‘Queen’

I saw ‘Queen‘ on 8th March’14 which happens to be the ‘International Women’s day’. I was in a city away from home and had nothing to do and nobody to be with so I decided to treat myself to a movie at a nearby cinema all by myself. Yes, I went to the movies all alone. Little did I know at that time that my decision will find resonance with that of the protagonist of the movie I was about to see.Yes, companionship is great but being alone, single or lonely is often seen as being miserable, it needn’t be. My experiences at the mall that day made me much more aware of this. queen6-mar6 The movie starts with the buzz of an impending Indian wedding complete with all the fan fair, all the glitz , all the hoopla. The hero‘s decision to cancel it on the last day makes it seem like a pre-mature climax. He thinks that they are not fit for each other, she hasn’t changed at all in many years while he is now a foreign-educated professional. Of course the protagonist is heart-broken. Her family is surprisingly supportive and her grandma even points out the silver lining that perhaps it’s for the best and she’ll find someone better. The family tries to comfort her as much as they can but still somehow the focal point of her life is marriage. The narrative zooms in and out of past beautifully throughout the movie. The wooing of the awkward and shy girl, the stalking masquerading as love, her strong devotion to her beau and his ‘protectiveness’ . The turning point of the story comes when she decides to go on her honeymoon alone and astonishingly her family doesn’t object. The girl who rarely goes anywhere without her chaperone, ‘chintoo’, her kid brother, leaves for Paris,her dream destination, all alone. queen4-dec22 But loneliness does take a toll on her. She has been anticipating a togetherness, an intimacy for a long while but all she has is cold solitude. Everywhere she goes she sees couples, she isn’t even used to crossing the street on her own. But in the minute struggles she faces, she learns, this is essentially a story of her growing up. Growing outside the codependency she has been so comfortable with, out of her need to please everyone and be the quintessential “seedhi bachchi”, growing out of the thoughtless habit of letting others decide for her. She does find company first with a hotel staffer who shows her around and she is flummoxed and yet enamored by her new friend’s way of living life- relaxed, uninhibited and unapologetic. She enjoy her company and the experiences. She has her many firsts- first time fending off a mugger, first time getting drunk (the various stages of being drunk have been beautifully acted out by Kangana) , first time getting a condom in her purse and the wonder she feels about it and many others. kangna-ranaut-still-from-film-queen_138864701090 queen4-mar6 I loved Kangana‘s performance. She made ‘Rani’ or ‘Queen’ come alive and very believable. She made me think, laugh, cry, smile and immensely happy. I found my eyes wet at many instances during the movie, mostly these were tears of joy. The Amsterdam trip and the friendship with the three guys at the hostel is the pivotal point of the movie I think. At first she responds with shock at the prospect of sharing a room with men but later on she starts to realize they aren’t any different. At this point I was thinking of the damage gender segregation has done to our society. It has ingrained suspicions, engendered stereotypes and generally made our lives worse. kangna-ranaut-still-from-film-queen_1388647010100 The firsts continue- her first trip to a casino, to a sex toy shop -where her naivete is hilarious, her first shot at a job (for which she was actively discouraged by her fiance in the past), her first time driving confidently without someone breathing down her neck, her first kiss. And when the ‘fiance’ realizes that now he wants to be with the now transformed girl, she doesn’t just drops everything for him. I loved the scene when she tells him that it’s not really about going to the concert but about being with her friends, I loved the protagonist’s newly found confidence to stand up to him even when she was used to ask for permissions for every other sundry life choice of hers. And in the end, after returning home, she doesn’t avoid him but goes up to him to return the engagement ring and to thank him. I loved the way she deals with the situation. kangna-ranaut-still-from-film-queen_139030152230 It’s a very sweet movie, without being preachy, but with a subtle message. I think the message is for women, to ask them to take charge of their own lives, their own fates. Director Vikas bahl has done a splendid job ,the music is good  and superb acting by everyone.  Go see it and I am sure you will come back with a smile on your face 🙂

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3 comments

  1. Everybody who is seeing it is coming out with a smile… outside and inside. I hope this movie does extremely well, and encourages more movie makers to make more such movies.
    And the movie passes the Bechdel test too 😀


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