Verdict: A biopic that is both intense yet heart-wrenching.
Born to an upright constable Ibrahim Kaskar in the shady lanes of Mumbai’s Dongri area, Haseena Parkar was the 7th child among the 12 siblings. To be the sister of Dawood Ibrahim, one of the world’s most wanted underworld dons, had its own share of roses and thorns. Director Apoorva Lakhia manages to balance out both elements on screen as he depicts the life and trials of Haseena in 2 hours 4 minutes. Apoorva Lakhia, who has even worked with Hollywood, is known for making films heavily focused on the city’s underbelly. The man just loves to paint blood and gore all over the canvas with a heavy embellishment comprising guns and goons.
Infused with flashbacks every now and then, the film’s narrative begins and ends in Mumbai’s sessions court. Throughout the court proceedings where the prosecutor tries to prove all charges against Haseena, watch how Haseena Parkar turns into Aapa or the Godmother of Nagpada. Take a wonderful tour of the sensational underworld business of the 70s and 80s dominated by the Lalas, Pathans and Gawlis and the dramatic rise of Dawood though an impressive video sequence supported by a fantastic background score.
The plot lightens when Haseena Parkar starts experiencing marital bliss until her brother’s horrors come back to haunt her. First, she loses her husband Ibrahim Parkar; years later, her son Danish. Following Mumbai’s 1993 bomb blasts believed to have been masterminded by the D Company, abandonment, loneliness, constant accusations and harassment from the public turn her into the lady mafia that she eventually becomes. From being an arbitrator and a real estate agent to being accused of hawala transactions and extortion, see it all unfold on screen as Shraddha gives her career best in Haseena Parkar.
The film boasts of an amazing cinematography by Fasahat Khan especially in the scenes where we witness Dawood’s magnificent rise as well as in the post-bomb blast montage scenes. The background score and music interspersed at the right intervals by Amar Mohile and Sachin-Jigar gave the right depth and intensity to the screenplay. Shraddha Kapoor, who delivers her best performance till date, could have done better with respect to her expressions, especially in the second half. However, a couple of her scenes deserve a round of applause like the tap scene or the one with the Dubai based NRI. Shraddha’s physical transformation in the course of the film is both believable and up to the mark. Siddhant Kapoor as Dawood doesn’t disappoint and Ankur Bhatia's chemistry with Shraddha will totally melt your heart.
A more fluid narrative with smooth transitions coupled with a little more brushing of the characters would have worked wonders for the film. If you ignore the melodrama of the first half and a little over-the-top seeming sympathy, Haseena Parkar is a decent watch.
Why You Should Watch The Movie:
If you love high-octane shootout scenes and find the Mumbai's underworld fascinating, then Haseena Parkar is definitely for you. Shraddha Kapoor fans, do not wait anymore, as your favorite actress does something commendable here. Everyone else, witness the life story of a lady who dares to enter the men-dominated mafia world to become one of Mumbai’s most powerful women.
Watch Shraddha Kapoor and Siddhanth Kapoor share annoying facts about each other.