Haseena Dillruba Review (SPOILERS): Well, This Went DELIGHTFULLY Over the Top!!!!

What a RIDICULOUS movie! Which knew perfectly well it was ridiculous. If you can’t handle tension and twists and thrillers, read this review to just know the basics of what happened and talk about it with us. Or if you saw it and have Thoughts, you can read my summary and my thoughts and then we can talk!

Whole plot in two paragraphs:

We start with Taapsee returning home to an explosion, and finding her husband’s hand on the ground. And then we leap forward two months to find the police frustrated with an impossible investigation. Through a series of police interviews and flashbacks we get the rest of the story. 2 years ago, Vikrant was a sweet small town engineer who came to meet sexy pretty Taapsee for an engagement in Delhi. They both agree to the engagement, and slowly flirt over phone and email and stuff. Then they are married and she is disappointed by the house, and the first night kind of doesn’t happen. They keep failing at intimacy, plus Taapsee doesn’t even know how to cook and disappoints the family. While the marriage is in a terrible shape, Vikrant’s cool cousin Harshwardhan Rane comes to visit. He easily seduces Taapsee, she even learns to cook for him. And then he leaves without saying goodbye while she is dreaming of running away with him. Taapsee tells Vikrant the truth, he doesn’t blame her, but tells her she either has to go back to her home or he may kill her. She chooses to stay and Vikrant starts creating elaborate accidents that almost kill her many times while he watches. Until finally she tries to jump off a wall and he saves her and forgives her. They slowly get closer, than Harshwardhan reappears and disrespects Taapsee and Vikrant chases him for revenge. They don’t catch him, but it brings them together and Taapsee and Vikrant finally have sex. Just when everything is fine, Harshwardhan reappears. Everyone sees him enter the house while Taapsee is home alone, then Vikrant enter, then Taapsee leave, then Harsh sneak out the back, then the house explodes. The police are sure Taapsee did it but have no proof and have to let her go. 5 years later, the investigating officer picks up Taapsee’s favorite crime novel at a bookstall and reads it. In the novel, the killer escapes by cutting off his hand so everyone will think the body is his instead of the man he killed. And the police officer realizes that is what happened, Harsh died in a fight with Taapsee and Vikrant, the only way to escape justice was for Vikrant to cut off his hand and go on the run while Taapsee pretended the body was his. And then meet up once the investigation was over. Happy Ending, Taapsee and Vikrant walking hand in hand.

Review: Haseen Dilruba - Vinil Mathew Taapsee

What makes this film so incredibly fun is that it always always ALWAYS zigs when you think it will zag. Bored beautiful sexy wife who can’t cook, of course she is going to be evil and destroy her husband. But no, wait a minute, she is having an affair and instead is unfulfilled in life and love and sympathetic and this is a tragic triangle. No wait, her lover is abandoning her, this is the classic “affair brings couple closer and she appreciates kind man” story. But then her husband tries to kill her MULTIPLE TIMES? And she is kind of into it??? So he’s not that nice either! And she doesn’t actually want a nice man. The final twist turns out to be the most expected. Which is why it is unexpected. By now, we think it will turn out she’s been in love with the lover all along, or the husband and lover set her up, or something like that. But instead, the husband and wife really did find true love together! In their sick sick SICK way!!!

It doesn’t just zig in the plot, it zigs in the atmosphere. This should be a super dark movie, or at least a darkly comic movie. And instead it feels more like a slice of life rom-com than anything? Sort of weirdly enjoyable in its darkness. And it gives the audience permission to find it enjoyable! One of the first scenes is the police officers sitting around talking about what a fun crime this is, no terrorism, no robbery, no mafia, the kind of crime you can enjoy talking about over chai.

Taapsee as the sexy difficult daughter-in-law who only knows how to do hair is FUNNY!!!! Vikrant hiding in the bathroom because he is afraid of his wife is FUNNY. And the cops struggling to understand Taapsee’s dramatic story of love and violence is funny too. It’s just a fun fun movie. A movie that is so fun, I think I would enjoy watching it a second time, knowing what is going to happen, as much as on the first go round when I wasn’t sure.

A large part of that is of course performances. Taapsee has a BLAST playing the immature difficult woman. She isn’t “bad” and she isn’t “good” and she definitely isn’t childlike in the classic Hindi film heroine sense. She is just a little spoiled with a little growing up to do. And the bits where she acts overly sexy to seduce her husband are HOT!!! Heck, her whole attitude of “what, I’m hot and sexy, that’s enough, I shouldn’t have to do any more as a wife” is great.

