Queen is a new coming of age Bollywood film which takes you on a delightful journey of an innocent young girl, Rani (Kangana Ranaut). With this being the second film directed by Vikas Bahl you can’t help but get glued to where this tale takes you.
As the bride, Rani gets ready for her glamorous wedding, she dances her way with her family celebrating the festive occasion. Yet all happiness is wiped out when her fiancé Vijay (Rajkumar Rao) breaks the bad news and tells her he cannot marry her. With this being a traditional middle class family in India, her parents are appalled and Rani is depressed. After a few blotches of tears here and there, Rani decides to forget everything that has happened and sets off on her planned honeymoon alone. Stopping at Paris first she makes friends with feisty VijayLakshmi (Lisa Haydon) who brings out her confidence and beauty in her. We start to see Rani open up and enjoy life as it is. Next, Rani confidently hits the streets of Amsterdam, where she ends up sharing a hostel with three foreign roommates; Oleksander (Mish Boyko) or as she likes to pronounce it ‘Sikander’, Tim (Guithob Joseph) and Taka (Jeffrey Chee Eng Ho). As Vijay realizes his mistake, he goes on a search for Rani, while she lets loose with her friends.
Kangana as Rani portrays this innocent Delhi girl whom is very respectful in what she wears and says. She follows all the rules and is no rebel in any shape or form. Rani has this sweet persona which makes her likable and very safe. Her weakness was her fiancé Vijay, yet after exploring the world alone Rani becomes stronger in who she is as a person. Beautifully we see this transition from a young shy girl open up to be a strong, stunning woman.
The film is packed with comedic values which are predominantly brought through Rani’s character. Her lack of English dialect not only means lack of communication with her peers, yet they somehow get closer. Her slips and falls are funny, whereby we can’t help but laugh at her stupidity. But we don’t mean it in a horrible way, we smile with her, we’re keen for her to break that shell. From competitively cooking, staying with boys, crossing the roads, seeing the Eiffel Tower alone to fighting off a thief, Rani discovers this inner strength she never knew existed.
The chemistry between Rani and her three male friends is everlasting. They respect Rani from the start and never leave her feeling alone. Even if this means sleeping outside the room. Together they explore Amsterdam, where through laughs and trolls they have a whole lot of fun and discover true friendship. Its clear Rani cares for them as she chooses them over her fiancé. Each friend has a special connection with Rani and it is very realistically portrayed. You want them to be friends forever.
Rajkumar Rao as Vijay attempts to play this alpha male who can control his ‘girl’. He believes he has Rani wrapped around his finger, where she’ll do anything he commands. Besides, he plays it off nicely, where she gets lured into his pretentious love and obeys him no matter what. Though, after the stomp in her heart and being out alone in the big wide world, Rani knows she’s better than this and shows him whose Queen.
Queen is lovable in all ways. We meet several characters along the way, which all are important in their very own way. Unlike the typical Bollywood films, these characters are not stereotypically portrayed and thus all have a valid reason to be in the Film.
VijayLakshmi, a half-Indian, half-Spanish, half-French, carefree soul is an example of this. Although she wears explicit clothes which don’t match to Rani’s standard, it doesn’t mean she’s a bad person. In fact, she gets on really well with Rani and assists on bringing out Rani’s confidence and style.
Overall, Queen is a must watch. Writer, Director Vikas Bahl gives us something new in the Bollywood genre whereby we’re focused on a strong female protagonist at the heart of the film. Bursts of comedy, colour, culture and passion, Queen is on the verge of introducing a whole new era of Bollywood.
My Rating: 9/10
Written by: Meera Darji