Hate Story IV Review

“Hate Story IV’ starring Vivan Bhatena (left), Urvashi Rautela (right) and Karan Wahi is a tight thriller sans loopholes in the actual denouement and is well-mounted technically. (photo provided)

T-Series Films’ “Hate Story IV”

Produced by: Bhushan Kumar & Krishen Kumar

Directed by: Vishal Pandya

Written by: Sammeer Arora, Vishal Pandya & Milap Milan Zaveri

Music: Himesh Reshammiya, Mithoon, Arko Pravo Mukherjee, Tanishk Bagchi, Tony Kakkar & Baman-Chand

Starring: Urvashi Rautela, Karan Wahi, Vivan Bhatena, Ihana Dhillon, Gulshan Grover, Rita Siddiqui, Mohit Chhabra & others Sp. App.: Tia Bajpai & Shaad Randhawa

MUMBAI—The fourth in the revenge franchise, “Hate Story IV” falls short of the best in the series, “Hate Story 2” and a shade behind the first film as well. However, it is way better than the third film in the franchise. Standalone, it is a tightly-woven script despite a few licenses taken with logic, like how Rajveer (Karan Wahi) homes in on Tasha (Urvashi Rautela) as the face of their brand, which, given the denouement, could have been easily explained, but is not.

Two brothers, Rajveer and elder one Aryan (Vivan Bhatena), along with Aryan’s wife Rishna (Ihana Dhillon) run their father Vikram Khurana (Gulshan Grover)’s business empire in London. Aryan will do anything for his younger brother, but otherwise, both are womanizers. Khurana senior warns his two sons not to get involved with Tasha or any other woman for a while as he is standing for London’s mayoral post.

When Tasha becomes famous, Rajveer falls for her, but Aryan has designs on her as well. On a ruse, he sends Rajveer and Rishma away for a business meet, so that he can fulfill his bedroom plans after a party that will introduce Tasha to London’s glamour circles.

When Tasha is shocked the next day at what happened in the night (her drink was spiked by Aryan), Aryan tells her that it will be their secret. However, when a blackmailer sends them photographs of them in bed, things get murkier. After that, Rishma is killed in an accident, and when Aryan disposes of the body as he did not mean to kill her, a video of the body being disposed is mailed to him.

Who is the blackmailer? Is Tasha the innocent beauty she seems to be? As things heat up, a sordid story comes alive, and the perpetrators of a deadly crime have to be punished.

Despite, as mentioned, a few flaws in logic, like how Bhavna (Tia Bajpai) comes to know the identity of the killers (a major flaw that could have been resolved with a simple tweak in the script), the film holds audience attention, but for the needless songs. The erotic quotient is there, but it is linked to the story and not mere way to titillate audiences.

Vishal Pandya, now at home with his franchise (he has made three of the four films), manages to engage audiences of this genre, despite the slightly stretched climax. There is a social message at the end on eve-teasing that is relevant to the story, but there is another message that comes from an important character’s lips in the post-climax—that would be a spoiler if mentioned here, but it is as important.

Urvashi Rautela acts for the first time in her career, and quite a sincere performance comes from her. Karan Wahi as Rajveer is the perfect blend of the hot-headed brat and the love-struck tycoon. Vivan Bhatena is good as Aryan, though he looks like a modern-day Dalip Tahil. It is good to see Gulshan Grover as a dignified scoundrel who is looked at by society as a popular tycoon in London.

Ihana Dhillon delivers a very effective turn as Rishma, and Mohit Chhabra as Ron is effective. Rita Siddiqui as Monica is just alright, as are Tia Bajpai and Shaad Randhawa in brief cameos.

Overall, this is a tight thriller sans loopholes in the actual denouement and is well-mounted technically. The songs are unimpressive, the background score needlessly overdone (Pandya is responsible for this), but audience will get their money’s worth.

However, detractors who want to brand it as a skin-flick will do so, while those who seek a thriller and a mystery will get that too. Finally, those wanting modest entertainment that fits the tenor of such a series will decidedly get their money’s worth. Focusing on its target audiences and intentions, this one can be safely rated above average.

Rating: ***1/2

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