QUEEN opens up with a quintessential small-town Sangeet scene. A full-bodied “London Thumakda” breaks out in full Punjabi gusto and aunties are dancing with abandon, uncles are grumbling over wedding arrangements and a mother looks on with a teary-eyed smile as her about-to-be-hitched daughter, Rani Mehra (Kangana Ranaut) (fondly titled Queen by her prat of a fiancé, Vijay) dances with stars in her eyes. This scene sets the pace for the movie.
The situation promptly unravels as simpleton Queen learns that her much-adored fiancé is not interested in marrying her after all. And he breaks this *news-flash* one day before the wedding. Shell-shocked Queen is a mental mess. But she’s also wondering about that longed- for European honeymoon. So, rather than being pitied and molly-coddled by her family, she decides to go on a honeymoon. Alone.
And thus begins Queen’s journey of self-discovery. With a promiscuous but golden-hearted girl, a rather hot Italian restaurateur, the friendship of three endearing blokes and a series of culture shocks…Queen is literally on the trip of a lifetime.
I love a good ‘small-town girl- (preferably the bodacious Punjabi kudi)-conquers-the-world' story that is handled with heart and loads of laughs. And QUEEN is just that. While Queen's journey is reminiscent of Shashi's sojourn in English Vinglish, the minute Queen disembarks AirFrance, she carves her own trail. Queen is a Halwai’s fresh-faced daughter who is quite content with the fact that she will soon settle down to a life of marital bliss with Vijay Dhingra. But what happens when Mr.Dhingra decides that Queen doesn’t match up to his newly acquired “foreign-returned” status?
As Queen defiantly heads off on her singleton honeymoon, she first encounters the scarily sexy Vijayalaxmi (Sultry Lisa Haydon, she of the killer-legs-to-armpits school of modelesque wild-childs).
As she bonds with Vijayalaxmi who insists that Queen calls her Vijay (which is quite a Rachel Greenesque kick-you-in-the-crotch, spit-on-your-neck-fantastic coincidence), the former discovers the liberating bond of non-judgmental friendship.
And then, bolstered by Vijayalaxmi’s confidence, she proceeds to Amsterdam and learns that she is sharing a hostel room with three men of differing nationalities. Panic-attacks-galore. But soon, Queen begins yet another memorable friendship tour.
As the three blokes support, rib and banter with Queen….the sheltered Queen discovers that life isn’t as cut and dried as it was meant to be. Throw in a volatile yet sexy Italian and you have a glorious melting pot of cultures, laughs, high-octane-fun and the forging of lifelong bonds.
(P.S. I fell completely and utterly in love with the Russian roommate, Olik. And yes, I googled the hell outta him. He was utterly. And also completely…)
And one more screencap of Mish Boyko (yes, that’s his name) just.for.me:
QUEEN was a wonderful film to watch on Women’s Day. And especially so with a woman who is an endearing, kind and witty friend. The film is a beautiful blend of spot-on -dialogue, Indianisms that make us cringe and yet, happily associate with, perfectly restrained acting on Kangana’s part and a setting that is a beautiful blend of Paris’ sunlit charms and Amsterdam’s sensuous (bordering on sleazy) temptations.
I want to watch this movie with the rest of my lady-friends, with my mum, with the female members of my extended family and with an unrealistic twist of mind, with every high-on-guts and higher-on-self-doubt lady that I have met in my life.
VERDICT: I have never been a huge Kangana Ranaut fan. But this role defies even the most anti-Kangana souls to not fall utterly and completely in love with her portrayal of a girl who can conquer it all.
Beautiful, heartwhole and rather charming.
A twinkle in her eye.
A bounce in her step.
A pile of cherished books.
Ten different red lippies.
A full wardrobe.
And nothing to wear.
Her heart on her sleeve.
Her feelings locked up.
A form fitting dress.
A ragged and trusty pair o’jeans.
Feminist. Trail Blazer. Earth Mother. Warrior Goddess. Homemaker. Writer. Creator. Dreamer.
Oh, so SO much.
And all perfectly packaged in a body that she’s constantly at war with.
Being a woman is exhausting. And so damn rewarding.
This WOMEN’S DAY, let’s stop worrying about that stubborn weight that loves us so and the dimples in our thighs and the wobble in our behinds.
Let’s dwell on the swish of our dark tresses and the indents in our waists and the languid sway of our hips.
This WOMEN’S DAY,
Let’s. Just. Be.
I will always love THOR for this.
(Image Source : Pinterest.com)
Or even Benedict Cumberbatch for that matter.
(Image Source : Pinterest.com)
High School Cliques.
And the sheer, mind-numbing despair of getting through each school day with our own personal crosses to bear.
These are themes that have been done to death and lapped up by viewers at regular intervals. I may be way beyond the age of truly empathizing with these themes but that is not to say that I don’t love revisiting them. And even more so when they come packaged in the perennially entertaining and quietly thought-provoking *THE BREAKFAST CLUB*
The film begins with this:
and the screen shatters to introduce us to the characters.
Five students belonging to five different cliques : BRIAN,The Brain - ANDY,The Athlete - ALLISON,The Basketcase - CLAIRE,The Princess and BENDER,The Criminal have to spend an entire Saturday together in detention. Under the watchful (also bullyish and sometimes, condescending) eye of Assistant Principal, Vernon…the five unlikely schoolmates have been ordered to not speak, not move from their seats, not sleep and finally, write a 1,000 word essay on who each of them thinks they really are.
