HATE STORY 2
DIRECTOR: Vishal Pandya
CAST: Surveen Chawla, Jay Bhanushali, Sushant Singh and Sunny Leone
RUNNING TIME: 140 minutes
HELL hath no fury like a woman scorned. The adage has been the essence of several Hindi films over the years.
Revenge sagas continue to be made. Only thing is, storytellers attempt to garnish the premise with passion, powerplay and skin show to entice viewers.
Hate Story 2, directed by Vishal Pandya, is an erotic thriller that takes the same route. Like the first film, the sexually explicit con- tent is cleverly interwoven in the premise, while the female protagonist decides to get even with the oppressor.
First, the plot. Sonika (Surveen Chawla) is the mistress of a high-profile politician, Mandar (Sushant Singh). Things take a turn for worse when she falls in love with Akshay (Jay Bhanushali). When the politician gets a whiff of their liaison, he has Akshay murdered and attempts to kill Sonika, too.
A dejected Sonika decides to seek revenge against her tormenter. Staying faithful to the first film that was helmed by Vivek Agnihotri, Vishal amalgamates passionate love-making scenes and high-voltage drama in the premise of the new instalment, but, at the same time, also makes sure he narrates a new story with the revenge angle.
The battle lines between the tormentor and the tormented are drawn at the very start. The high point of the film is that the narrative holds your attention from the start, with the storyteller making sure you don’t lose focus of the proceedings all through the first hour.
A number of sequences catch your attention during this hour: Sonika’s emotional outburst as she reveals the truth to Akshay and also the episode when Mandar murders Jay and attempts to murder Sonika.The post-interval portions maintain the grip, but the loose ends show up intermittently. The most glaring one being the popular Sunny Leone track that springs up from nowhere and has been used as a mere prop.
As a matter of fact, the screenwriting, although veering into the conventional zone now and then, gets a thumbs up, while the director gets full marks for staying faithful to the genre and handling the dramatic sequences with expertise.
The woman-centric premise demands that the female protagonist deliver a commanding performance. Additionally, it is imperative that she shed her inhibitions and don a bold avatar. Chawla catches you completely unaware with a no-holds-barred performance, interpreting her character with utmost confidence. Moreover, there are crucial parts in the narrative when she has to look dejected and disheartened, which should make the viewer feel for her character, and she handles those moments with conviction.
Bhanushali is decent, but gets limited screen time.One has come to expect power-packed performances from Singh and the actor more than lives up to the expectations. The dark character that he portrays is vicious, venomous and violent and he encapsulates the three attributes brilliantly.
I’d also like to single out Neha Kaul, who portrays Singh’s oppressed wife. She’s super. Rajesh Khera is effective in a brief role.
Hate Story 2 is a riveting saga of a woman’s vendetta against the man who wronged her. Additionally, the combo of a show of skin and melodious music add tremendous value to the project. – bollywoodhungama.com
• Hate Story 2 is screening at Suncoast cinemas.