Walking its own non-flashy path to storytelling, Queen is a rare 'finding your feet' movie. It doesn't go for the melodramatic, but instead casts a sensitive light over an Indian woman's journey through heartbreak, loneliness, catharsis, travel, friends, new experiences and finally, transformation.
Rani (Kangana Ranaut, excellent) is a Home Science student who is all set to get married to her boyfriend. Only, Vijay (Rajkummar Rao, impressive bit part) informs her abruptly on his disinterest; how he has changed and Rani has not. Heartbroken and distraught, Rani informs her family that she still intends to go on her honeymoon to Paris and Amsterdam, alone. Unaffected, subtle, life-mirroring moments follow as Rani meets the alluring, sprightly hotel maid Vijayalakshmi (Lisa Haydon, great casting), and a bevy of males with whom she has to share rooms with.
Bumping into pole dancers, walking dazed through sex shops, unwittingly unaware of dildos, Rani's endearing quality is her down but not out spirit, even as she fumbles through life and at the end of it finds assured ground. Amit Trivedi's music fits in to the scenario, understated and uplifting, without reminding us of a similar themed English Vinglish (2012).
But what a movie, it took me by surprise by the quiet way director Vikas Bahl goes about establishing atmosphere and characters. Queen has a liking to a slender, crafty travel novella of self-discovery. I can't wait to rediscover this one in DVD, though 70mm is your best bet.
A woman can't just escape the Eiffel Tower. Rani contorts her mouth to various shapes in heart-stopping readiness to her first kiss.