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Simran : Ranaut Shines but Simran, Not So Muchicon

CAST : KanganaRanaut, Sohum Shah
DIRECTION : Hansal Mehta
GENRE : Comedy
DURATION : 2 hours 4 minutes

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Credits : Inox

StoryPraful Patel (Kangana) is a 30-year-old divorcee living in Georgia with her middle-class parents. A housekeeper by profession, she gets drawn to a life of crime after her tryst with gambling at a Las Vegas casino. One bad turn leads to several more and before you know it, Praful is in a sordid mess.

Review The leading lady of the film 'Simran', KanganaRanaut, has been making headlines lately with her bold views and shocking revelations. Not surprising then that everybody is minutely examining the film that released this weekend.

The slice of life drama, set nearly entirely in the US, is said to be based on a real-life incident and is directed by Hansal Mehta, who previously made award-winning movies like Shahid and Aligarh. KanganaRanaut plays the titular character, a happy-go-lucky divorcee.

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.

Besides the premise, everything else about the film is improbable. The writing falters in parts and naturally the execution follows. The way Praful goes about robbing banks and gets away scot-free, even after leaving her finger prints all over and notes scribbled with lipstick seems unbelievable. The media brands her the 'lipstick bandit', and the Atlanta cops and the victimised bank employees seem like a bunch of jokers, who keep harping on the fearless bandit's modus operandi, and yet, they fail to foil the half-a-dozen heists! It is almost like Hansal Mehta is attempting a comic story. Nothing wrong there, but if is a tale that is being recounted in lighter vein, then it should have at least made the audience laugh some more.

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. Their middle-class existence and the war between traditionalist parents who are eager to see their divorced child remarry so that they aren’t burdened by a divorcee in their household is beautifully brought out in this film. The clash between Patel and her strict, bullish father is heart-wrenching. But the movie doesn’t, unfortunately, dwell on it. There’s a lot going on in this film — comedy, drama, social commentary and xenophobia in the US- and it can get messy.

Overall, 'Simran' is an honest film made with a true heart and totally recommended to watch this weekend. The last scene will leave a smile on your face as you leave the theatres.

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