Heroine (2012 film)

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Heroine (2012 film) poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Madhur Bhandarkar
Produced by Ronnie Screwvala
Madhur Bhandarkar
Siddharth Roy Kapur
Screenplay by Anuraadha Tewari
Manoj Tyagi[1]
Story by Madhur Bhandarkar
Starring Kareena Kapoor Khan
Arjun Rampal
Randeep Hooda
Shahana Goswami
Music by Salim-Sulaiman
Cinematography Mahesh Limaye
Edited by Deven Murudeshwar
Distributed by UTV Motion Pictures
Release dates
  • 21 September 2012 (2012-09-21)
Running time
150 minutes[3]
Country India
Language Hindi
Budget 230 million
Box office 440 million

Heroine (IPA: [ˈhɛroʊɪn]) is a 2012 Indian drama film directed, written, and co-produced by Madhur Bhandarkar. Revolving around the life of a once successful film actress whose career is on the decline, the film features Kareena Kapoor as the protagonist along with actors Arjun Rampal, Randeep Hooda and Rakesh Bapat. Additionally, the project also stars Shahana Goswami, Divya Dutta, Helen, Shillpi Sharma, Mugdha Godse and Lillete Dubey in supporting roles. Heroine released on 21 September 2012 across 2000 screens.


The movie begins with Mahi Arora (Kareena Kapoor), a renowned heroine, being thrown out of a car at night. She hails a taxi to a police station with the intention of lodging a complaint. Before she can do so, her secretary Rashid Bhai (Govind Namdeo) takes her from the station. The movie then goes to flashback for a while, showing the circumstances and her relationship with a well-known actor Aryan (Arjun Rampal). Aryan is in the divorce proceedings with his wife, and dating Mahi. Mahi is completely in love with Aryan, and during one of their intimate moments, takes a video of them just for fun. Aryan is split between his current wife and son, his career, and over-jealous Mahi. When Mahi comes to know about an intimate scene Aryan is shooting for a movie, she barges on to the set and creates a ruckus, which upsets Aryan. Later Mahi is teased by Aryan's current wife in a party, and she insults her back. While driven back from the party with Aryan, Mahi raises the topic, which results in her being thrown out of the car. Mahi then goes into depression, putting her career in jeopardy. One of her friends suggests Mahi to stop playing the victim and to get back again with a bang. Heeding her advice, Mahi decides to rejuvenate her career. She employs a PRO, Pallavi (Divya Dutta) who reinvents Mahi's image and puts her back on the front page of every newspapers and magazines. She starts relationship with an upcoming cricketer, Angad Paul (Randeep Hooda). Their love affair begins to blossom and puts her back into the spotlight. Mahi uses Angad to get role in a big budget film. However, lead hero manipulates so that all the spotlight in the film goes to him and an item girl. Mahi is dissatisfied despite the film being a success, and in a desperate attempt to prove her acting skills she works in an art film for next nine months. In between Angad proposes to Mahi, but she feels that presently they should concentrate on their respective careers. This causes Mahi and Angad's relationship to end. Also the art film never completes, again Mahi goes into depression accompanied by heavy drinking and smoking. As no big film coming her way, she decides to work on a low budget film with newcomers. Also she agrees to make an appearance in the marriage of an industrialist daughter. As fate would have it, Mahi meets Aryan at the wedding. Aryan seems to be apologetic to Mahi for what he had done to her. They decide to rekindle their affair. Mahi is happy that Aryan is back in her life. Also, he wants her to do a big budget film with him. However, the director of the film is reluctant to cast Mahi in the role of the lead heroine as she has lost her appeal. Mahi becomes insane about losing the role to another heroine. She asks Pallavi to leak the sex tape of her and Aryan on the news so that she would get back on the spotlight for the release of her low budget film. As a result of this controversy, the film becomes an instant hit. However, when Rashid Bhai quits his job and a veteran actress in the industry, Shagufta Reza (Helen) whom Mahi admires dearly, dies, Mahi decides to quit acting as well. In the concluding scenes, Mahi is shown walking alone in a foreign country and on being asked if she is Mahi Arora, she replies "no". It is implied that Mahi moved on with her life.


