Ten minutes into Hate Story IV, and you're met with a character spouting lines like so:
A: I love water. You do, too.
B: I do?
A: Yes, you do. Because my body is 60% water and you love my body.
For dialogues such as this and other reasons - more on which we'll talk about further in this review - I'm seriously considering petititioning my editor to shelve this movie under the comedy genre.
After all, what else would you call a movie that legit ends with a PSA asking the general public to desist from social evils like eve-teasing, never mind its own mindless titillation of the audience using women who wear lesser clothes than I did my first time at the beach, aged three?
As the latest venture in the erotic-thriller genre that the Hate Story series
headlines, part IV has beauty pageant-winner, self-professed IITian and buxom babe Urvashi Rautela playing Tasha, an aspiring model with "wholly Indian values" who catches the eye of two affluent brothers played by Karan Wahi and Vivan Bathena. But as much as the boys would have just liked to wham-bam-and-thank-you-ma'am, Tasha's aforementioned wholly Indian values won't allow for such hanky-panky, relegating them to adopt other, not very nice means.
Throw in this mixture debutante Ihana Dhillon and some frankly vouyeuristic camera angles, and you have yourselves a thriller at hand - just like that, yes. Never mind that the suspense factor is about as suspenseful as who really comes down your chimney to leave you presents over Christmas. The plot "twists" and turns in this movie are so garden variety that you can smell them from a mile off, and no close-up shots of heaving bosoms provide any distraction from that.
Camerawork aside, there are other ways in which the director tries to convince you that this movie isn't the soft porn / erotica that we all know it is by infusing the film with techniques like a non-linear narrative and with actors breaking the fourth wall occasionally. But when you have a titlecard screaming "Hate Story
", three unrelated sequels all cut from the same cloth and the self-same director helming three of the four films in this franchise, you know the path down which this movie is headed, and nowhere on that road does it say "good movie ahead".
Coming to the performances department, Wahi is this film's only prayer of a chance at decent acting. His character in the movie is a 180-degree turn from his first outing on the small screen in Remix, and is commendable despite and for that. Bathena, however, seems to have overdone it with steroids, leaving half of his face swollen and unable to emote. The woman of the hour Urvashi Rautela, on the other hand, is a half and half act, with her screen presence thankfully making up for her dialogue delivery which vacillates dangerously between a faux English accent in short dialogues and her original Uttarakhandi intonation whenever she's required to say lines that go beyond two sentences. Gulshan Grover comes in for a bit, too, but oh how we wish, for his own sake, that that had not happened.
All these failings aside, however, Hate Story IV surprisingly manages to round off its act quite decently in the last half hour or so when all the erotica makes way for a revenge plot that works thanks to its pacing. All gimmicks are forgotten by this point, and in an attempt to tie things up satisfyingly enough, the director pays genuine attention to the screenplay which has the strange effect of making the audience leave the hall like they actually watched something, never mind the garbage shown for the hour and a half prior to that.
The soundtrack of the movie is good, too, and has already proved to be quite popular - the remixed version of the song Aashiq Banaya Aapne in particular. Also, the dialogues, though utterly corny and incredulous, left many a folk chuckling, and are just what the doctor ordered for a B-grade thriller such as this, perhaps. We'll leave you with golden samples like "agar teri warna se darna hota, toh main yahaan aata nahi," and "bedroom main kiye gaye promises ko boardroom main nahi laate" to know what we mean for yourselves.
Ultimately then, Hate Story IV is a movie that the randy college-goers I happened to catch this morning's show with thoroughly enjoyed. So if you count yourself in that lot, whether by age or by mindset, this is a film tailor-made for you. But if not, we strongly recommend that you give this movie a hop and a skip.