Rani Mehra (Kangna Ranaut) is not the super-smart heroine of your everyday Hindi film. On the contrary, she is a below-average Jane, who is sure to squirm uncomfortably if given too much attention. You perhaps meet and ignore hundreds of Ranis in your life as they bashfully try to blend in with the wallpaper when thrown in social situations. Yet, this Rani manages to touch your soul, take your breath away and promises to stay with you forever.
Debutant director Vikas Bahl, with an admirable amount of sensitivity, tells the story of a coming-of-age of a simple girl from Delhi's Rajouri Garden, who discovers how life changes when she learns to accept herself.
Kangna Ranaut and Lisa Haydon (left) in Queen
At the outset, Rani Mehra or Queen (Kangna) seems like the last person you would want to take away with you. She is the proverbial frog in the well, brought up in a conservative household, and conditioned to think that her happiness lies with the man who chooses to marry her. She tries too hard to please people around her and she's someone who has never exercised the privilege of saying no. But when the man, Vijay (Rajkummar Rao), who had earlier relentlessly wooed her, dumps her at the altar because he thinks he is too good for her, things begin to change. Rani decides to take her planned Paris and Amsterdam honeymoon trip alone and that's when her fascinating journey of self-discovery begins. Here she meets some real people (Lisa Haydon as Vijaylakshmi, Boko Mish as Olexander, Jeffrey Ho as Taka and Joseph Guitob as Tim).
Queen looks so delightfully and realistically at life and ah yes, sex. Vijayalakshmi, speaking of a man's hang-ups about his penis size, Rani's cluelessness in a sex shop where she buys a dildo to soothe her grandpa's aches, this script is extremely comfortable with the notion of sex, unlike the covert or apologetic way it is handled with in most other Hindi films. Lisa and the other actors who play Rani's friends do a competent job. Rajkummar Rao is as usual convincing enough in his chosen role.
Now for the best part of the film: Kangna Ranaut. It is impossible to believe even for a second that Kangna is not the vulnerable, gullible Rani Mehra. With a power-packed performance, this actress manages to make you giggle awkwardly or even shed a tear or two along with her. Even as she stumbles through her life with unsure steps, you are tempted to hug her and tell her that everything will be alright; though you suspect she knows this already. It takes a confident director to sit back and let the actress weave her magic the way Kangna did.
The only grouse is that the second half of the film is a tad too long; sharper editing would have helped.
This is a love story with a difference and a great climax. Queen learns to love herself and lives happily ever after. Please watch this film. If not for Kangna's brilliant performance, watch it just for yourself.