Originally the first choice for her role, Kapoor was hesitant to take on the project when Bhandarkar approached her with the film's brief initial idea.[4] She explained reservations about the criticism her character might evoke as well as the intimate sequences with several of her co-stars, and was subsequently replaced by Aishwarya Rai.[4] Several days after production began, Rai left the film due to her pregnancy, and Bhandarkar re-approached Kapoor with the film.[4] Once the director reinforced his faith in her, she agreed to do the film when she was handed the completed script.[5] Prior to being cast in Heroine, Bhandarkar approached Kapoor with Page 3 (2005) and Fashion (2008), both of which she could not do due to prior commitments.[5] Kapoor, who described her character as being "bipolar and schizophrenic", refrained from taking on any other projects as she found Heroine to be "very aggressive and tiring".[6]
Bhandarkar, who was keen on casting a well-known actor to essay the lead male protagonist, approached Rampal in May 2011. His character is described as a superstar with "grey shades who adds twists and turns to the story".[7] In an interview with Mid Day, Rampal explained that he did not want to model his character on a certain individual, but rather borrow various traits from different people.[8]
Hooda was cast by the director to essay the role of a cricketer. Prior to the start of principal photography, actor Arunoday Singh was chosen to play the role, but was later dropped from the film due to unknown reasons.[9] Media reports began speculating the name of several actors (such as Ranbir Kapoor, Imran Khan and Prateik Babbar)[10] though Bhandarkar later confirmed that he had selected Hooda after seeing his performance in Saheb, Biwi Aur Gangster (2011). As a way to make his character more believable, Hooda began taking tips and lessons from cricketer Virender Sehwag.[11]
Raqesh was cast in November 2011 to play "one of [Kapoor's] lovers".[12] The director announced that Raqesh Vashisth's character would be kept under wraps along with a few other characters such as that of Goswami's and Dutta's.[12]
Goswami was selected to play an important character in the film.[13]
Along with Goswami, Dutta was also selected to play an important character in the film.[14]
Godse was roped in to play the character of Rhea Mehra, a rival heroine who is jealous of Mahi Arora's success.[16]
  • Helen as Shagufta Rizvi
Helen was cast by the director to essay the role of a senior actress.[17]
Sharma, who described Bhandarkar as "a family friend" was approached by the director to play a glamorous role.[18] In preparation for the role, Sharma was required to lose weight and sign a non-disclosure agreement.[18]
Dubey was cast by the director to essay the role of Kapoor's mother.[19]
Described as the director's "lucky mascot", Shorey was roped in to make a cameo appearance.[20]



Following the completion of his film, Jail (2009), Bhandarkar began toying with the idea of making a project on the film industry. Along with writer Niranjan Iyengar, the director began developing the story about the life of an actress and later approached UTV Motion Pictures with whom he had worked on several occasions. Bhandarkar, who was keen on using the title Heroine for his film, donated 100000 (US$1,500) to Guddu Dhanoa's charity.[22] He later explained that he had been subconsciously preparing for the movie ever since he joined the industry.[23]

Pre-production work on the film was expected to commence during the summer of 2010 but was put on hold due to Kapoor being busy with other commitments.[24] During this period, Bhandarkar announced that he would be making another project while putting Heroine on hold.[24] Though speculated to be based on the lives of yesteryear divas like Madhubala and Marilyn Monroe, Bhandarkar denied the reports saying that the movie is a "contemporary film which reveals the underbelly of the movie industry and its well-kept secrets". In an attempt to prepare his protagonist for the film, the director prepared a three-hour documentary on Hollywood actresses Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor, Ava Gardner and Vivien Leigh.[25] Designer Manish Malhotra was signed on to design the costumes.[26] Choreography of the movie was done by Remo D'Souza Ganesh Acharya and Jasmin Oza.[27]


