(Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters)
At one point in Vikas Bahl’s “Queen”, lead character Rani has too much to drink on the streets of Paris. She bursts into loud sobs over her broken marriage, but perks up when she hears a Hindi song. Kangana Ranaut, who plays Rani, changes her body language in a flash, easily transitioning from despair to euphoria.
It is Ranaut’s ownership of the character, as well as director Bahl’s conscious attempt at a subtle, screwball comedy that makes “Queen” soar, making it a film where viewers root for the main character and find her naivete charming.
Rani (‘Queen’ in Hindi) is a timid Delhi girl, one who never disobeys her parents and holds her fiancé in such high regard that she declines a job offer because he doesn’t want her to work.
When the film begins, Rani is starry-eyed with excitement that she’s getting married in a couple of days and will live in London after honeymooning in Paris, a city she says is her favourite. But a few hours later, those dreams are shattered — she has been dumped at the altar by her chauvinistic, insensitive fiancé, and all she can think of is the honeymoon in Paris.
So she decides to go alone, perhaps more to get away from sympathetic relatives at home. Once in Paris, she almost forgets her heartbreak thanks to Vijaylaxmi, a free-spirited waitress who takes Rani under her wing and shows her how to have a good time. It’s with Vijaylaxmi and the three male room-mates that Rani stumbles upon in her hostel room in Amsterdam on the next leg of her journey, that she discovers herself and finds her voice.