Hi, my name is Eram Rasool and I run a blog. What blog? The one you stranded for almost a month You say. Well, aahhh, uumm *spechless*. Ok so you guys are right and I apologize but here’s the thing, I was knee deep involved in my brother’s marriage to my sister-in-law and so you can guess that I was running back and forth between both houses. And than after that we went on a short trip to Jaipur (which was awesome!), but my son got sick and its just been in the last couple of days that I have truly sat down, let out a breath and relaxed and that is when a wonderful thing happened to me, I saw a genuinely beautiful, heart touching movie.
Starring : Kangana Ranaut, Rajkumar Rao, Lisa Haydon
Director : Vikas Bahl (first venture was the cute, heartwarming Chillar Party)
Release Date : 7th March 2014
Running Time : 2 hours 26 minutes
While I was busy with the big fat Indian wedding, just about everyone on my Facebook was raving about this surprise hit movie called Queen and I vowed to myself that as soon as I got free, I will watch this movie just to know what everyone is talking about. And I so regret not watching this movie in the cinema as laughing along with 50 other people is a different high in itself.
India has been on a respect your women phase lately with the TV media spreading a lot of awareness on women rights and all. How much is it really working, I don’t know. But lately Bollywood has been releasing women oriented movies every Women’s Day (8th March). The last one I saw Turning 30 starring Gul Panag was a regular metro girl getting dumped by her boyfriend and how she frivolously parties around to deal with the breakup. Although I like Gul Panag, the movie was just a bit too much for me. I’m still old-fashioned and don’t appreciate one-night stands no matter how cool they maybe for others.
Queen on the other hand although made along the same storyline is much more Indian, or let me say more sweet and innocent. Me and a lot of women could easily relate to the main character. Rani (Kangana Ranaut) is ecstatic about getting married to her long time boyfriend Vijay (Rajkumar Rao). A big fat Indian wedding is in preparation when, just one day before the big day Vijay cancels the wedding with Rani on the grounds that she is just not modern enough to match his brand new ‘cool’ persona he acquired in London. For the shy, timid Rani, its like her world falls apart but after a day she decides to suck it up and set out on the honeymoon trip to Paris and Amsterdam (that she planned to gift to her husband) all by herself and that’s where you see the first spark of gutsy independence in Rani.
All alone in the city of love, Rani is constantly reminded of her failed love affair. We see glimpses of her past with Vijay and how he totally controlled all her actions and thoughts in the name of love and she was so stupidly blind in love that she could not recognize his manipulative, aggressive behaviour. But with the help of a French-Indian hotel maid (more like a swimsuit goddess in disguise), Vijaylakshmi (Lisa Haydon), Rani discovers Paris through the eyes of friendship. Vijay(lakshmi) takes her around bars and clubs, gets her drunk to loosen up and forget her woes, but even than Rani remains true to herself. She drunk cries her heart out and than dances on the street but you don’t see her magically transform into a mini-skirt halter top wearing ‘modern liberated’ woman, although Vijaylakshmi tries her best to convert Rani. During one such dress trial, Rani sends a selfie accidently to her ex, Vijay. And lo behold, Vijay is besotted with Rani all over again just because he finds her alluring in a strapless dress (how spoiled and shallow can a guy be). He tries to get in touch with her but thankfully Rani decides to grow a backbone and not answer his calls.
Vijaylakshmi arranges a hostel for Rani’s stay in Amsterdam, the only thing is that Rani doesn’t know that its a hostel or that you have to share a room with other people; in this case three guys a Japanese, a French and a Russian. It’s really cute the way she initially refuses to stay with them so that her modesty is not compromised but than slowly grows close to them. They all have a story of their own and this makes Rani realize that their are people with bigger pain than herself and thus starts the self healing process of Rani. They take her on an Amsterdam tour; a la guys style. Visits to casinos, sex shops, red light areas. Rani even meets a red light performer, Roxette who is a friend of Vijaylakshmi and the ever accepting Rani passes no judgment although she is slightly reproachful about the choice of profession. Its in Amsterdam and in the company of these three guys that Rani transforms into Queen, an independent, bold, fearless person yet still holding onto her modesty and moral values. She takes up the challenge from a local Italian restaurateur to set up an Indian food stall and she excels at that, attends a rock concert, does all the stuff she thought she could not do or that which Vijay would not let her do.
Vijay finally manages to catch up with Rani in Amsterdam and proposes to her all over again. But does she agree? I think this is one bit I will not tell you. Just go and watch the movie. Trust me, the movie is worth your while.
Many will think that the storyline is just a repeat of all the coming-of-age genre of movies. But what makes this movie extra sweet and special is the acting of Kangana and in fact of each and every character in the movie. Kangana finally decided to grow out of her niche of disturbed personalities roles and play a fresh, bubbly yet timid Delhi girl who discovers her inner self and strength when she goes on a foreign trip by herself. Kangana will wow with her simple dialogues, her belief that she has a great sense of humor, her fierce resolve in not giving up her handbag to a purse-snatcher, her open-mindedness towards Vijaylakshmi’s personal lifestyle or Roxette’s professional choice. Rajkumar Rao was very believable as the shallow, foreign return Indian and you really hate him for the way he bosses Rani around. All the supporting cast were amazing in their roles and even though the foreign cast does not have many dialogues to share, they get their message across to Rani in the movie. Vikas Bahl made an equally touching movie, carrying a social message with Chillar Party and he continues to excel with Queen. My only qualm is that he doesn’t take the success of this movie to his head and decides to make the usual run of the mill movies. We want more memorable characters like Queen. The songs are mostly situational and play in the background with London Thumakda being one of the best tunes and ofcourse you can’t forget Kangana street dancing to the 70s hit tune Hungama Ho Gaya.
All women have a Rani and Queen in them. Some are more of of Rani and some more of Queen. Its very important to maintain the sweet innocence of life but one shouldn’t be treated like a doormat in the name of love and be ready to take a stand if and when needed. I think this is the message that the movie is trying to portary and it succeeds brilliantly. Made on a small budget with no big star cast to help at the box office, the movie gained popularity through word of mouth and electronic media, mainly Facebook. This is a through and through woman oriented movie with the actress performing a role worth remembering. We talk about woman reform and independence yet we see independent, smart actresses willfully choosing to demean themselves to a item girl performance or a 10 minute role playing side arm candy to the more prominent hero of the movie. What’s the use of fighting for women equality when all you’re gonna do is dance around the hero in skimpy clothes like a harem dancer of ancient times. Mind boggling isn’t it?
Is it a Hit? I totally, completely, with all my heart recommend you to go and watch this movie. It’s one of those rare gem of a movie that you don’t get to see much in trashy Bollywood nowadays. Amazing acting by the lead actress and side actors as well. Not very long, infact leaves you wanting for more.
Is it a Miss? I can’t find a single negative in this movie, unless you belong to Vijay’s family and think Rani is a total heartless b***h. LOL
So, did you see the most awesome movie of 2014 yet? Did you love it, like it, hate it? Share your views and let me know.
Till Next Time
The pictures in this post have been taken from the following links