Movie Review: Simran – Outstanding Performance, Weak Script!

If I say Kangana Ranaut is one of the most talented actors in India is an understatement. Kangana is the only actor in India who I think can hold up interest in a weak scripted movie with her performance alone, eg: Simran, this week’s release. A lot of hype was created around the movie about how Kangana was taking away the credits for the script from the writer of the movie Apurva Asrani. Kangana also claimed she improvised on the script and wrote numerous drafts over Apurva’s original draft and the movie is the result of those improvisations. However, if that is true, then Kangana should leave the writing part to the writers and stick to her part which is acting (she does that better than anything else).

Coming to the movie, Simran tells the story of a 30-year-old divorcee Praful Patel (Kangana) who works as a housekeeper in a luxury hotel in Atlanta. Praful stays with her parents and dreams of owning her own house. Things go out of hand when she loses all her money in a casino in Las Vegas and to win back her money she takes a loan from a loan shark. Meanwhile, her loan application gets rejected due to bad credit history. With the loan shark breathing down her neck, she has no choice but to start looting banks to pay back the loan amount.

The story is inspired by a true life incident however, the screenplay is a big let down. The first half is quite entertaining but the curse of second half puts its hands on this movie too. The second half is quite boring, unimaginative and blows the logic of our brains. The way Praful goes looting the bank and the way American cops seems to tackle the issue is quite childish and amateurish. Baring few really bad dialogues (eg: “Tumhe saans lete dekhna hi ek kamyabi hai” mouthed by Sohum Shah in a park while talking to Kangana), it is quite funny and real lifelike.

Coming to performances, the movie revolves around Kangana and therefore she is in the limelight. She blows your mind with her performance. The way she laughs, cries, emotes only through expressions is something only Kangana can do and it is quite believable. The way Kangana tries to flirt with a guy in a bar is quite hilarious. Also, the way she cries after losing her money in the casino reminds you of her drunken breakdown scene from Queen. There is a scene in the movie where Kangana does not have a dialogue, she just has to lift a champagne glass and toast it with the cityscape of Las Vegas, one can see and feel how she is celebrating the emptiness of her life. The scene where she lifts a stool to hit her father after he slaps her is again a wonderful scene. If Queen was one of her best, then Simran tops it. She is worthy of every award and rewards in the coming season. The director and writer have not given ample space for any supporting characters in the movie and therefore they do not leave a lasting impression.

Music by Sachin-Jigar is average but my favorite is ‘Meet’ and ‘Single Rehne De’. I think the filmmakers did a huge mistake by replacing the editor (Apurva Asrani) with Antara Lahiri as the second half editing is quite drab. The cinematography is good and so is the BGM.

Hansal Mehta is a wonderful director but in Simran’s world is a different ball game for him compared to his regular genre of dark and gritty ones, and it shows. There are a lot of scenes in the movie especially in the second half which could have been directed well especially the bank looting scenes and the car chase scenes. However, you cannot deny the fact that if Kangana does a great job with her acting then Hansal has to be praised for getting it out from her.

On the whole, I felt the screenplay lets the movie down but Kangana’s performance takes the movie to a different level.

My Verdict: ***/5 

10 Best Movies of 2015!

As the year 2015 is coming to an end, it’s time for us to look back and see the best movies of 2015. Statutory Warning: This is my opinion and it might differ from yours therefore please do not crucify me 😉

This year belonged to the letter ‘B’.  Most of the movies which had a title starting with the letter ‘B’ eg: Baby, Badlapur, Bajrangi Bhaijaan, Baahubali, Bajirao Mastani etc. surprisingly not only did well at the Box Office but also garnered critical acclaim. So here we go.

Baby

Baby: One of the first movies to release in 2015 starring Akshay Kumar and Tapsee Pannu was a winner with the masses and the critics. Directed by Neeraj Pandey who had earlier directed A Wednesday and Special 26, this spy action thriller had some breathtaking stunts and edge of the seat moments. This songless movie made at a budget of Rs.58 crores set the ball rolling for Akshay Kumar and earned few crores short of Rs.100 Crores.

Badlapur

Badlapur: This Varun Dhawan revenge drama with some soulful music was released one week after the Valentine’s Day. Badlapur not only gave Sriram his first hit after Ek Haseena Thi, Johnny Gaddar and Agent Vinod but also gave Varun a major image makeover, who has always been associated with candy floss romances in the past. This Sriram Raghavan directed movie had some high power performances from actors like Nawazuddin Siddique, Huma Qureshi, Divya Dutta and Radhika Apte. Made on a budget of Rs.25 Crores, this action crime thriller earned around Rs.77 Crores at the Box Office.

