Taapsee Pannu played the role of Rani Kashyap in Haseen Dillruba, who cheated on her husband with a lover who didn't value her.
Ever since Haseen Dillruba released on Netflix, people have constantly praised Taapsee Pannu's character Rani Kashyap for standing up to her ex-lover Neel (played by Harshvardhan Rane) for her husband Rishu (Vikrant Massey). The one thing that people forget is - she never stood up for herself. Rani is a flawed character, far from being the icon of women empowerment or even what women represent - strength. Forget standing up for her husband, Rani does not even stand up for herself.
There are so many instances in the film when Rani disrespects herself and puts other people above her. Sure, she might have tried to bite off Rishu's head for how his mother treated her, but that Rani was lost in transition. She fell in love with Rishu's cousin Neel. Thereafter, Haseen Dillruba's plot goes downside.
Rani loses her integrity soon after Neel leaves her side unexpectedly. She sees his true colours when Neel's friends verbally abuse her in the middle of the street. Rani then not only mellowed down but also became desperate for her husband's love, to the extent that she begged him to take her back. Rishu, on the other hand, found ways to almost kill Rani in their own house. She stood by and tolerated the psychotic behaviour. More so, the couple got a happy ending. Did they deserve that though?
If Rani had a cheat on one side, she had a psycho on the other hand. Did she really have to stoop so low to accept one of those people? It comes as a surprise considering Taapsee Pannu herself stands up for women now and then. Thus, it begs the question, did she agree to play Rani because of the character graph or for another external factor?
While Taapsee has lost out on an opportunity to be something in the film, she also lost as a woman, by taking up such a role that does no justice to empowering women in a male-dominated society. Rather than shedding light on how poorly women are treated in society and how they can break free, Haseen Dillruba promotes toxic behaviour through every character in the film. It is a sad state and a complete downfall for Vinil Mathew as a director after Hasee Toh Phasee. While in that film, he proved that people could evolve with time, the filmmaker does the exact opposite with Haseen Dillruba.
The film itself reflects two of the many men women have to deal with - the macho guy who switches from one woman to another and the sweet boy who is frustrated with life and reaches his breaking point. None of them can handle a woman or deserve her, to say the least. In such a situation, Rani (Taapsee) should have ideally stood up for herself and not let anybody else waver her decision but Haseen Dillruba cannot be farther than the truth.
With a storyline so toxic and a woman as weak as Rani, it is no surprise that Haseen Dillruba was on the backburner for a long time and many celebrities refused to take up the film. The filmmakers definitely ought to be more careful and attentive with the script. While reflecting bad behaviour, it is also necessary not to promote the same and if possible, provide solutions to avoid toxicity.