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    Published On : Sun, Mar 9th, 2014

    Queen : Movie Review by Prashen H. Kyawal


    Queen : Delightful piece of Art and Entertainment


    Director: Vikas Bahl
    Cast: Kangna Ranaut, Lisa Haydon and Rajkummar Rao

    Critics do not critique a movie because they like them. Contrary, they do it because they love movies. We want every movie to be good and get affected severely by it not turning out good. We know movie making is most expensive art and we want the privileged ones who can make them to know the feedback on their creations for betterment in future. Seldom a movie comes which we want to applaud wholeheartedly and enjoy it just as an audience.

    “Queen” is one such movie. And is another product by big corporate meeting quality cinema creators. After the successful collaboration of mainstream with quality cinema in “Hasee to Phasee”, Anurag Kashyap and Vikramaditya Motwane join hands with Viacom 18 for “Queen”. They again prove that love for cinema coupled with good production and distribution strength can do wonders both at quality of cinema as well as box office.

    Written by Vikas Bahl, Chaitally Parmar and Parveez Sheikh, “Queen” is a coming of age, travel movie. Judging from promo, I predicted it could be a mix of themes from “Cocktail” (a Stranded Girl in an unknown country) and “English-Vinglish” (A woman is liberated by the ways in new country and yes, impresses via culinary skills). My prediction is proven true but good news is, the makers have made the movie even better.

    The story is about traditionally raised Rajouri Girl, Rani who is called Queen (Kangana Ranaut) by her fiancee Vijay (Rajkumar Rao). On the day of her marriage, Vijay breaks up with her leaving her shattered. The already low on confidence Rani decides to use her Honeymoon Tickets and travel as planned earlier, albeit alone (as she says “Main apane honeymoon pe akeli aayi hun”). In her hotel, she befriends with Vijayalakshmi (Lisa Haydon) who is a Hot single mother with Indian genes from her father’s side. Vijaya shows her around paris and helps her gain enough confidence to travel to Amsterdam alone. In Amsterdam, Rani stays in hostel where she shares room with 3 male room mates Oleksander (Mish Boyko), Taka (Jeffrey Ho) and Tim (Guitobh Joseph). She also meets Marcello (Marco Canadea) who is Chef and owns a restaurant. Marcello gets angry with Rani for not liking her food. Later they befriend each other at a cooking competition.

    While Rani is having all these life altering experiences and discovering new things about the world, life and herself, Vijay gets back interest in her after seeing her picture in modern outfit which she sends to him by mistake. He tries to find her across Paris and Amsterdam when she does not pick his calls.

    What happens with Vijay and Rani? Do they get back again?

    Generally I do not tell story of the movie so elaborately. But as you can see there is not much twists and turns in the story which needs to be hidden. The magic of this film is in the Screenplay, Dialogues and Direction. It is a travel film which needs to be experienced and to have fun with.

    All 3 writers deserves applause for writing somewhat unique story and an exemplary screenplay. Small comic/drama events and detailed characterisation (do notice Chintu, Rani’s brother),  of each role makes this movie enjoyable throughout its length. This again underlines the fact that not only the roles of the lead actors but the surrounding characters are equally important for a good movie. And all this is supported in equally good strength by the Dialogue writers (Anvita Dutt and Kangana Ranaut).

    Even though the screenplay is strong, Director Vikas Bahl does not only rely on it. He takes it even further and demonstrates remarkable skills is bring real life fun on celluloid. Slice of life films and travel films are by default hard to make. It is hard to recreate the moments one lives through that travel. But Vikas Bahl proves that Cinema is a Director’s Medium and serves his audience with an enjoyable fair. Notice the scenes when Rani dances teasing the taxi driver outside the dance club or when she skypes with her parents who are having power outage at home, the shot where Oleksander puts beer in his “Golgappe” aka paanipuri, etc.

    His editing team Abhijit Kokate and Anurag Kashyap gives him powerful support with perfect editing. I feel special proud to mention that Abhijit Kokate is our own Nagpuri Boy. I see him going places after this movie. More power to you, Abhijit.

    Music and Background score by Amit Trivedi is great. The song “London Thumkada” is already on charts. The remixed version of “Hungama Ho gaya” will make you feel like dancing with Rani. Thought other songs could have been better. Bosco-Caesar have choreographed the songs according to the characterisation. Cinematography in a travel film is very important and here Bobby Singh and Siddharth Diwan did excellent job at it.

    Having talked about all technical departments, last but not the least is performances by the actors and this movie belongs to Kangana Ranaut. Kangana is as important to this movie as the Director itself. She lends sincerity, innocence, vulnerability to Rani and lives her life on screen. She gets under the skin of the character and makes the audience forget whatever different images she had in past. And boy, what a body of work Kangana has. From the depressed, alcoholic urban girls in Gangster, Woh Lamhe, Metro and Fashion to Retro gangster wife in Once Upon a Time in Mumbai to the outwardly and strong bride in Tanu Weds Manu, she has done different characters effectively. However, this film will put her in league of top actresses who can carry female centric films.

    Equally good as Kangana is Lisa Haydon who essays the role of free-spirited VijayaLaxmi. Rajkumar Rao as Vijay does justice to his role. Master Chinmaya Agarwal does good job as Chintu.  All other actors lend equal good support to the movie, however we need to mention Marco Canadea who gives the screen a different shine whenever he there.

    If we get to discuss the shortcomings of the movie, we will find few like story does not having much graph or feeling stuck on the travel/party scenes. Barring such few niggles, the movie is near perfect. Initially, I thought the Director should have opted for subtitles for the foreign languages but then I understood it was to make audience feel the trouble Rani going through in a Foreign Country.

    Overall, “Queen” is lite, entertaining and subtly gives a message that not all we feel bad is bad unless we go there and experience it. It gives you chance to experience the life of a backpacker, from your comfy chair, with all the fun and troubles in it. What more can we ask for?

     4 star

    Recommendation: Go watch this movie. You will feel happy, lite and optimistic.

     Note: While you enjoy this movie about troubles and fun of the privileged ones living in city, who can afford foreign travel just to find themselves, do try to watch how the non-privileged ones are suffering due to lack of basic resources and still rising above it all in “Gulaab Gang”.


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