First as Rani in Queen and now Alka Singh in Revolver Rani, Kangna Ranaut has firmly ensconced herself in the high throne of the Queen Bee in Bollywood. Her curls can still weave magic and with delight she bites her teeth into fabulously meaty roles!
A film like Revolver Rani doesn’t come by every other week. It takes years of Bollywood’s pathetic gender stereotyping to stand on its head to get a whiff of something so quirky and fun! And it also takes a strange poisonous insect bite post interval to suck all life out of such brilliance.
Revolver Rani quite literally starts with a bang. Alka Singh played by a meticulously bronzed Kangna Ranaut ‘dhishkaaons’ her way in. The Lady in Shining Armor walks in to judge a male talent hunt competition. Never mind her waif thin figure, she bulldozes her way through every fight scene, shoot out sequence, high jumps and low kicks with her constant companion – her revolver. She shoots when she is happy, she shoots when she is angry and man she shoots even when she wails in confusion! The phallic symbol of the gun is enough to emasculate her ‘dude in distress’ Vir Das. Totally besotted by him she demands he quench her insatiable sexual desires. An opportunistic wannabe actor, Rohan Mehra (Vir Das) lovingly calls her Coco because of her tough exterior and mushy heart, Alka calls him Chamcham “aur is mein koi logic nahi hai” she declares. When not besotted by him Revolver Rani spends most of her time fulminating against her political rival Udaybhan Tomar (Zakir Hussain) whom she accuses of corruption.
The characters, their dialogues and the gun battles all marinated in spicy Chambal dialect – the first half of Revolver Rani does hit bull’s eye. Trigger happy Alka Singh is firmly in the saddle thanks to her Iago like mama(uncle) played by Piyush Mishra au fain in all political diabolic games.
Director Sai Kabir does a commendable job of bringing to life a one of its kind character of Alka Singh against the symphony of gun shots. The rest of the time he spends undoing what he so meticulously built. The taming of the once dreaded Alka brings the robust screenplay to a sluggish halt. We end up with an inchoate vision of feminism with certain stale gender based wonts thrust upon us. Mother Nature it seems is no feminist and women no matter how many leather jackets they dawn have a penchant for stuff toys and fairytales – just the kind of stuff that should have been sifted out! Post interval and one can’t help but dream about how wonderful it would have been for Tigmanshu Dhulia to be at the driver’s seat instead of limiting himself to be being just a producer!
The film offers a brief reference to her sad back story, lot of focus on her steely resolve, and her more endearing vulnerabilities. There is a scene when she talks of her fashion fetish - her clothes she announces are all from Bhenice (Venice ) in Italy. The “gaon walas” don’t know much about fashion she rues. She is shown doing sit ups while her boyfriend nervously enquires if he will be safe. “Hum khush rakhenge tumhe “she says before egging him to join in her kinky love routine. Soon after she wants him to be locked up in a “kothri” when she suspects he is betraying her. Her demand for unflinching honesty and her school girlish dreams of a “happy ever after” make her palpably real.
On the level of performance Kangna Ranaut and her on screen confidante Piyush Mishra shine through effortlessly. Zeishan Quadri as a Michael Jackson obsessed side kick is brilliant. And the scheming politicians played by Zakir Hussain and Kumud Mishra are in a league of their own. Vir Das spoofs Shahrukh Khan most of the time which it seems is the requirement of his on- screen phony character and therefore tolerable!
The music score in the movie is in keeping with its overall hue. No wonder then that it is “hatke” and cheeky. Music director Sanjeev Srivastava gives personality to the title track “Revolver Rani “by getting Usha Uthup to sing it. There is also Piyush Mishra’s characteristic style to be applauded in “Thaayein kare Katta”. With catchy lyrics thanks to Puneet Sharma and Shaheen Iqbal the songs further aid the story and its characters. Vintage Asha Bhonsle still enthralls us with “Kaafi nahi Chand”. There is even a nostalgic take on the 90’s music of Bollywood with singer Avi Dutta managing to pull off a perfect Kumar Sanu in “Bol rahi hai payal sanam”. The fact that Sai Kabir resurrects a sturdy first half means that we stay glued with rapt attention. His subsequent betrayal of his own vision lends us with some yawns and restless shifting in the chair. A pity since Revolver Rani could have been so much better! But the film and Kangna Ranaut have definitely whet our appetite for more phenomenal and refreshingly different stuff from mainstream Bollywood. Go for it for the performance, for the quirky take and of course for the queen of our hearts Kangna.