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Haseena Parkar  : Underworld Aapa With Mumps
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Friday, September 22, 2017
Omung Kumar
Shraddha Kapoor, Sharman Joshi,Siddhanth Kapoor, Ankur Bhatia

After Daddy Arun Gawli, it’s Aapa Haseena Parkar. The attempt in both films is the same: to whitewash a gangster’s dark resume.


Director c starts off with trademark style as Mumbai’s gangster Aapa arrives in court. A fleet of taxis with burkha-clad women drives in and Haseena is introduced with a flourish, with cheek pads like she’s got mumps.


The public prosecutor who keeps smirking for no reason builds her case byrecreating Haseena’sstory with a series of flashbacks. And then the interest wanes as Haseena and her husband Ibrahim Parkar are presented as a loving couple with zero links to her brother Dawood’s business.Through those cheek pads, Haseena tells the court that their father too was an upright policeman who belted Dawood and his brother Sabir for their illegal activities.  True, but what happened to him as Dawood turned into a powerful don, is left unsaid.


What the flashbacks do establish is the strong bond between Dawood and sister Haseena who stood by each other right from childhood. But, the reminder comes frequently, she had nothing to do with his business.


When the flashbacks hark back to the court proceedings, the prosecutor continues smirkingwhich is curiousespecially when she’s got a case as weak as a kitten. The only evidence she intermittently offers is, “Witnesses are too scared to come forward.”After Haseena is acquitted for the obvious lack of evidence, her telling last line to her Bhai is perhaps the only one which says something substantial.


Otherwise, just as the prosecutor presents a weak case with no proof, no witnesses, the writing and narration are also feeble and skim the surface.By showing her husband’s murder and then her son’s death, Suresh Nair’s screenplay tries hard but is unable to evoke any empathy for Haseena and the empire of extortion and protection that she presided over.


Shraddha Kapoor’s performance is courageous as she deglamourises herself to be the heavy Haseena. Her moments with real life brother Siddhant Kapoor who plays Dawood have sibling warmth but Lakhia soon caricatures the don in Dubai.


The end credits are interesting as pictures of the real life characters are juxtaposed with frames of the actors playing those roles.


However, this is an unsatisfactory foray into the underworld.


For a film that doesn’t reach out and touch the audience, Haseena Parkar gets a 2* rating.


Reviewed by
Bharathi S Pradhan

Senior Journalist & Author


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