|Picture courtesy: Wikipedia
*** Contains some spoilers ***
Any movie that goes by the name Revolver Rani has to be worth a watch. I was completely clueless about the director Sai Kabir (who has directed a solitary movie last year with a rather interesting name: Chemistry).
Anyway, this is not about Chemistry. This is about Revolver Rani, which stars Kangna Ranaut, and boasts of the tagline "ab mard ko dard hoga".
All that made Revolver Rani an unusually tempting package. I had to watch the movie.
So off I went and purchased a solitary ticket from the counter; there was still some time, so I had a small detour of Big Bazaar; then I entered the theatre; and was blown away.
Since I have not seen Chemistry I may not be the authority on this, but seldom has a person since Anurag Kashyap impressed me as much with his script. Not only were the lines (one-liners included) brilliant, but they were also perfectly timed. Just as in Gulaal and Gangs of Wasseypur, humour and violence went hand-in-hand, inseparable from each other in a fashion that can even pass as Tarantinoesque.
Only that it was not Tarantino, but you can think of a young, inexperienced Tarantino working in Chambal with Kangana Ranaut. The very thought is surreal and bizarre, but that's the kind of movie Revolver Rani is.
The title suggests it's pulp; well, maybe, since it has been ages since I have heard hoots and wolf-whistles inside a multiplex; people laughed, screamed, applauded, went berserk at the antics, the lines, and the excellent comic timing.
But Revolver Rani is not a comedy at heart.
There are moments where the movie slaps you real hard; it moves seamlessly between the ridiculous and the gruesome, between fem-dom and fear, between vintage pulp and Titanic, between revolvers and Michael Jackson, between sting operations and outrageous Turkish costumes, between milk-baths and bulletproof brassieres, between circumcision and Taj Mahal.
Piyush Mishra and Zakir Hussain, both in their comfort zones, have impressed, and Vir Das has probably outdone his substandard acting self.
Yes, it's incredible. At the same time, it strikes a cord somewhere as well. And Shaheen Iqbal and Puneet Sharma's lyrics are outstanding — once again reminiscent of Gulaal — as is the absorbing background score. For me, Revolver Rani is the finest Bollywood mainstream movie of the year till date.
A few cons
Ranaut, to her credit, puts in a career-best performance, which, sadly, is far from what a movie and a script of this quality demanded. Despite the success of Queen, she remains a below-par actress, and has failed to carry the movie on her shoulders as well. Revolver Rani does not work because of Ranaut: it works despite her.
It was not that she had not tried her level-best; it was just that she was not good enough.
The role should have perhaps gone to Parineeti Chopra (no, not even Huma Qureshi), the finest mainstream Bollywood actress since Vidya Balan: of the current crop, she is probably the only one who could have done justice to the script, given that Balan (who was probably born at 35) would have been too old for the role.
They could have cut down on the romantic scenes between Alka (Ranaut) and Rohan (Vir Das); the songs could easily have been picturised better (the way they had done in Gulaal); and Aarti Bajaj's editing could have been tighter.
Do watch Revolver Rani; watch it to see how stereotypes can be broken; watch it to see how an utterly predictable plot-line can be carried out to perfection thanks to a brilliantly executed climax; watch it for Alka's costumes; watch it for that coital session that shows the bullet-marks on Alka's bare back; watch it for Zakir Hussain telling Piyush Mishra "aap to Bollywood mein writer banoge" (or something on those lines); watch it for some of the most outrageous moments in the history of the industry.
Geeta Rao had evoked desire; Bidya Bagchi, awe; but Revolver Rani is someone you fall in love with. Watch the movie to fall in love with the character.
Do watch it for the sheer joy of watching an excellent movie. Do watch it for Rani, if not for anything else. It's a woman's movie every man will fall in love with.
Where do I get a copy of Chemistry?