By Martin D’Souza | Opening Doorz Editorial | September 15, 2017
Rating: 3 / 5
The essence: If you have loved Queen, the first half will floor you. The second half will keep you engaged simply because of the Kangana factor.
Simran is a test for Kangana Ranaut, the current superstar of Bollywood. Shah Rukh Khan could not hold together Jab Harry Met Sejal recently even though he had Anushka Sharma for company who played a gujju behen.
Praful Patel (Kangana Ranaut) a gujju behen is living in the US with her parents. She holds a job in the Housekeeping Department at the Hilton Hotel. She wants to buy a house of her own and is almost close to clinching the deal with her bankers who she approaches for a loan when a trip to Las Vegas for her cousin’s engagement spells doom.
The beginner’s luck favours her on the gambling table which she lands on in a cheerful mood as she tries “something sinful to do in sin city”. Buoyed by her first win, she ends up losing what she won and also her own $8000.
After she learns that her bankers have refused her the loan, she flies back to Vegas (in the hope of getting rich), gets cleaned of her cash and ends up borrowing from a money lender. Then begins her downfall which also spells doom for the movie!
The first half is crisp, clever and cheerful. Hansal Mehta lays the platform for Kangana the actress to get cracking right from the first scene as he introduces the ‘full-of-life’, ‘recently divorced’ 30-year-old Praful. She immediately warms up on the screen having you in splits with her ‘on-the-spur-of-the-moment’ improvisation in scenes that would have otherwise turned out to be ordinary. The very first scene where she ‘pushes’ off her manager as she keeps her bag on the empty chair when he tries to sit on it is timed to perfection, not only in the manner with which she does it but also the clever use of the mobile. There are many scenes in Vegas in which Kangana steals the thunder simply by her effortless execution.
Her ‘sparring’ with her dad, a perfect baniya who sells farsan in the US, is real to the extent where you have a daughter with a mind of her own. She tries to ask for help but when her Dad does not see sense in her decisions, she decides to make things work for her, her way.
Up until the interval, the film moves briskly, never once faltering. Come the second half and Hansal fails to hold the narrative together, introducing bank robberies with no immediate, serious consequences, and that too in the US! That is where Simran loses its magic of the first half.
Kangana is in top form; she is almost in the Queen zone. If not for the wayward plot in the second half, Simran would have outdone Queen, the Kangana top-grosser thus far.
Giving Kangana company vis-à-vis performances are Soham Shah, HIten Kumar and Kishori Shahane. Soham is studied in his approach as her suitor. He almost steals the thunder from her with his under-played character with a studied gaze. Hiten Kumar who plays her father and Kishori Shahane who plays her mother lend support to the plot and Kangana with their perfect portrayal of how a ‘happily married’ couple should be.
Does Kangana pass the test? Of course she does and in a better style than SRK or Anushka did in JHMS.
If you have loved Queen, the first half will floor you. The second half will keep you engaged simply because of the Kangana factor.
Producer: Bhushan Kumar, Shailesh Singh
Director: Hansal Mehta
Star Cast: Kangana Ranaut, Soham Shah