Critics’ Verdict: Kangana Is Brilliant But ‘Simran’ Is Too Chaotic
Kangana Ranaut in and as <i>Simran. </i>
Kangana Ranaut in and as Simran. (Photo Courtesy: YouTube/T-series)

Critics’ Verdict: Kangana Is Brilliant But ‘Simran’ Is Too Chaotic

Film: Simran
Director: Hansal Mehta
Cast: Kangana Ranaut, Catherine Dyer, Evette Young

Excerpts from reviews of Simran:

Kangana Ranaut tries to inject a Bridget Jones appeal (Hollywood rom-com’s always-relatable Londoner) into her misadventures. Credit has to be given to Ranaut for injecting verve into a character whose rebellion seems displaced. Director Hansal Mehta also does a splendid job of painting a realistic milieu of the Indian immigrant diaspora. They aren’t coated with money and aren’t always jolly, as a slew of Bollywood movies have led us to believe. There’s a lot going on in this film — comedy, drama, social commentary and xenophobia in the US- and it can get messy. Reserve this for a one-time watch as it’s incredible to see Ranaut play a self-destructive rebel. But if you are looking for a cohesive cinematic piece, then you are looking at the wrong film.
Manjusha Radhakrishnan, Gulf News
This can be both amazing and alarming. It is super to watch a self-assured performer vault over any challenge a script throws, but never ideal to see a script contort in order to give the actress room to show off everything she can do - including things that don’t necessarily suit the film. Hansal Mehta’s Simran works best when breezing along with a light touch, when Ranaut effervescently befriends bartenders and cheerily refuses to take no for an answer. Unfortunately the film, doubling up as a showreel for the actress, pretends also to be a drama, a thriller, even a sweet romance. None of these other gears work well enough, and the eventual result is tedious.
Raja Sen, NDTV
Kangana Ranaut drives from the front seat, and everyone else follows. While that is an entirely wonderful thing, that also becomes a failing. Because there’s altogether too much of Kangana in the film: the story gives her enough to do in the first half, and we are fully engaged and absorbed. And, then it slides into slushy territory. That’s called too much of a good thing.
Shubra Gupta, Indian Express
Mehta’s Simran is brimming with tributes to its female lead, giving her scene after scene to prove her comic timing (not always spot on), her ability to evoke pathos (not always convincing) and her skill at switching registers in a matter of seconds (not always successful). Despite the presence of other actors, the 125-minute movie is a one-hander, with Ranaut present in nearly every frame from start to finish. Some parts of Simran play out like improvisational scenes from an acting workshop in which Ranaut is trying out various emotions to see which one fits.
Nandini Ramnath, Scroll

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