If you saw Hate Story back in 2012, you know what to expect in Part 2. The core of the film remains the same from the first installment. A woman is wronged, and she sets out to take revenge.
Yup, this is that kind of a film that pretends to be sympathetic to a woman's revenge saga, but is not shy of exploiting her sexuality as well. Imagine Uma Thurman or Rooney Mara doing an incongruous erotic scene in the middle of their deadly revenge sagas. But then that was Kill Bill and The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo; here we're talking Hate Story 2.
In Hate Story 2, a photography student Sonika (Surveen Chawla) is being continuously harassed by a local politician Mandar Bhau (red tilak, and referring to his father in the past tense). He calls her his mistress, and forces her to sleep with him, threatening her with dire consequences if she dare refuse. Even committing suicide is not allowed, as Mandar threatens to hurt her only surviving family member ? her granny.
A family man to the world, Mandar (Sushant Singh) is a corrupt human being behind closed doors. Boorish to his wife, neglectful towards his daughter, and cruel to Sonika, he's not above killing someone if they prove to be an obstacle.
And when Sonika begins to fall in love with a young guy (Jay Bhanushali) from her photography class, Mandar gets very upset, and spouts one angry dialogue after the other.
He tries to kill her; she escapes. Now it's time for her to turn from victim to vigilante, without much warning. The incidents that happen are tragic indeed, but do not justify her dramatic turnaround as a person. She's now keen on settling scores with her powerful opponent, and for some reason is no longer worried on the grandmother front (the main reason that kept her with Mandar).
Enter cool cop in a French beard and styled like a ramp model. But then, this is also a film where the heroine is without make-up in the key scenes, but cannot go on a photography assignment without stilettos, and comes out of fatal situation with perfectly manicured nails.
About the only interesting aspect that comes out of the saga, is the unusual equation between the wife and the forced mistress. This is one of the more interesting portions in the film. Surveen Chawla as the central protagonist is passable. One wishes more attention was paid to her make-up and styling (and one doesn't mean a French manicure while going on a killing spree). It's nice to see Sushant Singh on screen after a long time, but he's stuck with the loud, scowling villain act.
The dialogue ... what to say of it. You have stuff like a doctor stating the obvious saying, "She's in a very bad state", about a person who has just come out of a coffin after being buried alive. A murder attempt has the patient gasping for breath, to which the nurse reacts with a placid "Are you okay?" She then tells the cops the patient is "looking disoriented".
The Pink Lips song (a massively boring one, save Sunny Leone sizzling on screen) is so shabbily shot, it actually has the reactions of a baddie, shot against a different, white background and insinuated within the party song.
Director Vishal Pandya prefers to show the payback drama as taking place through the media. Both Sonika and her enemy resort to the media to get back at each other, bouncing it between them like a football.
Even Hate Story had some ludicrous developments, but it was watchable for the cast and the film's refreshingly unpretentious and unapologetic flavour.
Hate Story 2 is marketed as an erotic thriller, and scores pretty low on both the erotic and thriller counts. It's a revenge drama, straight and simple, with some elements of erotica and thrills folded in. The film is a drag for the most part, but it's still better than some of the "100 crore" films thrown in the audience's face in the name of entertainment.
Rating: 2 stars