The young Indian adult who enters a multiplex to see Hate Story already knows a lot about the film. He has seen the posters and has not failed to be challenged by the multitude of articles and video clips that abound on the Internet. He knows that it is a story of blood and sex, with perhaps also a few feelings.
At first sight, the story is a little strange. Our heroine, Kaavya Krishna (Paoli Dam) is an ambitious and energetic young journalist. With the help of her nice colleague Vicky (Nikhil Dwivedi), she picks up a scoop that undermines the reputation of Cementec Infra cement factory headed by son-a-dad Siddharth Dhanrajgir (Gulshan Devaiya).
In order to avenge the insult and break Kaavya, the king of the construction industry designs a Machiavellian plan. He offers her a highly paid position and seduces her slyly, two proposals she enthusiastically accepts. Then he brutally rejects her without seriously threatening her.
Kaavya is seriously shaken by this sentimental-professional disappointment and discovers that she is pregnant with Siddharth. She then makes the mistake of trying to make him sing, but he reacts very brutally. He has it removed, aborted and sterilized, leaving her half-dead wandering in a distant suburb of New Delhi.
Kaavya goes back up the slope and decides to take revenge on Siddharth by ruining his industrial empire inch by inch. To access the big hats and gather essential information about her retaliation, she turns to prostitution.
Hate Story is an erotic thriller written and produced by Vikram Bhatt and was released on Indian screens in April 2012. The production was left to Vivek Agnihotri for whom it is the 3rd film, with the three previous ones not even leaving an imprint in the memory of moviegoers. He however does an honorable job here and this modest genre film is rather removed. We're not bored. On the other hand, one is not dazzled by the direction that accumulates clichés like hazelnuts by a squirrel.
A film centered on a strong woman who takes revenge on an odious man is not a novelty, even in Bollywood. Kajol had already had to face her monster in Dushman of the Bhatt brothers. But the story at the time was much more exciting and moving, and especially Kajol was much more inspired than Paoli Dam, who was obviously chosen for reasons other than her acting talents.
The role of the villain is here endorsed by Gulshan Devaiah, who was discovered in a small role in That Girl in Yellow Boots. He is rather at ease in his dreadful costume lost in a universe that surpasses him. And we start to think that it could have turned out well if the circumstances had been different.
True to gossip, it's time to answer the question that fills the male viewer who is considering spending more than two hours in front of a screen. Is Hate Story as hot as the intense promotional campaign suggested? Alas, it is clear that the film is very elliptical on the subject.
The soundtrack, however, contains a few haunting tracks and other noisy panting but we are not on the radio, and the young acneic male will not fail to get annoyed. Unfortunately for the authors, what could appear as an astounding transgression in Jism, became a distressing banality nine years later. This probably explains why the audience did not rush into theaters to go see Hate Story and maybe it was reserved for Jism 2, which promises so much more.
What then remains to this erotic thriller, if the erotica is absent? Perhaps suspense or tension? Unfortunately, the story is very linear and the characters are presented without great empathy. As a result, we are not surprised and even less affected by what happens to them. The scenario nevertheless contains a few surprises, but they derive from its total implausibility.
It is difficult, for example, to adhere to the idea that an intelligent and defenseless young woman is trying to make a violent and extremely powerful tycoon sing. But what about the choice of luxurious prostitution as a means of revenge? And who can believe that she draws the men of power in her nets with disconcerting ease, who extend all their professional secrets without the slightest resistance?
In the absence of the images or the plot, could the music carry us? Uh...no. Hate Story features three songs that are generally rather mild. The prize goes to Mahee Jaan played during the key moments of the film, the night of inflamed love between Kaavya and Sid. It's so syrupy that instantly arouses heartburn. But, the real crime is Raat sung by Sunidhi Chauhan in Mukhti Mohan's cheap item number. How could the sublime Sheila Ki Jawani of Tees Maar Khan have done so?
This very small B series is surfing on the erotic wave that is dear to the Bhatt factory. But we are still very far from the account and nothing is shown nor even suggested. Unfortunately for the producer, the argument of the film has made the family public stay away and the absence of transgression has disappointed the urban youth.