Saturday, 8 March 2014

QUEEN :: Movie Review


Before, I pen down the review I would like to candidly admit that Queen is a movie which has shown the positive side of human spirit at its best and reflects Never say die attitude to the core. As a director,Vikas Bahl, eloquently traps the gradual transformation of Rani’s middle class terminology into a self assured laconic ‘thank you’. The movie not only leaves a zesty after-taste that lingers on until long after the ride has ended but also warms the heart and tickles the funny bone with equal force. Queen is easily one of the most accomplished films made in a long time. Its thematic elegance and narrative wisdom surpasses anything that you might have come to expect from the frothy ebullient trailers. Frothy and cheery, Queen certainly is. But it’s a lot more. At the end you are left so close to the characters and their life-defining milieu that you you don't leave them at the theatre when movie ends, but carry their cherishing memories along with you in your mind.

STORY & SCREENPLAY                                            ::                        The credit for the  story as well as the screenplay has been shared by the trio of Vikas Bahl, Chaitally Parmar and Parveez Sheikh. The brilliantly transitional screenplay has no jagged edges. Every component somehow slips into place. As Bahl tells his story we become one with Rani’s journey. The desperate optimism of her marriage-less honeymoon directs her to inner reserves of strength and will-power that she didn't know existed. By the time Rani’s journey ends, you are supremely attached to her soul. The story opens with a wedding ceremony and an adorable bride you’ll take an instant liking to. There is an immense delight factor in how the script is written. It is relatively plain and without the superfluous airs (read melodrama) you would expect. Just as you begin to pity her, the story ups itself for the better losing itself in the by-lanes of Paris and Amsterdam,with Kangana’s rolling eyes doing more of the talking than her. The girl’s childlike innocence is hard to miss as there is more of care than judgement in the way she advises her new found friend about not indulging in casual sex or as she compliments a stripper on how well she dances. Even the silent dinner she eats all by herself, with the eye popping out, off the fish, is metaphorical in its tone. But the entrancing moments are when Kangana vents herself out after bearing through a hard night, under the spell of alcohol. The intoxication makes her bold and she manages to exhibit more hues of her real self than her silently restrained atmosphere back home had allowed her in her entire life. It is from that wild beginning that Rani begins her journey towards self analysis and eventual learning. I am glad the writers did not dilute the story with a sappy and predictable romance angle and kept it sweet in just the correct measure. And of course, when it comes to how the story ends, I don’t think there could have been a more befitting climax written for a film of this expression. Rani attains an eventual carte blanch of sorts and yet it is less emphatic and more reinvigorating to see the final canter.

STARCAST                                                                       ::        Undoubtedly, its a Kangana's movie all the way And how! Kangna is so in-sync with her character that you wonder if the story was written according to the emotions that the actress had stored away in her heart. There is stark honesty about Kangna’s portrayal of the Delhi girl who is deserted by her husband-to-be days before the wedding. Kangna’s face and body-language justify the character of Rani to the core. She lives through every moment of Rani’s journey from a Delhi middle-class cocooned existence to a girl making her way through the dark sinister alleys of Paris and strippers’ joints of Amsterdam. Kangana Ranaut delivers a performance that marks her light-years ahead of any of her contemporaries. Lisa Hayden is breathtakingly gorgeous and just as good an actor expressing with a natural flair all that she has been entrusted with. This can definitely be rated as one her best performances till date. Rajkumar Rao as usual has given an excellent performance while portraying dual shades of his character. In the first half, as a lover-boy who is smitten in love of Rani trying every trick available in the book to woo her and in the second half as a dejected lover who is repenting for being a selfish fiancĂ©e. In fact, all the artistes having even the smallest of the roles have performed with unconditional conviction.

TECHNICAL FINESSE                                                     ::      The music for this movie has been composed by the talented Amit Trivedi who deserves accolades for composing some real fine tunes which are completely in sync with the situations of movie's screenplay. The cinematography by Late Bobby Singh is plush and passionate and yet the film's visuals never topple over into the kingdom of the garish. He definitely knows, recognizes, acknowledges and records beauty in every form, right from the architecture to the plush locales. The movie has been edited by Anurag Kashyap & Abhijeet Kokate who have done their job to utmost perfection as you won't find a dull moment during the movie's run-time of 146 minutes. And as far as direction is concerned, Vikas Bahl has done an astounding job by turning the oft-repeated tale of betrayal and self-realization into an ode to womanhood. Here is that rare director who knows how to articulate his characters’ feelings through the spaces that they occupy. There is something magical about the way Bahl uses Kangna’s artless vulnerability to express the character’s hurt and desire, sometimes both in the same breath. And despite following a non linear track of storytelling, basing the film solely on its vivacious moments, Bahl risks not following the easier route out here and yet makes this work magically. In many aspects Queen is a director’s product.

WOW MOMENTS                                                                       ::     There are innumerable wow moments in this movie but still some are there which you will cherish for a long long time. One of the scenes, where Rani's room-mates are playing & dancing on her Mehndi's song video and when she enters the room her face drops down. Her friends understand her pain and as soon as she looks up, Taka tries to cheer her up. Taka is a survivor of the Tsunami that wiped out his entire life. In that one moment, Kangana’s look changes perhaps with the feeling that her pain is nothing compared to his. Another scene, where Kangana gets drunk along with Lisa Hayden and the wild merriment that follows is a treat to watch.

CONCLUSION                                                                                 ::      Queen is a winner and does it all in a regal style almost to give most film lovers a cinematic orgasm of sorts. Queen is definitely one of the best movies to have come out in recent times and I would highly recommend this movie as a must watch.

ROHIT SHARMA.
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