In one word-Crass! Here's one film that evokes the worst kind of expletives from an exasperated viewer gawking at the terribly crass and trashy attempt at taking or rather raking up the age-old story of the casting couch.
First, who's interested in casting couch stories any more? And unlike a Mahesh Bhatt (sorry Mister Bhatt, to bring you into the review of Madhubaala, of all films!) who is known for extremely timely adaptations of current news as films to make them contemporary and interesting, with Kalyug being a good example, director Yadav of Madhubaala seems to have woken up far too long after the event. The event being the controversy that aspiring starlet Preeti dragged top and National Award winning director Madhur Bhandarkar into, so long back.
There's no denying the parallels - they stare you in the face. A National Award winning director, who's risen to fame and won the award because of a film based on women's issues, actually misleads and emotionally entraps a generally reluctant young aspiring actress, successfully coercing her to yield to his physical advances, and then keeps using her by leading her on with promises of casting her in his next film, and then the next. That line ring any bells? At least from unproven accusations of a real life actress?
However, to return to the story at the beginning: The movie starts with a Mahila Mukti Sanghatan activist getting a call from Madhubaala (Kanishka). She plans to commit suicide but is stopped from doing so. Like it's obvious because if heroine dies right at the start how would the story move on? And now the story goes forward in flashback.
Madhubaala reveals her reason for attempting suicide. Madhubaala had come to Mumbai to fulfill her dreams of becoming an actress. She has a convenient innocent lover boy Malhar (Gurpreet Singh) who always stands by her in her quest to become a successful actress. And one day, Malhar learns that the National Award winning director Raj Malhotra (Sameer Dharmadhikari) will be shooting at the club Malhar works in, and he takes Madhubaala to meet Malhotra.
The ace National Award director is shooting what must definitely be one of the ten worst scenes of Hindi cinema, and actually applauds the awful performance of the extras masquerading as important characters in the scene. Malhotra tells Madhubaala to call him later, and that's that. Meanwhile, Madhubaala's been going from door to door to producers, soliciting a role. And lands up at a very evil looking, leering agent, whose lines and looks are full of double entendre, and who makes her sign a bond that ensures she will do whatever he suggests.
Meanwhile, Malhar has to leave town as his mother's unwell, and director Raj Malhotra finally gets Madhubaala, now alone, to succumb to his advances. After several such instances too, Madhubaala hasn't seen reason, and strangest of all, immediately after learning that Malhotra, inspite of promising to have launched her, has actually launched someone else in his next film, all she can do is make a long face, get shepherded into the back seat of the car and, well, get used again! And she is 'raped' 21 times in the hope of of getting a role in a movie and after that getting married to Malhotra. And finally, when our heroine has had enough of her crying and sulking, she along with the social activist goes to the cops to complain about Malhotra. The case is put up in much media hype. Finally when the judgment is in favor of Madhubaala the story takes a rather silly so-called twist. Everybody finds out that this entire rape rumpus was made up by Madhubala and her agent in order to get publicity. What is the point of showing a rather innocent Madhubaala in the beginning if she was supposed to be the culprit in the end