Starring – Kangana Ranaut, Sohum Shah, Aneesha Joshi
- Directed by – Hansal Mehta
- Produced by – Bhushan Kumar, Krishan Kumar, Shailesh R Singh, Amit Agarwal
- Written by – Apurva Asrani
- Cinematography – Anuj Rakesh Dhawan
- Edited by – Antara Lahiri
- Production House – T-Series, Paramhans Creations Entertainments, Adarsh Telemedia
- Duration – 2 hours 4 minutes
Raking up a controversy just ahead of a film release is now cliché. In all fairness, Kangana Ranaut has been in the news (read gossip columns) for a long time now but her recent interviews have kept the spotlight firmly on her right ahead of Simran’s release. Will this help the film’s box office collections? Read on…
Simran is the story of an NRI family living in Atlanta (Georgia) but is certainly not the typical rags-to-riches story. In fact it is the story of 30 year old Praful Paatel (Kangana Ranaut) a divorcee and a struggling housekeeper at a high end hotel who lives at home with her hyper critical parents. If this bit reminds you of Maid in Manhattan, the similarities end here. Praful’s dream is to own a mall apartment but the mortgage doesn’t come through. To top it off she makes a few bad decisions and ends up blowing all her savings at a casino table in Las Vegas. To top it off she ends up in the debt of a loan shark who starts to make life miserable for her. To repay the debt, a desperate Simran ends up robbing banks. The rest of the story brings a resolution to the dilemma she faces and the choices she makes. In the background is also the hope of a robust romance.
Simran’s story is believed to have been inspired by the life of Sandeep Kaur who was convicted of bank robberies in the US.
Simran Movie Review –
Simran is premised on the fact that Kangana can act. And that she can. In fact, Kangana comes across as the undisputed Queen (pun intended) of Bollywood. The lightness, the recklessness, the desperation of Praful comes through effortlessly in Ranaut’s performance. The supporting actors and actresses in Simran (Praful’s parents and fiancé) too play their parts to perfection.
The greatest letdown, however, is the plot itself. The film is patchy and there are gaping holes in the credibility of the storyline. Running up huge gambling debts may be understandable but the rather childish bank robberies (yes, plural) seem highly unlikely. And the plausibility of each one of them coming through without a hitch, without the police getting involved – all this leaves us either bored or feeling foolish. The climax is rather flat and the end disappointing.
This is also a direct critique of Hansal Mehta. The director seems to have remained confused if he wanted his film to be a light, airy comedy or a serious but short story of conflicted desis settled abroad.
The editing is shoddy but Anuj Dhawan seems to have captured the beauty of Atlanta and Las Vegas quite well.
Music Review –
While the plot and (sadly) even the direction of Simran leave much to be desired, Sachin Sanghvi and Jigar Saraiya, the composers, do not fail to entertain us. It is perhaps their very expertise in dishing out Gujarati fare that is their greatest advantage. The songs of Simran are peppy and thoroughly enjoyable but at no point do they overpower the screenplay. The mandatory NRI wedding song, Lagdi Hai Thaai (sung by Guru Randhawa and Jonita Gandhi) is the most enjoyable despite the obvious tension (in the plot) that immediately follows it. Other songs that stand out are Baras Ja (sung by Mohit Chauhan), Pinjra Tod Ke (sung by Sunidhi Chauhan), and Meet (sung by Arijit Singh). All the songs in the album have been penned by either Priya Saraiya or by Vayu. A fun album altogether.
What’s Good, What’s Bad?
Kangana is amazing, the music is great, the cinematography good, the editing poor, the direction dismal, and the plot is outright laughable. And that is the long and short of Simran.
Our Verdict –
Controversy or not, there is no denying the fact that Kangana Ranaut is an exceptionally talented actress. And despite her attempts to carry off the entire film, Simran is a rather average flick. A one-time watch at best. If you have better plans for the weekend, go right ahead but if you’re bitten by the Bollywood bug, do drop in at a nearby screen but don’t set your expectations too high.
Rating – 2 ½ *