SIMRAN IS A TRIBUTE TO KANGANA’S EXCEPTIONAL ACTING SKILLS
Simran is about a flawed, yet confident and independent divorcee who struggles to fight her a way out of her distress and misfortune. Director Hansal Mehta and writer Apurva Asrani find inspiration in a real life story and creates an unusual onscreen story.
A 30-year-old divorcee, Praful Patel lives with her conservative parents in the state of Georgia and leads an ordinary life by working in the housekeeping department of a fancy hotel. Her life changes when she wins her first game at a casino and gets addicted to gambling. From there onwards, the film is a journey of her downward spiral into the murky world of loan sharks and bank robberies.
Kangana Ranaut most definitely steals the show and that comes as no surprise. She brings life to a character which is so twisted, greedy, and definitely not heroic. She also convinces us to find the best in her despite her flaws, which is why the character is lovable and relatable because we are all made up of our own set of flaws. It’s bewildering to see how Kangana betters herself with every performance. Praful, her character, had many shades of grey and every single one of them was acknowledged by Kangana. The film has scenes that are downright perfect and then some that aren’t as much. But in most, Kangana delivers with a finesse that is possessed by very few in the industry. From the moment the screenplay begins, you will fall in love with the dialogues, especially but not only because of the delivery. The cheesy pickup lines, discussion with co-workers, her parents and even her would-be husband all help define Praful’s personality and you get to acknowledge the fact that she knows about her demons.
The director chose the not so popular faces as supporting actors, which again brings the focus back to Kangana. Since the release of the film, there have been talks about the film being an ode to Kangana. But that doesn’t necessarily need to be a bad thing. Hansal Mehta has definitely played to the actress’s strengths and it shows, but it wouldn’t have hurt to have paid a little more attention to the script and sketches of the supporting cast, especially in the second half. One other role, besides Kangana’s, that was absolutely lovable was that of Soham Shah as Sameer—the typical Indian guy who checks all the criteria for the perfect groom in an arranged marriage setup.
The first half of the film is impeccable, with some really good writing by Apurva Asrani. The punchlines, pace, and dialogue delivery just make for a delightful watch. But the film begins to fall apart in the second half, getting slightly predictable and unrealistic. The bad guys are stereotypical and not relatable and after a point you want to stop sympathising with the lead character. The action sequences are another area where the film falls short. The car chase scene was a sure shot downer and a tad bit naive. While the overlapping of multiple genres like comedy, drama, and social commentary have been handled well overall by Mehta, the film begins to drag towards the end and the xenophobia angle makes it messy at quite a few places.
Overall, Simran is an unusual film that manages to find comedy in tragedy in the most humane way possible. We would definitely improve upon certain aspects if we could, but it is definitely worth a watch this weekend. And we promise you’ll walk out with a smile on your face. For me, it’s a 3/5.