And Vikrant! Going from sweet innocent to burning scary quiet anger, to little bit crazy smile in his eyes. It’s the perfect Vikrant role, plays to all his strengths. Including letting him have a beard and a slight frame, I do not want to see a musclely Vikrant ever.

Mixed in with all the melodrama are some interesting statements. Taapsee complains from the start that arranged marriages mean no one works hard enough. And she’s right. Only, she’s right about herself too. She isn’t even willing to learn to cook until Harsh tempts her with sex. Vikrant may be a bit dull, and a bit bad at sex, but he’s not the only one being lazy. In their crazy way, they come together by finding a shared interest and learning what matters to the other one (Taapsee cooks, Vikrant finds his inner strong man, and then they both get into violence and murder). The statements on Taapsee in the world are especially good. On the one hand, the film shows that she is punished out of proportion to her crime. Her husband, who hasn’t even really slept with her yet himself, is ready to kill her for sleeping with someone else. The man she slept with is forgiven by her husband and treated as a friend after one brief fight. And of course, the police immediately suspect her as a “bad woman”. But on the other hand, the film shows her internalized need for punishment. She wants a strong husband. She wants to be abused, she wants to be dominated, she wants to be ordered about. I don’t think the film is saying “all women want this”, I think it is saying “some woman want this kind of passion in their relationships, respect that”. Only, of course, to an insane degree. It’s one thing for Vikrant to take the lead in the bedroom, it’s something else entirely for him to try to kill her by rigging the stove to explode.

Maybe that’s the biggest thing that makes this movie work? A marriage is about equals. And sometimes that means being equally willing to hurt each other. Vikrant tiptoing around, swallowing his feelings, being the “nice guy”, that’s kind of insulting to Taapsee. Like she can’t take it if he reveals how he really feels. And Taapsee smiling to him in public and complaining about him in private isn’t fair either, she should just tell him that she is unhappy and what she really wants. That’s the underground to this INSANE plot of arm cutting off and so on.

Final note that really really bothers me, if the hand is identified by the tattoo on his wrist, why didn’t they just tattoo the wrist of the dead body and cut off THAT hand and have it falsely identified? I was so sure that was going to be the resolution.

Now, important discussion question. Rank in order of personal sexy preference:

  1. Sweet nice version of Vikrant
  2. Crazed psycho silent version of Vikrant
  3. Harshwardhan Rane

I think my order is 2, 1, 3

30 thoughts on “Haseena Dillruba Review (SPOILERS): Well, This Went DELIGHTFULLY Over the Top!!!!

  1. My unanswered question is do Vikrant’s parent know the truth? I don’t recall them being very upset. His BF? Brother? is. But they have her at home w them in between police station visits.

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    • She’s a beautician! It’s RIGHT THERE! She knows how to tattoo the hand, and with the burning you wouldn’t be able to tell it’s a new tattoo

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      • I don’t think the beauticians I know could tattoo. She wouldn’t have had the tools. Maybe a fake one but would have burned off. Also where did Vikrant go to sew up his arm.

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        • I feel like if we are supposed to believe Vikrant managed to stop the bleeding of his arm, we can believe Taapsee learned how to tattoo.

          On Thu, Jul 8, 2021 at 6:41 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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        • There was a comment about fingerprints too, it wasn’t just IDed by the tattoo.

          And yes! Had the same question about his arm. But I guess if you accept the rest you can accept that too.

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          • I was thinking that if he survived the blood loss, the bacteria in the water was sure to kill him. But I will try to suspend my disbelief.

            On Thu, Jul 8, 2021 at 7:05 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  2. This comment is dedicated to Vikrant:

    First, that unsuccessful wedding consummation scene was one of the most hilarious I’ve seen and also made me want to hide under my bed. The part where they both stand up on the bed to figure out how to get themselves out of the complicated sari tangle they got into…just… awkward comic gold.

    Then also: I find it fascinating all the ways in which Vikrant’s character is not a hero type. There is the lack of sexual prowess. He’s smaller than the other men and never bests any of them in a fight. When Harsh’s friends are making vulgar suggestions to Taapsee, he shields her but can’t stand up to them and can’t even hail a rickshaw without their help. He gets beat up twice by Harsh and only manages to intimidate him when he’s in a car chasing down Harsh on a motorcycle. He cooks and cleans and can’t stand up to his wife. His biggest skills in the beginning are fixing things and homeopathy. (What’s the homeopathy thing about, BTW? I was expecting that to come back as poison but it didn’t, so why did she put it in? Feel like I’m missing some cultural context.)