DUMLAGAKE

Dum Laga Ke Haisha: This Ayushmann Khurrana – Bhumi Pednekar romantic comedy from YRF was one of the surprise hits of the year. Set in 1995, the movie tells the story of a loser who gets married to a fat girl against his wishes and how during the course of their marital journey they fall in love with each other. A simple story that not only won big hearts but also big money for the producers. This Sharat Katariya movie made at a budget of Rs.15 Crores (inclusive of Print and Publicity) earned around Rs.45 Crores net at the Box Office.

NH!)

NH10: The shy ‘Taaniji’ from Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi turned producer with this movie and also went out of her comfort zone to do a slasher thriller revolving around her character. The plot inspired from the English movie Eden Lake tells the story of a couple whose road trip goes for a toss after a chance encounter with a group of violent criminals who kill their sister and her lover in the name of honour killing. This Navdeep Singh directed movie garnered a lot of critical acclaim for Sharma and the masses also loved the movie making it a sleeper hit at the Box Office. Made on a budget of Rs.13 Crores, NH10 made Rs.33 Crores at the Box Office.

bahubali4

Baahubali – The Beginning: This is one of the rarest cases in Indian cinema where a dubbed movie made more than Rs.100 Crores at the Box Office. Directed by the hugely talented SS. Rajamouli this epic historical fiction movie is first of the two parts. Starring Prabhas and Rana Daggubatti as two warring brothers fighting for control of an ancient Indian kingdom Maheshmati, this movie was an answer to Hollywood productions such as Game of Thrones and 300. The movie not only broke records within India but also internationally. Made at a budget of Rs.120 Crores the movie made Rs.600 Crores worldwide, breaking all language barriers. The second part Baahubali – The Conclusion is one of the most awaited movies of 2016.

bajrangi-bhaijaan

Bajrangi Bhaijaan: Salman Khan starrers are a huge pull during Eid every year. However, 2015 Eid was special not only for Salman Khan but also to his fans as one of his career best movies released with a thundering response at the Box Office. This emotional drama directed by Kabir Khan tells the story of Pawan (Khan) a simpleton and an ardent devotee of Hanuman who finds a mute Pakistani girl (Harshali) separated from her family during her visit to India. He embarks on a journey to unite the kid with her family back in Pakistan. Also starring Kareena Kapoor and Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Bajrangi Bhaijaan made at a budget of Rs.90 Crores and produced by Salman Khan, garnered around Rs.324 Crores net in India while its worldwide collection was to the tune of Rs.625 Crores.

tanu-manu-poster-759

Tanu Weds Manu Returns: This Kangana Ranaut-Madhavan sequel to 2011’s surprise hit Tanu Weds Manu was one of the much awaited movies of the year. Like its prequel, this Aanand L. Rai musical-romcom high on performances did very well at the Box Office. Kangana Ranaut in her career’s first double role as Dattu and Tanu won the hearts of the viewers apart from giving one of her career-best performances. After last year’s Queen, Kangana proved once again that she is one actor who do not need a Khan, Kapoor or Kumar to give a Box Office hit. Give her a good script and see her transform in front of the camera. Tanu Weds Manu is the only woman oriented movie made in India that has earned over Rs.150 Crores. The total budget of the movie was Rs.15 Crores.

Talvar

Talvar: This Meghana Gulzar movie was based on the 2008 Noida double murder case, in which a teenage girl and her family servant were found murdered, and her parents were convicted for the murders. The movie not only revived the case but also showed the investigation flaws conducted by the Police Department and CBI. The movie starring  Irrfan Khan, Konkona Sen Sharma, Neeraj Kabi and Sohum Shah in leading roles garnered critical as well as box office acclaim. Made at a budget of Rs.15 Crores the movie made almost Rs.30 Crores at the Box Office.

Tamasha

Tamasha: This Ranbir-Deepika movie directed by Imtiaz Ali attracted a lot of debate. Some liked the movie, some hated it while some didn’t understand the story at all. Like all Imtiaz Ali movies this one was also an emotional tale that narrates the story of Ved (Ranbir) who loses his self by living according to the social conventions expected of him unless he is reintroduced to himself by Tara (Deepika). Made at a budget of Rs.60 Crores this movie made Rs.106 Crores worldwide.

BM

Bajirao-Mastani: The long in the making Sanjay Leela Bhansali dream epic released along with Shahrukh-Kajol hyped movie Dilwale. Minus the original cast of Salman-Aishwarya-Rani, this movie will go down in the history of Indian movies as one of the most well made and stylish movies after Mughal-E-Azam. High on performance and critical acclaim, this Ranveer Singh-Deepika-Priyanka movie was the best way to close a year filled with lot of cinematic surprises. Made on a budget of Rs. 120 Crores this movie has already made Rs.128 Crores at the box office and it is still going strong.