Skip to main content

'Queen' Of Hearts

I don't generally review movies that I watch regardless of whether I like them or not. For one thing I'm too lazy and reviewing a bad movie seems like such a waste of time. But I've seen some good Hindi movies lately and one in particular got me excited enough to write this post.

I've always wondered why certain films are under-appreciated by Indian audiences. Most of the really good movies I've seen were usually made on a shoestring budget but well made for all that. On the other hand, most big budget films with 'name brand' heroes leave me feeling cold. The story is uninspired and usually misogynistic, ageist, and practically every other kind of -ist there is. The acting itself is usually average or even if it is good, it's fighting a losing battle with the script. Yet for all that, they do well at the box office. *shrugs*

Movies like the recently released Queen are the exact opposite. The script is realistic and original. People don't spontaneously burst into song and dance, neither does a hero swoop in to save the girl from being mugged. The acting is superb, you forget that the person on screen is Kangana Ranaut. She is just Rani Mehra or Queen, a Delhi girl from a conservative family. Every aspect of the film from costumes & makeup to music & cinematography is a treat.

There are so many positives about the film but the storytelling deserves special accolades. I love the fact that the girl jilted at the altar doesn't go running to Europe to 'bring her hero back'. A sheltered existence she might have led until now but that doesn't stop her from stepping out into the world. And on her own terms too. Most other movies would have the girl bump into a handsome Indian somewhere in Paris who'd help her out and with whom she'd inevitably fall in love.

Not our Queen. No, this girl is more real than that. She is determined to do it alone although she does make friends along the way. Real friends, not just 'lover-in-waiting' type guys. From Paris to Amsterdam, we can see how she gains confidence in herself. Again, other movies might have shown the demure Rani changing into a boisterous Vijaylaxmi overnight. But Kangana's Rani doesn't completely alter her personality even though she matures and learns a lot about herself and the world on her solo honeymoon trip.

She doesn't shy away from new experiences either. She shows off her cooking skills in a showdown at the wharf and even kisses a man she has a crush on. And more importantly, she doesn't fall in love with him! The movie isn't about her finding a soul mate but about finding herself. The final scene where she hands her engagement ring back to the ex-fiance is priceless. Generally, the only reason Hindi film heroines can reject a man is because he is evil or because she is actually in love with the real hero. But Rani rejects Vijay Dhingra not because she loves someone else or he is a 'bad guy' but because he is no longer the guy for her.

Just because I don't like the average Bollywood film doesn't mean I only watch so called 'art' movies. I merely dislike the prevalent trend of muscly heroes stalking and bullying mini-skirted heroines into falling for them and all the 101 variations on that theme! I'm not sure that 'Queen' even passes the Bechdel test but it is still a refreshing change of pace. It's a movie with a woman as the leading character but she isn't a victim of anything or anyone. How about that?


  1. I totally agree with you Shilpa. We need more films like 'Queen', 'Ankhon Dekhi' and 'Lunchbox'. Let's hope that change sweeps our film industry soon.


    1. Definitely. I absolutely loved Udaan & Kahaani too. I feel sad that such movies don't become blockbusters. Instead we get crap like Chennai Express, I guess these are the Bollywood equivalents of superhero movies! No plot or originality but still people will pay to watch them.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Book Review: Tropical Wonderland

Wow, it's been a long time since we had a post around here! I do apologize for the long gap but the job search is taking up quite a bit of my time. The rest of it is filled with frustration at not finding one, so yeah. This means while I have all the time in the world for coloring, I'm too anxious or depressed to pick up my pencils sometimes. And I don't quite have the energy to blog about it. Anyway onto today's book review.

Book - Tropical Wonderland
Author - Millie Marotta
Artists like Johanna Basford and Hanna Karlzon have special editions of their popular books. These books have better paper – often card stock, are printed on one side and can be removed from the book for putting up on your walls. My only issue with these books is that they have only a handful of pages from the original book.

Millie Marotta's deluxe editions are very different. So far there have been three deluxe editions of her early books and they are exquisite. They are printed on …

Selecting Colors

Last week we talked about color harmonies and I promised to show you a couple of tools that I use regularly for coloring. Even knowing about the color harmonies doesn't mean it's easy to pick out colors for a page. Given the many colors in our pencils and pens, it's not hard to get stuck before you even begin. 

For all those times when you are starting a page and don't quite know which colors to pick, you need inspiration. You can get inspiration by just looking around your home or out the window.  Open your closet and  look at your clothes, see a pattern that you like? Use the same colors on your page.  You can also check out photos on the internet to get some ideas about color palettes and combinations. 

Still having trouble? Check out my 2 favorite tools below and see if you like those instead.

Palette Inspiration
There's one particular website that I absolutely love for color inspiration and that's Design Seeds.  This website has a veritable feast of palettes g…

The Theory Of Color

My favorite thing about coloring is that it takes away much of the stress of drawing. I've seen disparaging remarks by people against colorists, mostly in the vein of 'just learn to draw already!' But I think that they are kind of missing the point. I know I can get better at drawing if I practice everyday. But being a full-time student with a couple of part-time jobs doesn't leave me much time for creative pursuits. Why shouldn't I enjoy playing with color just because I can't draw well?

Once I jumped into the world of coloring, I faced the biggest question for a newbie colorist - how do I pick colors for something? I loved looking at the finished pictures posted online by advanced colorists and even actual artists. I wanted to be able to create something like that! I started learning some basics about colors and how they work to get better at coloring my books.

So if you have ever wondered about color combinations or why some colors tend to look better toget…