Production for the film was marred by the kidnapping and brutal murder of Meenakshi Thapar by a co-star, Amit Jaiswal, who like Thapar, only had a minor role in the film.[28] Thapar was strangled in her hotel room in Gorakhpur and her body dumped into a water tank and head decapitated and thrown out of the window of a moving bus.[28][29]


Release of First Look (with Aishwarya Rai)[edit]

The first look of the movie was released as part of the 64th Cannes Film Festival.[30] A promotional poster was released during a press conference in which Ronnie Screwvala of UTV Motion Pictures, Madhur Bhandarkar, and Aishwarya Rai Bachchan officially announced the movie.[31] The director said, "The movie is a glamorous yet bold story of the internal journey of a superstar. I am certain it will appeal to audiences across the globe and Aishwarya was a perfect choice for the role. In fact, no one could've played it better." Screwvala stated "With Heroine, we plan to take things to the next level. When you watch the film, you will feel that the role was written with someone as talented and stunning as Aishwarya in mind."[32] The actress too admitted that she was "looking forward to this new journey in the movie." It was also announced that Aishwarya Rai will be have a wardrobe of more than 40 outfits designed by Manish Malhotra in the film.[33] Explaining why he was launching the project in Cannes, Screwvala alluded to Rai's star power saying, "She is the brand ambassador for India and for Indian cinema when it comes to the French Riviera." The actress was quick to deny any reference to her personal life being portrayed in the movie and said that the entire idea was a result of Bhandarkar's conceptualisation.[34] The Official Press Release distributed as a part of the announcement stated that "The film is based on the life and times of a superstar heroine, Mahi from the dream factory we call 'Bollywood'. The film is a daring, shocking, glamorous, scandalous behind-the-scenes account of the reality behind the world of glitz and glamour that our film stars inhabit. For a country obsessed with films and film stars, Heroine will take audiences on a voyeuristic journey to see what really goes on in the lives of India's sweethearts."[35]

Release of First Look (with Kareena Kapoor)[edit]

The director initially planned to put-forth the theatrical trailer attached to the release of Rowdy Rathore on 1 June 2012. However, there were several matured contents featuring Kareena Kapoor, which were essential and must be there to retain the motive of the film title, as per the director. The Central Board of Film Certification awarded an 'A' certificate to the trailer but chopped off Kapoor's smoking scenes and lovemaking scenes from the trailer.[36][37] The trailer was then scheduled for a 6 July 2012 release, as it would be releasing alongside Bol Bachchan, although it was then postponed to 20 July 2012. It was once again delayed so it did not clash with the late Rajesh Khanna's chautha. On 22 July 2012, two of the first look posters were revealed on the micro blogging site, Twitter, and received an amazing response in just 8 hours.[38] The trailer was released on 25 July 2012 online and will be released with Kyaa Super Kool Hain Hum on 27 July 2012 in theatres.[39] The trailer crossed over a million hits on YouTube within 2 days.

The trailer was released on 25 July 2012. After the release of the trailer, a controversy arose. In the film's promo a dialogue of Kareena Kapoor: "If a heroine buys a car, it's gifted to her by a businessman. If she goes to LA (Los Angeles), she's getting plastic surgery done and, god forbid, if she goes to Dubai, you people make a rate card for her," was not appreciated by the people of Dubai. To avoid hurting sentiments, Director Madhur Bhandarkar has had the offending statement censored in the Dubai version. He clarified, "We have censored it. There are some people who have raised objections. But we did not mean to demean anyone, Dubai is my personal favourite city."[40]


Heroine Cover.jpg
Original CD Cover
Soundtrack album to Heroine by Salim-Sulaiman
Released 20 August 2012
Language Hindi
Label UTV Motion Pictures
Producer Salim-Sulaiman
Salim-Sulaiman chronology
Jodi Breakers

It was announced that music director duo Salim-Sulaiman, who had earlier worked with Madhur Bhandarkar in his critically acclaimed movie Fashion, will be composing the songs for Heroine.