    When he turns bad, he’s more assertive about things like money but still passive aggressive in terms of how he operates and his failure to confront her directly. She’s still the active one trying to talk to him and she’s the one who ultimately forces the confrontation that reconciles them. In the final fight, it’s Taapsee who kills Harsh in order to save Vikrant. Vikrant has really only two moments of agency where he moves the plot – once when he decides to marry Taapsee (against his mother’s wishes) and once when he decides they will cover up her crime following the plot of her favorite mystery novel. (Which comes with cutting off his own hand, gah!!)

    Not really sure where I’m going with this, but putting this character at the center of the story and having him triumph over the super sexy macho man (by cutting off his own hand, gah!!) is such an interesting choice.

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    • I’ll add on, even when he tries to do the”macho” thing and hurt his wife for being unfaithful, he does it through clever little tricks. Clever little tricks revolving around household tasks! It’s all stoves and laundry, not even cutting the breaks in her car.

      The homeopathy, I have several theories but none of them feel quite right. There’s the parelal between her being a beautician (focused on the outer changes) and him being into homeopathy (focused on the inner). There’s the practical argument that his homeopathy helps him survive the ending. And there’s the looking to figure out how things work, including bodies, instead of actually experiencing them.

      One thing with this super passive hero is pointing to a patriarchy where even this super passive dude has all the power. He says to Taapsee “leave, or I will kill you”. She makes the choice, but within the rules he has set. And the same thing again and again. He is passive, and yet still in control.

      Now, you mention “super sexy macho man”, and yet you fail to address my discussion point at the end of the post!

      On Thu, Jul 8, 2021 at 8:40 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Ah yes! Well, you know I’m more of an alpha person, so yeah, no contest, 3 2 1. Though with the caveat that evil Vikrant not with the crazy eyes after almost blowing her up because that guy almost took me out of the movie every time, but yes Vikrant at the mechanic shop finally making a first move.

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  3. OK now the two parts of the plot that creaked for me:
    – Why did Harsh come back to the house? That seemed weird and out of character, and the argument that led to the fight also felt off, a formulaic moment in the middle of this tight and original script.
    – The whole severed hand and explosion to cover up the crime thing, I still haven’t figured out how that’s the best way to get Taapsee out of trouble. Like, the river is right there and his family is gone for the weekend. Could they not just wait until dark and sink the body? How is having her undergo interrogation by the police every day for two months because of justifiable suspicion that she killed her husband the better path? I mean, I get how it works for the movie but it feels kind of clunky as a plot device. (Also the frozen mutton leg, that seemed obvious, such a cozy crime tradition.)

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    • -Agree. I kept waiting for more of a reveal with that argument, like Taapsee had secretly been calling him or something. But I will allow it, because it ultimately had the twist of “none of that looooooooooooong 2 year flashback mattered”. Her husband’s cousin showed up, he got into a fight with her husband, she hit him with a frozen leg of mutton and killed him. All of the other stuff Taapsee was saying was a pointless distraction to keep the police busy.

      -SO MANY OTHER OPTIONS!!!! Works as a metaphor, cutting off your hand for love, but just stupid as a plot device. I mean, why even use the hand? Why not take a gamble and leave behind your jewelry or something instead and trust on the body being identified from that? Just killing the dude probably wouldn’t work, because people know he was coming there and they would know about the backstory and suspect Taapsee. You could also fake an accident I guess, Vikrant was all handy and stuff, why not arrange for part of the wall to fall in and make it look like Harsh died from that?

      I did get such a joyful kick when I realized she fed the stray dogs the murder mutton. So classic, so delightful.

      On Thu, Jul 8, 2021 at 10:08 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I also agree about Harsh. It was the weakest part for me. I wish there was more about him and his reasons. Or maybe he should be less nice before? Sharing porn videos of your bhabi just because she called you a frog? It has no sense.

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      • Agree about feeding the mutton to the dogs, that was the only part of the mutton leg that worked for me. Especially because mean Vikrant made that comment about how she should befriend the dogs if she didn’t want them to bark, so that seemed to explain what she was doing and misdirected from the fact that it was a clue to the murder.

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  4. My preferences:
    1. I felt in love with shy Vikrant at the first sight. He is 100% my type and his shyness and beautiful deer eyes are so sexy! I wouldn’t let him sleep all night long.
    3. Harsh
    2. Creepy Vikrant was scary and not sexy.

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  5. I loved this film even when it got wonky, and even tho the happy ending was contrived and illogical.

    Superb acting thruout. Harsh made me hate him when I generally adore hunky guys. And special mention to Vikram’s mother, so funny, and to the top cop. Never saw him before but he nailed it.

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