What is it all about?
Can it get better than this? On the eve of International Women's Day Vikas Bahl (Chillar Party) comes with such an emotionally satisfying and brilliantly played on screen beacon on Indian womanhood with 'Queen' under Viacom 18 and Phantom Films production, weaving together a magnificent tapestry of femininity with an affectionate hug to life and friendship in this poignant story of love, coincidence and resilience and self acceptance with such clinch of cinematic satisfaction ensuring repeat 'thumkas' of joy especially from women and to be women (girls).
Vikas Bahl and his team Chaitally Parmar, Parveez Sheikh, Anvita Dutt and Kangana Ranaut (dialogues) team together to make this deeply satisfying story of transformation of Rani (Kangana Ranaut) to a stereotype typical Indian kuddi to 'my type' of a female unbuttoning the cliche melodramatic response of our cinema when just about to wed Rani gets rejected by his fiancee Vikay (Rajkumar Yadav) just a couple of days before their wedding citing reasons for Rani being the same salwar-kurti, chaat-pakoda eating 'Bhenji' type for the break while he has moved with times for a great future in England.
Reduced from a to-be-couple to single Rani after a dope of hope by none other than her 80-something Dadi Maa makes her come out from her 'pity' shell. Yippee (clap clap) thanks to her supportive parents Rani decides to slap her ill fate and goes on her preplanned honeymoon alone.
The sweetly paced, genuinely engaging and smartly witty script transforms Rani to Queen of Hearts where her childlike innocence is surprised to find a French-Indian 'bindass' single mom played by Lisa Hayden. Lonely in France Rani is shy even to request someone to take her picture; she strolls down the streets of Paris not aware of the road rules over there, with great nuance rarely seen in Bollywood cinema. Rani develops a great sisterhood with Lisa and moves to Amsterdam to share a room with Japanese, Russian and a French as she experiences a never seen world but is so comfortable. She resorts to Hindi soon after her limited access to English expires during her conversations without a single bother. The mastery of the script and dialogues make this so believable that you just follow the language of heart being spoken out there.
Rani in her journey never steps out of her Indian roots she gets drunk; she shares room with a handsome Russian and has a crush on an Italian chef who gets impressed by her spicy gol gappas (pani puri) - there's spice in her life now. Charmed Rani even 'lip' kisses the Italian - its her first 'Kiss' as her access to smooch is only Mr. Emran Hashmi. Bravo but that's it. She never goes beyond her boundaries and is intensly happy and free in her buttoned kurtis. Jai Mata Di! Rani and her Japanese roommate talk in their mother tongue but we understand. Incredible! that's the magic of cinema we long for!!
The script is full of gems and completely brims with life. Giving all the freshness and oxygen required for 'Queen' to live till the very end. Though the coming back of Vijay is a bit cliche and the kinky 'king kong' episode in the script film though funny was not required as higher benchmark where already being set.
Direction & Making
We knew Vikas Bhal knows how to tug on the audience heartstrings his filmmaking skills were well displayed in 'Chillar Party'. With 'Queen' profound depth and maturity Vikas amazingly says what he wants many a times with silence in this exquisitely crafted coming of age, inspirational beacon on womanhood. Nothing short of a triumph. 'Queen' has the capacity to be rated as one of the best realized movies on womanhood in Bollywood. Being indie in approach and still to be windy for overall sense and sensibilities with great clarity and beauty.
Technicalities are of highest standards where Siddharth Diwan and Bobby Singh just take you to France and Amsterdam. Crisp editing by Anurag Kashyap and Abhijit Kokate. Amit Trivedi music goes well with the mood of the film 'London Thumakda' stays with you for long.
As far as acting is concern. It won't be wrong to say that Kangana has not acted but 'lived' Queen. It's like she was born to do something like 'Queen' she is just terrific. Be her coy in during the opening when she meets Vijay, the drunkard scene or her struggle in Paris, Kangana performance is award worthy. As she walks confidently during the climax the same can be said of her performance. Superb.
Rajkummar Rao, successfully makes himself the hate factor convincingly in the film.
Lisa Hayden is a delight and gives a brilliant performance. The foreign friends Mish Boyko, Olik, Jeffrey and Taka are perfectly cast and nuances to this film.
Was the 'King Kong' episode really needed? And wait a second, in one of the scene with Lisa Hayden and Queen in the market we see some Indian extras....
Conclusion: 'Queen' is completely sincere, full of heart recognition to women and womanhood having Kangana Ranaut best act as an actress till date. A must for every woman and every men who love the women in their life.