Saturday, March 15, 2014

Queen (2014)

Directed by Vikas Bahl, this bollywood flick starring the immensely talented Kangana Ranaut, Raj Kumar Rao including model turned actress Lisa Haydon became the talk of the town following the movie's world-wide release on March 7 2014. I decided to surprise my mom with a slightly different genre than what she was really used to and managed to get us tickets in different rows. The movie halls were packed and this was my best bet. By the time we reached the theatre weaving through horrendous traffic and picked up some grub, we missed the first 10 minutes of the movie, which was a bit of a disappointment, but we picked up the story.

Rani (translated as Queen in English) is a small town girl from Rajouri, Delhi. Her family runs a sweetmeat shop and has given her a sheltered life. She meets Vijay, a family friend's son who courts her throughout their college years and they are all set to tie the knot. Work takes the ambitious Vijay to London. Two days ahead of the wedding, Vijay calls off their wedding citing their different social statuses and her small town background. The family is in shock and Rani locks herself up in her room surrounded by the remains of the day, the wedding preparations. Next morning, she wakes up and eats a laddoo (Indian sweet) and joins her family at the breakfast table. She announces that she wants to go for the honeymoon alone and visit her favourite place Paris and also Amsterdam as already planned. Surrounded by an understanding family and a very wise grandmother who tells Rani that every day is different, the protagonist embarks on her journey.

At each and every turn, the movie shifts back and forth between her past conversation and regressive experience with Vijay and her present progressive state of mind. She finds an unlikely friendship in Paris with the hotel employee ''Vijay''-alakshmi, played by the leggy lass Lisa Haydon and in Amsterdam, Vijaylakshmi's friend, an Indian stripper who is in the job to pay for her family's education. Her alter-ego Viji helps Rani find her persona and she breaks free from the shackles of Vijay's controlling behaviour. She lets herself loose at a discotheque, has a couple of drinks and parties hard. In Amsterdam, she is allotted a hostel room with three other guys played by the uber handsome Mish Boyko, Jeffrey Ho and Guitobh Joseph. She takes on the challenge with an Italian chef, the very handsome Marco Canadea of selling golguppas and nurses a huge crush on him. She shares her first kiss with the chef who is equally attracted to her. She is reminded of Vijay's self-centered attitude when he asks her not to take up an accountant's job while in India. 

Vijay who realises his mistake comes in search of her in Amsterdam and picks up a fight when he finds out she is sharing a room with her three friends. Rani understands Vijay's small mindedness and instead chooses  to go for the rock concert to be with her friends She tells Vijay they will meet in Delhi. Upon reaching Delhi, she stops over at Vijay's house and returns the engagement ring with a hug. You almost feel sorry for the poor bloke. 

The direction by Vikas was brilliant. There were no judgements made on anyone and only acceptance of people from different walks of life. Everyone has a story. Rani returns home a self-assured and assertive girl who chooses to live life on her terms and leaves behind her once familiar shadow of her former self. Kangana shines in her role and is a natural. It was an absolute treat to watch her in every frame and she carried off her kurta-jean look beautifully. All this goes to say that it all depends on how we carry ourselves. The supporting cast lend their bit to create the transformation. The movie is meant for grown-ups given its very realistic visuals and portrayals. The music sounded almost similar to Devdas, but it was peppy and keeps you dancing. Mom and I thoroughly enjoyed Queen over Bhelpuri and Buttered pop-corn. 

We decided to do dinner on the way much to my mom's feeble protests and wound up at Creams Centre devouring a lovely Paneer Shashlik sizzler and very hot spring vegetable soup. The paneer was soft and succulent and the rice was light, mildly spiced. We were ravenous and after such an appetizing movie, we were ready for the real meal. The fare was INR 572 inclusive of service charge, service tax and VAT. 

We drove back home by 10.30 PM to a good night's sleep with great memories of an exciting evening.

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