Haseen Dilruba Movie Review | Taapsee Pannu, Vikrant Massey, Harshvardhan Rane | Netflix | 2021

a jilted lover a lonely unsatisfied housewife and 
unwanted distraction in the form of a handsome  
hunk haseen dilruba starts off with a bang quite 
literally the plot involves a small town called  
dwalapur where a delhi-based girl finds it hard 
to adjust to the rhythms of a household chores  
and a husband who’s a meek docile nerd things 
come to a boil when his hunk of a cousin enters  
the scene and makes advances towards rani kashyap 
who does not hesitate to reciprocate his feelings  
like the fictitious hindi pulp novelist 
quoted in the film tinesh pandit this is  
a film that reads like a pulp novel that’s 
just hard to put down once you get started  
the film owes its title to the song 
jawani chanaman haseem tilruba from  
the film shan and the lyrics of that song aptly 
described this film meledo del jama nisar hoga
without revealing too much i’m just going to 
say you have to trust me on this one kani kaldo  
who has written haseen till rupa also wrote man 
marzia another story about a girl torn between  
a sober well-educated man and a cool dude who’s 
impossible to resist but haseem dilruba is a story  
of two halves the second half being

an ode to 
grisham a suspense thriller that has paved the way  
for films like haseem dilruba to exist also in the 
way of inspiration one has to look back at classic  
hollywood film noirs films with dark pessimistic 
themes and signature motifs such as alienated  
anti-heroes dark shadows and seductive femme 
fatales there’s also another older film that comes  
to mind sam peckinpah’s violent psychological 
thriller straw dogs which also was about a nerd  
inflicting revenge on his tormentors the police 
procedural sequences also remind us of the  
recently released rath akeli another film about 
mysterious deaths in small town northern india  
as i’ve mentioned earlier there are two halves to 
talk about in haseendir river in its comedic first  
half kanikazo takes ample jabs at the concept 
of arranged marriages we meet a cantankerous  
mother-in-law and her docile husband their small 
town expectations come in the form of wanting a  
homely pride for their son who needs to know how 
to cook and to cook well taapsi’s rani kashyap  
a delhi born and brought up girl meanwhile 
has draupadi-like expectations of a husband  
inspired in part by reading and fantasizing 
about heroes found in cheap hindi pulp novels  
in a hilarious scene rishu played by vikrant 
masih chides her by saying requirements to
there are also a plethora of awkward and funny 
moments between the newlywed couple which i  
thought worked quite well rishu also seeks advice 
on how to tame his wife from his best friend  
highlighting and in a way critiquing the 
patriarchal mindset found in small town india but  
social commentary aside when it comes 
to analyzing the two halves of the movie  
i’d say that both parts are equally enjoyable 
the second half is completely dominated by the  
suspense and mystery elements though as far as 
performances are concerned the entire supporting  
cast in haseem dilruba deserves a round of 
applause from aditya srivastava’s role as a  
weary and cynical police officer who investigates 
the crime committed in the opening act of the film  
to yamanee das who plays tapsi pannu’s hard to 
please mother-in-law the ashankar pandey who plays  
vikrant massey’s father and ashish varma who plays 
his best friend afsa are also quite good in their  
respective roles harshvardhan rani who plays the 
cool dude who entices tabsi pannu is unfortunately  
just about okay tapsi herself is not so impressive 
either now we can agree that it’s a difficult  
double act that she has to perform playing a 
femme fatale and also a reformed loving wife but  
tarpsi doesn’t quite get all the nuances right 
she is fine in the first half of the film but  
comes across as entirely predictable in the second 
it doesn’t help that her stock mannerisms are on  
full display during the more dramatic scenes of 
the film manmerzia directed by amarath kashyap  
and also written by kanika dhillon still remains 
her best performance to date and this brings me  
to vikrant marseille who’s just brilliant and 
masterful in his portrayal of rishu a character  
that goes from being a meek and submissive 
one at the beginning of the story to being  
cunning and also quite vengeful towards the end he 
certainly deserves full marks for portraying this  
amazing transformation what i also like about 
the film are its dialogues they not only help  
create a great atmosphere but also work wonders 
on multiple levels some of the lines are caustic  
and funny but more often than not they are laced 
with the bitter truth and harsh realities of  
life in small town india i should also compliment 
veneer matthew for his direction which is mostly  
subtle and non-intrusive in nature among the 
many scenes that i enjoyed i can still recall  
one particular scene where vikrant marseille 
looks at the figure of a sleeping tabsi panu  
filled with rage and uncontrollable jealousy 
fennel matthew lights up the scene with hues  
of red to signify the passionate nature of the 
scene this is just one example of small but def  
touches that middle matthew has incorporated into 
this film i found the music and songs of the film  
to be a bit underwhelming maybe it’s just because 
i haven’t given them time to grow given that amit  
vedi has composed the entire soundtrack of arsene 
delgrava i certainly expect it a little bit more  
so what are my concluding thoughts on hating 
dilruba i think the film deserves a big thumbs  
up it’s a welcome addition to the desi film 
noir genre and it certainly deserves a watch  
for its unpredictable twists and turns its genuine 
attempts at finding humor in a small town setting  
for its crisp and funny dialogues the excellent 
supporting cast vikrant martial’s performance  
and so much more so that’s a wrap guys and i 
hope you’ve enjoyed listening to my review of  
hasine dilruba i’m sure some of you will have 
your disagreements with me as well let me know  
in the comments below what are your thoughts on 
the movie if you think this review was helpful  
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