MUMBAI: The title of the film, Revolver Rani, sounds like Hunterwali and various others mid 20th century woman-oriented films. These films commanded their own audience; a class of moviegoers who remained loyal to the brand. Some makers like to find such local subjects which either fail to find buyers or, when they do, don’t work with the audience at all. Despite a couple of woman dacoit films like Putlibai and Bandit Queen, Revolver Rani seems quite outlandish as the story of a woman bahubali from the dacoit belt of Chambal.
Kangana Ranaut has just lost an election to a creepy politician, Zakir Hussain, who had lost to her in an earlier election. Zakir, it seems, got a bribe to the tune of 200 crore from a mining giant to get them a concession on a mining belt. Wonder which corporate would invest that kind of money in a loser politician expecting him to win because they gave him 200 crore. But this is nothing compared to what follows.
The film is actually about the plight of a woman who has never had anything work in her favour. She is unattractive to start with. She sees her mother being raped by the very man who killed her father. One day she empties all six bullets into him. After that, she is taken away by her mama, Piyush Mishra, with ambitions to turn her into a terror in his area and make her a political heavyweight. Her marriage has also been disaster with her husband branding her as a banjh and torturing her and also ending up with bullets with Kangna emptying an entire magazine in his body.
Piyush is a master manipulator and uses Kangna’s angst for her political rise. Her opponent, Zakir, as well as the local police are equally scared of her. She is the gun-wielding terror though it is another matter that when she and her rivals shower each other with bullets, no bullet hits anybody! While their battles continue, Kangna finds or she thinks she has found true love she always craved for in a small time actor, Vir Das. Vir actually has a girlfriend waiting in Mumbai but he decides to exploit Kangna’s weakness and talk her into financing his films. Since Kangna really loves him and is overtly possessive about him, Vir is now trapped. He is virtually a prisoner not allowed to step out without her.
Producers: Raju Chadha, Nitin Tej Ahuja, Rahul Mittra.
Director: Sai Kabir.
Cast: Kangna Ranaut, Piyush Mishra, Zakir Hussain, Vir Das.
Piyush, meanwhile, does a sting on Zakir through a TV journalist making him confess to accepting 200 crore. He loses his ministry. In the by-election, Kangna is sure to win. The enmity is now at its peak and ways are being sought to eliminate her. That is when Kangna finds out that she is pregnant. She was not a banjh after all. The woman in her comes alive and she wants to keep the child and marry Vir, collect all the party funds and move to Venice with Vir. While Vir wants nothing to do with this idea, mama Piyush sees all his plans going awry. Both Vir and Piyush, now turn into Kangna’s enemies and are ready to join her enemies and betray her.
Kangna is ambushed at a night halt by an army of her enemies. She fights, killing many and heavily injured herself is given up for dead. But, she has survived and threatening you with a sequel!
But before a sequel, the makers could at least have made the first version a bit tolerable. The film is shoddily written; it wavers from one thing to another and, let alone convincing episodes, they are not even plausible. If this kind of politics and political rivalries still exist in parts of India, what about the audience in general finding identification with them? If the script is bad, direction is pointless. The film has a couple of good songs, including one from Asha Bhosle, but they don’t fit in the scenario. Neither the film nor Kangna’s plight touch you. Why has the director gone out of his way to make Kangna look unattractive? As for performances, Kangna excels despite her character offering little variation. Piyush is impressive with fair support coming from Zakir. Vir refuses to change his expressions.
Revolver Rani was expected to cash in on the recent Kangna hit, Queen. But it is a letdown on that count and otherwise too.
Samrat & Co... Bankrupt
A detective thriller is still a genre the big screen can share with small one even as many genres are now monopolised by the television. A decent Hindi detective whodunit has not been seen in a long time on the screen and the idea is sound enough to try one. Kavita K Barjatya of the Rajshri banner attempts one here. The inspiration comes from various original sources such as Sherlock Holmes, Agatha Christie novels and even Satyajit Ray’s famous Bengali character, Feluda, among others. The film pays homage to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and his best known character, Holmes. Since the sources are from past, so is the story of Samrat & Co.
Producer: Kavita K Barjatya.
Director: Kaushik Ghatak.
Cast: Rajeev Khandelwal, Madalsa Sharma, Gopal Datt, Girish Karnad, Priyanshu Chatterjee.
Rajeev Khandelwal plays a private investigator that has been called in by Madalsa Sharma, daughter of a rich patriarch from Shimla, Girish Karnad, to check on a series of mysterious events taking place at his mansion. The lush green garden in the mansion is going dry, her father’s horse dies and Karnad himself suffers from indifferent health and dies soon as Rajeev arrives on the scene.
It is a typical old-fashioned investigation as read and seen in various books and films earlier. Rajeev talks to himself as he works on various clues and red herrings. As Madalsa visits Rajeev to seek his help, he decides to impress her by telling things about her observed from her presence. Not all his explanations are convincing. He says she has had an eye correction surgery to get rid of her spectacles because she is still in the habit of adjusting her nonexistent specs but it could easily have been her migration to use of contact lenses. Much more is in the offing on this account as the film proceeds.
The film neither has anything new to offer nor does it present the old story in a manner worth watching. The writing is poor and so is the direction. The film lacks finesse having been made on a small budget. While Rajeev is a misfit for the role and his fuzzy hair look not going well either, Madalsa is around only to fantasise about romancing Rajeev.
Samrat & Co has had a poor opening with ‘No audience, No show’ tags at many halls.