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‘Hate Story IV’ film review: As erotic as changing a light bulb

‘You can change the sheets, but not the lover who is on them,’ declares Vishal Pandya’s movie.

This has to be the year’s – make it the decade’s – most unlikely Women’s Day movie. Urvashi Rautela plays a fatal female in the latest chapter in one of Bollywood’s most successful franchises. A murder is announced in the opening sequence before moving to a flashback filled with ample décolletage, ghastly costumes, hammy acting and risible lines. Dialogue writer Milap Zaveri is in fine form here, creating endless moments to giggle at the screen: “You can change the sheets, but not the lover who is on them.” “There is only one antidote for suspicion: hot… steaming… coffee.” “She has the X-factor, but she is not like your exes.”

Rautela’s Tasha catches the eye of cosmetics company heir Rajveer (Karan Wahi) at a London nightclub. Tasha also gets the attention of Rajveer’s brother Aryan (Vivan Bhatena). Both men have girlfriends, but since Tasha is repeatedly described as “beautiful”, “hot” and “mesmerising”, they let themselves be seduced by her and make her the mascot of their perfume brand.

In keeping with the franchise, which has dished out a cocktail of the forbidden ingredients of sex, betrayal and murder since the first movie in 2012, it follows that Tasha isn’t who she appears to be. We have two words for you: “deception rider”.

The scenes between Tasha and the expressionless hunks lusting for her are about as erotic as watching a light bulb being changed. Director Vishal Pandya stretches shopworn material to 130 minutes, packing the movie with several strategically lensed shots of the amply stacked women and disposable songs. There is nothing here to be taken too seriously, but the production’s overall incompetence ensures that even the guilty pleasure of watching Indians hop bedposts is denied. Tasha says it best: “And the Oscar goes to…”

Hate Story IV (2018).
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This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Airtel and not by the Scroll editorial team.