Director: Hansal Mehta
Cast: Kangana Ranaut, Sohum Shah, Hiten Kumar, Kishori Shahane
Simran starts off with a promising note with the narrative as subtle as Kangana’s 2014 outing ‘Queen’. The first 30 minutes let us fall into a story which can easily be deduced as the sequel to Rani’s journey but as the movie moves on, Hansal Mehta succumb to the plot and we are presented with a dark and twisted life of a 30-year-old divorcee working in housekeeping who somehow falls into the trap of gambling and robbery.
Kangana Ranaut plays Praful Patel who loves to live in the moment. She is independent, notorious, weird and outspoken. Kangan outstands as Praful but still fails to resonate Rani’s character or Bitto’s extraordinary humor. The problem with Simran is that the movie tries too hard to follow the ivy league of Scorsese’ dark comedies but completely gets derailed in the second half.
The title bears almost no connection or a meaning with respect to the film. DDLJ’S iconic scene incepts Praful’s mind to disguise everyone as ‘Simran’; ‘the lipstick bandit’ which according to me could have turned out to be a better title for the film. The storyteller of ‘Shahid’ and ‘Aligarh’ adapts another true story and marinades it in a very Kangan-ish way. It’s easy to make out that Kangana’s casting was the foremost thing done by the makers and later the character was totally improvised in a style that Kangana masters. The actor has also debuted as an additional writer for the film.
The film’s title track will remind you of ‘Barfi’ and soon the pattern of robbery scenes easily catch the flavour of the same. Simran’s second half shows Praful getting beaten up by America’s brutality which includes Vegas bars, her hotel administration department, the loan sharks and a ‘good Gujrati boy’ (Sohum Shah’s edgy and affable performance) who in Praful’s own words ‘is so good for a girl like her that they can’t be together’ but still there is an unwanted love angle between the two which also opens up the space for an Arijit song.
Praful’s desperation leaves us unapologetic towards her and we do not feel sorry instead it agitates us because of her dire needs and step after step wrong decisions. The film is not funny except for two or three scenes. The uncanny justifications and the rivalry with a bank later targeting the same for a robbery remind us of a Dhoom 3 landscape. Simran also reflects a shady face of wary and unsupportive parents who although being an NRI are still inflicted by the patriarchal setup of the society. The relentless argument sessions with her father establish the estranged relationship and the direct proportionality with Simran’s condition.
Simran lacks inspiration and falls hard on the ground with a poor and intolerably executed car chase scene in the end. It does not justify the breaking-of-chains and setting-oneself-free but incessantly tries to do so. Mehta falls for Bollywood this time and cooks a scarcely written unimaginative plot of character that does not need a story to be told out loud.