She won every heart, bang bang
She was the lovable Rani,bang bang
She was the indisputable queen, bang bang
She came back as bandit queen, bang bang
She fired every damn gun, bang bang
She danced in metallic bras, bang bang
She bit off her lover’s lip, bang bang
Kangana's own superhit Queen shot her down.
And it's certainly not the rocking actor's fault.There are big gun ambitions at play here.
Quentin Tarantino has always been a huge influence amongst first time filmmakers. The writer and director, Sai Kabir, who started his career with Kundan Shah and has written the screenplay of Kismet Konnection; is no different. It is clear he is out to make his own Desi B grade Western. The question is, can he bite the bullet?
The backdrop is goondaraj that is part Chambal, part Gwalior. Reminiscent of ‘Gangs of Wasseypur’, the township only talks with guns and bullets. The recently defeated political leader, Alka Singh (Kangana Ranaut), is the undisputed boss. She has 24 murders under her bandit belt…rather… her metallic undergarments. In her own words, “hum hatyaare hain, karoop hain, baanjh hain.”
Naturally, the crazy,trigger happy woman has many enemies. Her political opponent is the deadly one. His team wants to take revenge on Alka Singh for having killed a kin. In a slow and badly performed beginning, we see them plotting against her. "….tote ki gardan marod do, chudail khud ba khud dum tod degi..”
The story drops right there until the bandit queen herself makes her appearance to save her kidnapped lover. Guns blazing, she stands atop a red station wagon, her eyes fiery with wild rage, and her long curls like a forest on fire.
A charming and entertaining interlude follows. Alka Singh, now ‘Coco’ wastes no time with her Chumchum, takes off her kurta, shows off her made in Venice shining metallic bras and leaps straight at lover boy, like a hungry tigress. That’s a scary deal for this tattooed toy who wants to be a film star and has more than a roving eye and a cheating heart. It’s worse for Alka’s uncle, mamaji(Piyush Mishra) who has raised her after her mother was brutally killed when she was a child. He has dreams of getting her back in power. Unfortunately, Alka’s blind and passionate love is a big deterrent. Only to get worse with a good plot point twist at interval, dramatically shown with the two shocked men standing behind Alka as she expresses her own daze the best way she can.Simply by firing two bullets in the air.
The badland humour and the characterization along with a particular news anchor’s lines performances keep one entertained in the first half. We see a hero never seen before. A wild and ruthless young woman who loves throwing words in English like ‘mom’ when describing her half ghungat covered mother and orders clothes from Venice because she is fond of fashion as much as her guns. But then, one needs more than the central protagonist, however enthralling she may be, to drive the plot.
The screenplay gets predictable in the second half despite some tense moments. The political backdrop is neither convincing nor engaging and does not add to the plot at all, leaving it entirely on Kangana’s delicate shoulders to carry the film through. No wonder then the parts in which she is missing, does little for the film. Thankfully, the ending makes up for it, leaving behind a perfect opening for a sequel.
The music by Sanjeev Srivastava is another letdown. One misses the upbeat and catchy tunes of Gangs of Wasseypur. Some bad cuts and average production design take away some of the viewer’s involvement.Overall, the film is very much in keeping with the themes of betrayal and politics seen in the producer,Tigmanshu Dhulia’s earlier films, especially Bullet Raja.
Predictably, it is Kangana’s show all the way, aided largely by great costumes by Gaviin. Her wild, manic portrayal shows she is all out to have a blast. .
Vir Das, to his credit, does steal the show time and again, playing his grey shades as colorfully as he had in Delhi Belly.
Piyush Mishra is authentic as always in his small town menace and shudh Hindi dialect.
Despite Kangana's brave and thoroughly commendable performance, it is her own popular persona in Queen, which may come in the way of her new killer avatar. She could have been our very own Uma Thurman, had Revolver Rani released before Queen.
And that’s the tragedy of her being the most adorable Rani in Queen. Her own believable image shot her down. Bang Bang!