Bollywood seems to have realized how profitable films focused on female characters can be. English Vinglish inaugurated this trend in 2012, and this year’s Women’s Day will witness the release of two all-women films, Gulaab Gang and Queen. The review of the latter can be found below.
Here are few lines about the story. Everything is set for Rani’s (Kangana Ranaut) dream wedding, but few days before her fiancé Vijay (Rajkummar Rao) decides to cancel the ceremony, tearing her world and dreams apart. Rani decides to go on her honeymoon on her own, and what starts as a lonely trip becomes a unique experience that will transform Rani’s life forever.
Queen is a simple story, simple in a good sense. Away from the ostentation and the pomposity that Bollywood productions often display, Vikas Bahl’s film focuses on its characters and their experiences, especially on the evolution of Rani, from the shy and overprotected village girl to the self-confident and empowered woman she becomes by the end of the film.
One of the wisest elements of the film is the cast, whose fine work contributes to keep the story realistic and close to the audience. Most of the weight of the film is carried by Kangana Ranaut, who takes on the responsibility with an amazing success. The actress, much known for her previous glamorous performances, gets into the role of de-glam Rani with surprising easiness.
Rani’s character is surrounded by a wide range of characters. Vijay, the perfect and charming fiancé that any girl like Rani could dream of, is convincingly portrayed by Rajkummar Rao. The actor is capable of adding complexity to the character, so Vijay is not just the villain of the film, the man that dumped Rani at the altar. Lisa Haydon plays Vijayalakshmi, a character totally opposite to Rani but who will become her ally in this journey. Lisa Haydon’s performance is believable despite the character’s excesses. Carefree and outgoing, Vijayalakshmi enters Rani’s life in the right moment and infects her with the courage that Rani needs to go on.
The cast is completed by a large group of well defined secondary characters, which lead to numerous comical situations. Their dialogues are filled with witty lines that will surely make the audience burst into laughter.
Vikas Bahl does a great job with the construction of the film. The narration is fluid and constant, so the story spans over two hours without hardly any decline of intensity. The use of flashbacks provides dynamism to the film and is a clever tool to show the contrast between Rani and Vijay’s relationship in the past and how Kangana’s character is progressively overcoming the breakup and moving on.
Music wise, Amit Trivedi does a good job in capturing the attitude of the film in an eclectic soundtrack. Queen’s score is one more of Rani’s companions in her journey, as well as it helps define the development of the film.
Queen is a must-watch film. The idea may not be original, but the way it has been brought to the screen is impeccable. The cast, led by a bubbly Kangana Ranaut, is flawless and dialogues are entertaining. The rhythm of the story is consistent and everything is wrapped in an enjoyable soundtrack that fits the tone and message of the film.