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Average film, reigning queen

26th Apr 2014

Revolver Rani

Director: Sai Kabir

Starring: Kangana Ranaut, Vir Das and Rahul Gandhi

After an outstanding performance in Vikas Bahl's Queen, Kangana Ranaut is back in action. In Sai Kabir Shrivastav's Revolver Rani, she moves far away from the lost, broken-hearted girl of her last film and settles comfortably into the character of a gun-wielding leader of a political party in the dusty Chambal valley.

She's just lost the elections to the Tomar party, who have been waiting to come to power and take her out; they just need to figure out how.

Chudail, rascal, saali ki aisi ki taisi, she hasn't paused to think twice about feeding bullets to her friends and enemies alike, and doesn't seem at all stoppable now. But this fierce lunatic has a weakness — Cham Cham (aka Rohan Mehra, played by Vir Das). A cutie with big Bollywood dreams, Rohan is Alka's pride, joy and perpetually-bewildered boy toy. She's been obsessed with him since they first met at a local pageant where he was a model, and she the judge. After lots of disturbing sex and awkward nicknames (he calls her Coco, short for Coconut, because she's hard on the outside, tender within), he heads off to Mumbai to get his acting career going, and she promises to produce his films.

It's the only way to really get to her (this film is about love first, politics later), so the Tomars kidnap Rohan and bring him back to Gwalior to kill him. But they didn't expect our desi Uma Thurman to be waiting to save the day. Je baat!

Thereafter, Cham Cham is pretty much at Coco's mercy, and walks around looking so resolutely helpless (which he is) that he might as well have had a giant #FML tattooed onto his forehead. Gun to his head, he has sit tight till she deems it safe for him to return to Mumbai to start his next film (and to a waiting girlfriend he's petrified of Alka finding out about).

Sai Kabir must be a fan of those deeply disturbing Korean films and Spaghetti Westerns, because Revolver Rani is big on blood and bullets, and a girl with a gun out for revenge. The influence of these genres is both the film's strength and the reason for it to not be able to rise to the next level. Without getting into spoilers, Revolver Rani is visually engaging and some of the dialogues will have you laughing out loud. But somewhere down the middle, between blood and corpses, it loses its focus, and its edge. Still, thanks to her strong performance, which has you entirely convinced that she's totally unhinged, Ranaut remains unscathed in an otherwise average film, and manages to emerge all guns blazing.

-Ravina Rawal

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