Director: Hansal Mehta
Producer: Bhushan Kumar
Cast: Kangana Ranaut, Catherine Dyer, Mark Anthony Justice, Robin Dyke, Evette Young
Controversies, fights and credit quarrels ensured that Simran joins the most talked about and anticipated films. And to tell you honestly, one can't help but keep wondering which scenes had a Kangana imprint on it (who has been credited for additional story and dialogues) and which ones are solely the vision of original writer Apurva Asrani.
Simran is loosely based on the life of Sandeep Kaur, the notorious bank robber who earned the sobriquet Bombshell Bandit.
Kangana is Praful Patel and there is no other way to put it, such is her vociferous commitment to the character.
A 30-year-old divorced Gujju immigrant, who unlike her legendary on screen namesake doesn't wait for a "ja Simran ja" type permission to live her life on her terms. She stays with her parents, works in the housekeeping department at the hotel and dreams of buying her own house.
We see Praful in all her eccentricities and at her charming best. She chats up with bartenders in Vegas and also fails miserably while trying to flirt with men. We also witness a slightly dark side to her when pushed to a frightening brink and how she struggles to stay afloat.
Praful is adorable, but untrustworthy and it's a contradiction our mainstream Bollywood actresses rarely have. For treading on this path less explored, Simran is special. It's wise to expect Kangana's usual brilliance but not a film like Queen.
Helming the project, Hansal Mehta keeps the tonality vibrant and breezy in the first half. But as Praful's life enters slightly darker territory, the pace dips significantly post interval which might need some getting used to.
Even a slow narrative would have been fine had the end not appeared so hurried and abrupt. It's almost like we give up on Praful midway and it is this underwhelming climax which sadly takes the film down.
But still here we see the best of Kangana and that should be enough to go watch it.
Comparisons with Queen are inevitable, but the deal is that while it was easy to cheer for Queen’s Rani, Simran’s Praful is far more complexed.
She is selfish, impulsive, not always on the right side of law or morality and yet it is only thanks to Kangana that we keep rooting for her. To make us fall for a character despite of all its shortcomings — well that is love. And for achieving it, Simran steals the show.
4 Quints out of 5.
Video Editor: Kunal Mehra
Producer: Vivek Das
Camera: Athar Rather
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