films releasing decades ago. It is outrageously silly and makes us wonder where things are going and why it is happening. The story is about a woman who breaks free from traditions and stands on her own. But the film is about everything other than that. She just appears to be dependent and trapped in tradition and silly beliefs even after being a working woman in a very upmarket industry. It makes us harder to root for any protagonist as we do not connect with their thought process.
With such weak writing material at the hand, Director Mohit Suri could not salvage the film from sinking. His craft and technical skills are visible but the content is really weak. It is a big question why he started the production with such weak script. The film does have nice narrative style which holds us but the inherent problems makes us feel run away from the theatre. After 2 consecutive blockbusters, Mohit Suri now needs to rethink his decision to continue repeating the same Mahesh Bhatt pattern in his movies.
Performance wise Imraan Hashmi is at his usual self. Vidya Balan is good but because she is Vidya Balan, a strong woman, it even further reduces the believability. She definitely needs to watch her weight. Rajkummar Rao does a fabulous job in portraying the selfish and mean MCP. However, he must not get type-casted in similar roles (like in “Queen”). Other actors too did good job in their space.
The film’s plus point is its production quality. Cinematography by Vishnu Rao is extra ordinary and beautiful. The locations are breath taking and this makes the movie easy on the eyes. Songs and BGM is decent but not chartbuster like the trademark Bhatt Movies. That further adds to the woes. Editing is fine.
After seeing strong woman characters in films like Kahani, Queen, Tanu Weds Manu series and reaching to common but perfectly adorable and independent character like Datto aka Kussum, Vasudha feels regressive and going decades back in time. It is like seeing those melodramatic family serials on big screen. To sum it up, it leaves a bad aftertaste.
Recommendation : Skip. I can not think of a single reason to recommend this movie.