When she tells her parents that she wants to go on her honeymoon even though the wedding has been called off, you completely understand her. Your heart goes out to her as she pleads with her fiancé to marry her while he looks around in the coffee shop embarrassed and whispers to her " Don't make a scene, people are looking at us" !
After millions of movies about perfect looking, sexy girls we finally have a story about your average Indian middle class girl! “Queen” tells us the story of Rani, an innocent and docile girl from Delhi. A student of home science, her aim like that of most Indian girls is to have an “arranged” marriage to a boy that her parents select for her.
However life has different plans for her. A young man falls in love with her when he meets her at her father’s sweet shop. A match that both sets of parents approve as they are family friends. He woos her, chasing her through college in typical filmi style with heart shaped balloons and sidling up to her in her college library.
The family is all set for the wedding. Rani is very excited. She has saved money for her honeymoon. A girl who has never stepped outside of Delhi, she wants to go to Paris and Amsterdam for her honeymoon! But just two days before the wedding, her fiancé tells her that he is not interested in marrying her. After going to London on a job assignment he seemed to have suddenly realized that Rani does not meet his social status. She is stunned! The family is worried about how this rejection is going to affect her as she locks herself in her room refusing to come out.
When she does come out she seems composed except that her family is surprised when she says that husband or no husband, she wants to go on her honeymoon. She persists with this demand and finally they relent. She boards Air France and embarks on a journey to Paris dressed in Indian street clothing and carrying unbranded luggage.
The rest of the movie is about her journey in self discovery as she checks into a hotel in Paris, makes friends with a girl working there, who takes her around Paris! She gets drunk, throws up, is picked up by the police for going around without a passport, deals with a mugger all by herself and finally bids a tearful goodbye to her Parisian friend as she boards a train to Amsterdam.
Amsterdam brings its own set of adventures as she realizes that the hostel in which her French friend had booked her in is a mixed one. She has to share a room with three men!! After attempting to spend the night sleeping in the corridor she gives in and moves into the room occupying the top most bunk. She is as fascinated by the Russian, Japanese and the French men who share the room with her as they are with her. Slowly the reserves melt and they become good friends. She learns to understand them – communicating in broken English just like them! It seems like her holiday is finally becoming a fun filled experience – that is until her fiancé starts messaging her saying he misses her. He follows her from London and tracks her down to Amsterdam.
And what happens after that? Well.. I would suggest you watch the movie!
After an overdose of the glamour that dominates the Bollywood scene these days it was a pleasure to watch a film about real people. Each and every character in the movie is believable. From Rani’s grandmother who tells her to stop moping in a hotel room in Paris and explore the city ( “ Did you have to go to Paris to watch TV? Go out who knows you might meet someone interesting”) to her father and little brother who suddenly get interested in her scantily dressed French friend who shows up on skype standing behind Rani ( “ You can call me Ashwin” tells her father “ Didi where is your friend today” asks the brother) to her mother who is woken up by an excited Rani (who has got an offer to cook) in the middle of the night to be asked “ What is hing called in English?” The mother replies sleepily “ Don’t know. Did you not read it on the box” )
Kangana Ranaout is very convincing as Rani. She has a fresh faced innocent look about her. Her innocence is natural. It is coupled with a curiosity that is very real. Her shyness when she admits to her Japanese friend that she has a crush on the Italian cook who has given her a cooking assignment is very natural. And when the Italian man wants to kiss her she asks him “ Lip to lip?” . The way she purses up her lips behind his back as she prepares for the kiss is very funny and cute. It brought to my mind all the talk that we girls used to indulge in when we read those Mills and Boon novels wondering what it would be like to be kissed.( Ofcourse, most girls in India today of Rani’s age probably do not wonder about it anymore- but then she was a girl from a conservative background so it went with her character! )
The audience involvement in the movie was complete! I have never seen something like this earlier. We had people laughing loudly at the funny parts and in the scene where she returns her engagement ring to her fiancé, the entire audience gave Rani a standing ovation.
When I saw this movie I realized what is missing in the glitzy glamorous movies of today – that sense of reality! What was special about the movie was the way reality was packaged- in a simple but entertaining way complete with the usual set of songs and dances! The success of this movie is indication enough that people are getting tiered of beautiful people living in perfect homes , wearing branded clothes and romancing in the most beautiful locations.
Mr. Karan Johar are you listening … ?