After an initial bit of snobbery, nasty barbs, mean digs, shy attempts at forging conversations and general discontentment…the Brat Pack discovers facets of each other’s personalities and realizes that stereotypes can crumble in an instant.
Watching the movie as a teenager and watching it as an adult provides startlingly opposing perceptions. Back then, I thought Bender was the snarkiest, coolest thing to hit the high-school circuit. I adored his bad -a** attitude and his ability to flip the bird in style.
But today, I don’t love Bender so much. To which, I am sure that he would go:
Sure, he still makes the heart go *boppity-boomp* with that almost-smile:
But today, I love the characters of Allison and Brian more.
Allison. Sullen Allison who hid under her shaggy, unkempt hair was a true delight. Especially so when she stuck her chin out at a mulish angle at regular intervals.
The bit where she shakes her head and creates snowy dandruff for her artwork (while undeniably gross) was pure genius. Her penetrating teary-eyed stare, her “reason” for being in detention and her fresh-faced beauty at the end made Ally an utterly lovable character.
She had the most heart-wrenching lines:
and was uncomfortably spot-on in her observations :
Oh, and can we please, PLEASE not forget her impeccable Allison dance moves:
Coming to Brian,
Sweet, blustering nerdy Brian. Whether he’s uncomfortably adjusting his hormonal pants, tripping his words over his braces, giving birth to 80s SWAG when he lights up a joint and works that baby-I-am-high-as-a-frikkin’-kite look or being silently hurt with a tear running down his cheek or telling off Claire for being up herself….he is stinkin’ adorable.
Andrew, the (seemingly) quintessential jock. I loved his introspective moment. And I will always love him for the way he looks at Ally. BEFORE her makeover.
To quote Mia Thermapolis, “he saw her when she was invisible”. Eat your heart out, Michael Moscovitz.
Claire is pretty. Quite predictable. And rather popular. And she knows it.
But we like her because she is hurting inside and is basically decent. So hurray for Claire and her supercute outfit and her mincing dance steps.
Coming back to Bender, let’s face it….he had some epic lines :
When he did this:
When he turned up the snark:
When he put our feelings for Sushi into words :
When he bestowed his philosophy on unsuspecting souls:
We will always remember that legendary (or contrived? who cares!) fist bump:
So yes, Bender…we couldn’t if we tried.
Reverting to general wow elements, I loved any moment when the five were just hanging/ dancing/ monkeying around.
High-School shenanigans at it’s nostalgic best.
And neatly tying up a simple tale was Brian’s (not 1,000 words composition) letter to Vernon:
Perfect. Just oh-so-perfect.
I will always love this movie. I will watch in when I’m 40. And 50, And even in my hopefully swingin’ 60s.
I will watch it again and again. And again.
Not for it’s cult status.
But for it’s smarts. And sass. And undeniable heart.
(IMAGE SOURCE : Imgur.com)
John Watson. My friend, John Watson. John. When John first broached the subject of being best man, I was confused. I confess at first I didn’t realize he was asking me. When finally I understood, I expressed to him that I was both flattered and surprised. I explained to him that I never expected this request and I was a little daunted in the face of it. I know that it’s promised that I would do my very best to accomplish a task that was, for me, as demanding and difficult as any I’d ever contemplated. Additionally, I thanked him for the trust he placed in me and indicated that I was, in some ways, very close to being moved by it. It later transpired that I said none of this out loud. I’m afraid, John, I can’t congratulate you. All emotions, in particular love, stand opposed to the pure cold reason I hold above all things. A wedding is, in my considered opinion, nothing short of a celebration of all that is false and specious and irrational and sentimental in this ailing and morally compromised world. Today we honour the death watch beetle that is the doom of our society and in time, one feels certain, our entire species. But anyway, let’s talk about John. If I burden myself with a little help mate during my adventures, this is not out of sentiment or caprice. It is that he has many fine qualities of his own that he has overlooked in his obsession with me. Indeed, any reputation I have for mental acuity and sharpness comes, in truth, from the extraordinary contrast John so selflessly provides. It is a fact, I believe, that brides tend to favour exceptionally plain bridesmaids for their big day. There is a certain analogy there, I feel, and contrast is, after all, God’s own plan to enhance the beauty of his creation. Or it would be, if God were not a ludicrous fantasy designed to provide a career opportunity for the family idiot. The point I’m trying to make is that I am the most unpleasant, rude, ignorant, and all around obnoxious arsehole that anyone could possibly have the misfortune to meet. I am dismissive of the virtuous, unaware of the beautiful, and uncomprehending in the face of the happy. So if I didn’t understand I was being asked to be best man, it is because I never expected to be anybody’s best friend, and certainly not the best friend of the bravest and kindest and wisest human being I have ever had the good fortune of knowing. John, I am a ridiculous man, redeemed only by the warmth and constancy of your friendship. But as I am apparently your best friend, I can not congratulate you on your choice of companion. Actually, now I can. Mary, when I say you deserve this man, it is the highest compliment of which I am capable. John, you have endured war, and injury, and tragic loss. So sorry again about that last one. So know this. Today, you sit between the woman you have made your wife and the man you have saved. In short, the two people who love you most in all this world. And I know I speak for Mary as well when I say we will never let you down, and we have a lifetime ahead to prove that.