Sometimes, you’ll read about people saying that their creative efforts take on a life of their own after they leave the production process and enter the general realm of consciousness . Queen is one of those magical films. It was a struggle trying to find a legitimate means of watching this film thanks to an unexplained limited release but I am very glad I made the effort to see it for Queen is one of those films that has turned up at the right place at the right time for me. Both entertaining and inspiring, the journey Rani undertakes in the film had me laughing, cringing and rooting for her throughout and very satisfied when we are left wanting to know more not just about what happens to Rani next but all the other characters too.
It is rather impressive how Bahl creates a likeable ensemble and allows everyone to shine without letting one element overwhelm the whole film. Furthermore, I liked how Queen works on lots of different levels – whether it is a small moment captured here and there or the bigger picture where Rani learns something new about herself, this is one film with plenty of repeat viewing value. Writing this a few days after seeing it, I had initially thought there were a few wobbly moments but on reflection, none immediately come to mind as in my mind, the good ultimately overpowers any perceived flaws.
Without a doubt, this is a career best from Kangana – whilst we know she can play the small town girl well, the mark of a great performer is the ability to play a character similar to one that is closely associated with their persona but to reinvent it so that the portrayal is at once fresh and immediate – something Kangana pulls off with elaan. Also to be commended are Lisa Haydon’s delightfully bohemian Vijaylaxmi (who steals the show at times) and the trio of non-Indian actors in the Amsterdam portion who are understated but stand out for all the right reasons.
Without a doubt, Queen is a must see film and very deserving of the love and support it has received upon release. Indeed, the success of the film both critically and commercially bodes well for everyone as this is the kind of film I would like to see more of – a film that can challenge conventions of the genre, allow its audience to get emotionally involved (and keep them connected to proceedings) and above all, be entertaining. It takes a special kind of film to make multitasking seem easy but as I previously mentioned, Queen has a individual spirit of its own that permeates every frame and encourages the viewer to join in. One of the best of 2014 so far and certainly my favourite by a long way too.