Review: Bollywood Drama
146 minutes / Now showing / ****
The story: Rani (Kangana Ranaut) is preparing for her dream wedding and dreaming of a honeymoon in Paris and Amsterdam. Her fiance Vijay (Rajkummar Rao) gets cold feet and calls off the wedding. Heart- broken Rani, who grew up in a sheltered family, decides to go on her planned trip alone. Travelling solo for the first time, she makes friends, learns to take care of herself and discovers her true self.
The movie belongs to the immensely talented Ranaut; the male lead who dumps her character is almost incidental to the narrative. She can hold the audience's attention for most of the 146 minutes, and she does not need make-up or fancy clothes.
Playing a girl left in the lurch, the actress portrays Rani's vulnerability well, from the time she boards her first flight to the time she takes on a thief out to get her handbag in Paris.
Travelling alone may not seem like a big deal, but Rani is the kind of girl who has not even gone on her dates without her younger brother accompanying her. One of the movie's finest moments is when a drunk Rani swings from self-pity to being sure about herself. It is sure to go down in Indian cinematic history as one of the finest drunken scenes featuring a heroine. The people Rani meets help keep the story real. In Paris, she meets a bohemain, single mother played brilliantly by model Lisa Haydon. In Amsterdam, she had to share her hostel room with three men. It is in the company of these strangers who befriend her that she opens up.
Full credit goes to first-time director Vikas Bahl and producers Anurag Kashyap and Vikramaditya Motwane for believing in the inherent power of a simple coming-of-age tale and presenting it on screen with equal simplicity.
So overwhelming was the demand for a movie held together by a heroine instead of a hero that Screens of Bombay Talkies, where Queen is showing, had to add an extra late night show on Sunday. Expect to see Ranaut's name repeated at Bollywood's multiple award shows.
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