Friday, January 8, 2016

Queen [2014]

MPAA (UR would be R)  Fr. Dennis (3 Stars)

IMDb listing listing listing

Hindustan Times (S. Kaushal) review
India Today (S. Dwivedi) review
Indian Express (K. Gupta) review
Times of India () review

Variety (D. Chute) review

Queen [2014] [IMDb] [BW] [FBt] (directed and screenplay cowritten by Vikas Bahl [IMDb] [BW] [FBt] along with Chaitally Parmar [IMDb] and Parveez Sheikh [IMDb] dialogue by Anvita Dutt [IMDb] [BW] [FBt] and Kangana Ranaut [IMDb]) is a highly acclaimed six 2015 Indian Filmfare Award winning film (the Filmfare Awards being widely regarded as India's version of the Oscars) which playfully turns a common Bollywood story-line on it head ;-).

The film (English subtitled) is available for streaming for a very reasonable price at Amazon Instant Video.

The story begins with 20-something Dehli girl, Rani (in Hindi meaning "Queen", played wonderfully in the film by Kangana Ranuat [IMDb] [BW] [FBt]) about to get married.  The whole extended family is coming into town for the big day.  All the dancing that one would expect to come _at the end_ of a Bollywood movie is taking place at the beginning, AND ... (really not much of a spoiler here, because there wouldn't be much of a film otherwise ;-) ... JUST AT THE LAST MOMENT, her fiance Vijay (played again impressively with appropriate "nose up, still young / doesn't really know yet what he's doing, arrogance" by Rajkummar Rao [IMDb] [FBt]) BREAKS OFF THE ENGAGEMENT.  Why??  Well, it's unclear, but mostly, apparently, because he's young / stupid / arrogant / spoiled ... basically because "he can" and still _honestly_ "doesn't understand" what this kind of a decision, this late in the preparations was going to do to his fiancee / her family. 

So there's young 20-something Rani, sitting in lovely, red hued, gold embroidered wedding sari amidst all those flower petals ... quietly weeping ... her own family not really knowing what to say or do ... And after several days of this, she decides ... TO GET UP, AND GO ON HER ALREADY PAID FOR HONEYMOON (to Paris / Europe) ON HER OWN ... (and of course, we cheer) and of course the rest of the movie follows ;-)

Of course many adventures await her, out there, "all on her own" for the first time:

Among the people she meets is Vijayalakshmi (played by Lisa Haydon [IMDb] [BW] [FBt]) a 1/2 Indian single mom, never married, her age in Paris, who Rani initially doesn't know how to understand.  And she is, of course, somewhat challenging, even to the film's Viewers, as Vijayalakshmi, even from her very conception (1/2 Indian / 1/2 European after all) seemed to violate "all the rules" that Rani had grown-up with.  And yet, Vijayalakshmi, despite pushing Rani (and the film's Viewers) at times a bit too much (there are a couple of scenes, not involving nudity -- there is none as this is an Indian film -- that are still needlessly, even stupidly, trashy) proves to be a pretty good guide for someone like Rany who's found herself "thrown 'by events' into the world."

And among the others that Rany meets is an Italian cook / restauranteur named Marcello (played by Marco Canadea [IMDb]) a few years older than she, so perhaps in his late 20s-early 30s, with whom she has comes to have some fairly lively discussions about ... food ;-) ... as both Indians and Italians are, how shall one say this, "quite proud" of their cuisines ;-).

All in all, it's a very nice story, about a young Rani / Queen, who perhaps initially had "different plans" for life, but like the "Mary" of the American Mary Tyler Moore Show [1970-77] [wikip] [IMDb], finds that she _can_ "make it on her own."

Very good job! ;-)

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