Is Queen, a rehash of the fish out of the water formula now made popular by English Vinglish?
The truth is, it doesn’t matter. People will draw parallels and rectangles but that’s what people do.
Queen is by far one of the most progressive mainstream films to have been made in this country. Yes, some of the racial stereotypes can get on your nerves (but do remember our audiences still laugh at stuff people elsewhere will find horribly racist – except North Korea, cause you know North Korea is the best country in the world.)
But even then, this movie is pretty refreshing. The way the plot is set up is reminiscent of many a movie from our times. But the way it progresses is what caught me off-guard. Director Vikas Bahl and his co-writers Parveez Shaikh and Chaitally Parmar have done a fantastic job.
I’d be honest here, I was horribly skeptical about this. However, every single cliched progression that I expected – played out differently. We have a girl who defeats a thief and holds onto a passport, and then holds on to her values and idiosyncrasies while experimenting with the unknown.
Indian mainstream films treat female characters either as show pieces or overtly feminist/crazy characters . The fact that these characters can be perfectly normal (at times quirky) human beings is somewhat missing in our films.
And this film sort of fixes that. Here two women can be heard talking of things other than their love life/boyfriends/husbands.
There is no John Tucker Must Die (Or I’ll bone anyone around, cause my Fiance dumped me) sub plots here- it is as is. No revenge story, none of that.
Instead we have something that we can term a coming of age story of a simple girl from Delhi’s Rajouri Garden who finds herself through the events occurring from her lonesome honeymoon, cause her fiance is a Delhi boy.
Her dad’s a mithaiwala and she has studied home science in a nondescript college. Not a setting you would think of a powerful female character- but Rani comes over all adversities to find herself. Something she never believed she could do. And something I couldn’t believe Ms.Ranaut could do. Ms.Ranaut’s portrayal of the eponymous character is spot on and perfect. I have never seen Ms.Ranaut this way. It is very difficult to not be affected by her invisible charm.
The more I think of it, the more I am falling in love with her character.
She skypes multiple times with her family, she sends selfies to her (ex?) fiance from a trial room, she even makes gol gappas for some of the folks in Amsterdam (cook to please foreigners cliche :P).
Lisa Hayden as her “half French half Indian” dost wavers a little with her portrayal here and there- but then again this is Kangana’s film. And in any case, Lisa Hayden is so stunning that you really don’t seem to concentrate on what she is saying or how she is saying it. It doesn’t matter. It never did.
What is annoying though is Mr.Amit Trivedi seems to have ripped off not one but two Coldplay Songs to make this one :
At about 1:35 it sounds a lot like Viva La Vida and the starting bit is a lot like Fix You meets The Scientist. And this isn’t the first time that Mr.Trivedi has done something that sounds a lot like something else.
My problem is just that- you make such an awesome movie and then you ruin it like that? I mean would it hurt to obtain the rights from Coldplay or maybe even admit that you have been inspired ? Or is it that hard to hire a motion graphics designer to make you something nice for your end credits?
That way, tools like me can just sit rant about bad movies- even I hate talking about thefts (actually I don’t).
Not cool bros, not cool. But thanks for making this film, we as an audience needed it.