Simran movie review: When the heroine is the hero and the villain

Sept24,A 30-year old NRI divorcee housemaid is still living at her parent’s house in Atlanta, USA. She decides to buy an apartment with some savings and a loan. This plan of the witty and fiery Praful Patel (Kangana Ranaut), who is tired of her parents’ incessant taunts, seems to roll along smoothly.

However, she blows it off with an impulsive gambling bout in Vegas. The gullible Praful, who also becomes alcoholic, resorts to yet another loan from a shark Mr Bugs (Jason Louder). In a desperate attempt to free herself from the gambling trap, the Gujju girl’s life takes a messy turn.

 The director of the dark tragicomedy, Hansal Mehta, derails from the same old story of a hero coming to save the damsel-in-distress. The movie lies completely on the shoulders of Kangana (Simran) and she carries out her antics with ease, without any sense of responsibility. Perhaps, the character of the self-celebrating Simran resembles the real Kangana who has never shied away from controversies.

As a story of female empowerment, Simran projects the relatable confused-yet-independent and unglamorous woman instead of the decked-up, vain perfect heroines we get to see time and again. She brings a freshness to the clichéd and stereotypical Bollywood heroines. In the movie, there is no particular hero or male protagonist to be honest, except the on and off romance between Patel and Sameer (Sohum Shah).

Shah plays a down-to-earth, cultured banker who tries to help Simran in both cash and kind. But, the motive of his lukewarm presence actually insinuates that a character like Simran needs no saving. Even before the appearance of Shah, the audience is guaranteed that Praful has no inclinations towards any male (or other counterparts to begin with).

Kangana solely embodies the nuances of the character and emotes them excellently. It won’t be wrong to say that she herself is the hero, the heroine and quite amusingly, the villain of the movie.

Kangana Ranaut takes the audience on a roller-coaster ride as the incorrigible Simran and her intrepid adventures. She is seen dining with her parents, Hiten Kumar and Kishori Shahane who represent every other middle-class family and next thing you know, she is donning purple wigs and hoodies and is robbing banks! She has the tenacity to rob banks but the inability to rely on practical solutions–her biggest challenge.

It won’t be wrong to say that she herself is the hero, the heroine and quite amusingly, the villain of the movie.

The movie deals with too many events all at once, be it the everyday chores of Simran, her family issues or the rudimentary romance with Shah, it fails to stream them coherently. The narrative is inconsistent with a little tear-jerking turmoil here, a breezy outing with her love interest there and a lot many sequences of a heist.

Nothing about the movie is to be taken seriously as she herself portrays everything comically (refer to the scene when she’s watching a Youtube tutorial on ‘How to rob a bank’). The movie switches from higher wavelength to a sinking one at the interval which ultimately imbalances the emotions. Nonetheless, the upbeat background music (mostly instrumental) makes reparations with the fluctuating emotional stats.

No matter the scene or the mayhem, Ranaut, single-handedly, gets the audience hooked and you will fall in love with her character without empathising or identifying with her. That in itself is a big achievement, but it does not give credit to the movie. As if the unapologetic Rani  from Kangana Ranaut’s 2013 hit, ‘Queen’, wasn’t enough, moments of risking everything and exploring life herself still linger somewhere in the movie.

All in all, Ranaut is a lovable character who breaks the rules, makes mistakes but also admits it shamelessly. She believes that living a morbid life is better than faking a fanciful one citing the example of her parents’ married life.

Her extravagant splurges on good dresses and champagne and tipping people is a testimony to her large heart but she surrenders to an impulse making everyone around her bear the brunt of her compulsive eccentricities, yet there is an innocence to her character which is verified at the end.

After six months in jail, Simran is still found munching on Gujarati staples, theplas and raving about another ‘idea’ of making money, she’s forgotten all the series of misfortunes that got her behind bars.

Movie: Simran

Actors: Kangana Ranaut

Hiten Kumar

Kishori Shahane

Sohum Shah

Director: Hansal Mehta

Screenings: QFX Movies

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