The journey to discovering oneself is a foundation travelled by the female-centric film makers in India. Vikas Bahl`s Queen is one that has been articulated with compassion. There is an element of Rani Mehra, from Rajouri, doing home economics from a college is south Delhi, in the middle class girls of India. She has grown up knowing that she has to live by the choices of the elders and then her husband once she gets married. Life only takes a turn once her marriage is called off by Vijay and she decides to go on her honeymoon alone. Kangana is excellent as Rani, she has used every iota of her capacity to be the perfect fit as a somewhat scared `naïve`, conservative Indian girl out, exploring two unfamiliar cities in Europe. Rajkumar Rao has a small part but he will get you to recognise with him as any of the countless men who love to make decisions for their wives, and yet want them to be the arm candies to be publicised off to others. The rest of the cast is outshined by Kangana`s presence throughout the film.
It starts off as a love story that has gone erroneous. The first half of the movie unfolds rather slowly, combined with a lot of songs and you kind of know where the story is heading. But, Rani`s character does not lose her core cultural upbringing even when she is drunk in a Paris party. In one scene she gets drunk and loses her inhibitions and starts dancing. That moment of letting go is not a `behenji to babe` moment for Rani. She keeps her character in one piece. That is the magic of Vikas. The changes he invoked in the character of Rani through her journey are delicate. The entire story is based on Rani as the fundamental character. Not once does Vikas get lost in the touristy spots of Paris and Amsterdam. He stays focussed on her hesitations, of her accommodating change, of Rani`s character in finding herself. The other plus point of the movie is that it is not like a sermon; it shows both the traditional and the contemporary flashy women perfectly accepting each other without judgments. It celebrates what Rani is, with the accepting of her strengths and weaknesses.
The cinematography by Bobby Singh and Sidharth Diwan speaks for itself. They encapsulated the picturesque quality of Europe seamlessly. The music by Amit Trivedi is enjoyable and arrays from the sad `Ranjha` without any background music to the great build up to the powerful tracks of `Jugni` and `Badra Bahaar`. `Badra Bahaar` reminds you of `O Pardesi` from `Dev D`. Amit Trivedi has demonstrated his abilities to be an eccentric music director with soundtracks from the likes of `Wake Up Sid`, `Udaan`, `Dev D` and `Lootera`. `Queen` is a great addition to his discography. Vikas has brought forward the side Kangana that was misplaced after `Gangster`. The story is etched out well, and it is perfect for the Women`s day theme. Watch the movie to break free from whatever holds you back and of course Kangana Ranaut. The Bollywood Tempest gives ‘Queen’ a well-deserved 9/10.
Rating : 4.5 Stars