Warning: Mild spoilers ahead
I’ve been sceptical about Bollywood’s new found interest in woman-centric films. Some of the movies come across as knock-offs. Like a good copies of a designer bag, they look right but don’t feel genuine.
Similarly, Mardaani’s message of women’s empowerment feels flawed. Shivani Shivaji Roy (Rani Mukherjee) is a cop who vows to bring unravel a child trafficking ring that abducts young girls and sells them into prostitution.
Sometimes, I feel like we watch Bollywood films with bated breath, and fervently wait for them to put a foot wrong. There are movies that I’ve really wanted to enjoy but have almost always left me disappointed (Sanjay Leela Bhansali, I am looking at you).
I was in a similar situation with Queen. The film is written and directed by Vikas Bahl, and produced by Phantom Films, which he jointly owns with progressive directors Anurag Kashyap (of Dev D and Gangs of Wasseypur), Vikramaditya Motwane (of Lootera and Udaan) and Madhu Mantera.
The film is entirely based on the trials and tribulations of “homely” Rani (Kangana Ranaut) after she gets dumped at the mandap by smarmy asshole Vijay (Rajkummar Rao). Rani, who by this point has plenty sunao-ed her honeymoon plans to everyone from best friend to bank cashier, is reluctant to let go of her holiday. And so, we are taken on a hilarious coming-of-age journey across Paris and Amsterdam.