During the shooting of the film, Bhandarkar revealed that there would be two big item numbers in the film, both to be picturised on the leading lady. One of them being called "Halkat Jawani". Sung by Sunidhi Chauhan[41] is scheduled as a single track release on 17 August 2012. [42] Musicperk.com rated the album 7/10 quoting "Although songs like Halkat Jawani, Khwahishein and Tujhpe fida sound nice and enthusiastic as independent tracks, others probably would need to rely on the picturisation of the song for the required effect to be created".[43]

No. Title Singer(s) Length
1. "Halkat Jawani"   Sunidhi Chauhan 04:00
2. "Tujhpe Fida"   Benny Dayal, Shradha Pandit 05:00
3. "Khwahishein"   Shreya Ghoshal 03:59
4. "Saiyaan"   Rahat Fateh Ali Khan 03:32
5. "Main Heroine Hoon"   Aditi Singh Sharma 03:30

Critical reception[edit]

Heroine received negative reviews from critics upon release while Kareena Kapoor's performance garnered highly positive reviews. Taran Adarsh of Bollywood Hungama gave the film a rating of 3.5 out of 5 while saying "Watch HEROINE for Madhur's imposing direction, for Kareena's superlative performance, watch it also for its fearless, inspiring and enlightening storyline divulging the scandalous realities of the movie industry. Try not to miss it!".[44] Shomini Sen of Zee News gave it a score of 3 out of 5 and said "Does Heroine work? Yes, but only because of Kareena Kapoor. From doing the raunchy act in "Halkat Jawaani" to the scenes where she is battling depression and popping pills, Kareena makes Mahi memorable and lovable. Heroine is absolutely Kareena's film, not Madhur's. Two for the film and one extra for Bebo. Three cheers for the film!".[45] Aniruddha Guha of DNA gave Heroine 2 out 5 stars while commenting, "The characters are all caricatured and the screenplay meanders along aimlessly, it being nothing more than an assemblage of scenes – each disjointed from the other – strung together in a long, sleep-inducing and pointless narrative".[46] Saibal Chatterjee of NDTV rated it 2 out of 5 stars, noting "The film that Bhandarkar has made is indeed disappointingly mechanical. Mercifully, Kareena does demonstrate that she has a feel for the character. But, then, why wouldn't she? After all she plays herself in Heroine".[47]

Rajeev Masand of CNN-IBN rated the film 2 out of 5 and said "Despite an entertaining first half, thanks to all the unintentional laughs, Heroine slips into a slush of melodrama post interval. By this point, it feels interminably long and boring".[48] Sukanya Verma of Rediff.com gave it 2 out of 5 stars, remarking "There's nothing innovative about Madhur Bhandarkar's Heroine.I am not sure if this is Bhandakar's idea of comic relief but the hall roared with laughter. What's not funny is just how stunning Kareena Kapoor looks or gives to her role as Mahi Arora".[49] bRoshni Devi of Koimoi gave the film 1.5 out 5 stars, reviewing "Heroine irritates more than entertains, but some of the performances are nice. Kareena Kapoor does a good job and, heck, you even get to see her in a pseudo-lesbian scene along with other steamy scenes. If that's enough to drag you to see Heroine, go ahead. Give it a miss otherwise".[50]

Box office[edit]

The film grossed 6.94 crore (US$1.0 million) on its opening day.[51] Heroine had an average weekend of 205 million (US$3.0 million) nett.[52] The film had collected a fair 310 million (US$4.6 million) in its first week.[53] The film had a heavy fall in second week and managed only 60 million (US$880,000) nett.[54] It collected 440 million.[55]


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  41. ^ http://movies.ndtv.com/movie_story.aspx? the promo was released on 17 August 2012. The song garnered positive reviews whereas the video, which has been choreographed by Ganesh Acharya, has received mixed reactions. With a section of the media accusing the song to be mirroring Katrina Kaif's hit item number Chinki Chameli. ID=ENTEN20120194932&keyword=bollywood&subcatg=MOVIESINDIA&nid=178325
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External links[edit]