If ever there was a female-centric film, Kangana brings it to life in ‘Simran’. A collaboration between a National award-winning director and a National award-winning actress is bound to create more than just a flutter. Well, it does – till you realise that the writing could have had more credibility than it does.
A 30-year-old divorced Gujarati immigrant working as a housekeeper in a 5-star hotel in Atlanta with tendencies to gamble and drink, getting her fix (greenbacks) as long as the means justify the end to augment her income, would make for a splendid characterisation. Add to that having to live with a docile mother, an overbearing father (Hiten Kumar) and with Kangana essaying the protagonist’s role of Praful Patel, director Hansal Mehta had it in him to make one of the most exhilarating films in recent times.
Praful, eager to shift out and live on her own terms, has her eyes set on a house in a minority locality. The only hitch – a bout of gaming in Las Vegas while visiting her cousin depletes her bank balance. Loan sharks help her out by lending her 32000 dollars which too she manages to ‘donate’ to the casino. From thereon Apurva Asrani’s writing is faintly reminiscent of the 2014 real-life incident in US, where Sandeep Kaur, a 24-year-old NRI nurse robbed banks in three states in five weeks, and was dubbed the Bombshell Bandit.
Here, the Lipstick Bandit (Praful) proffers her lipstick-smeared message to the banks’ cashiers, asking them to pay up or else. Even the supporting cast chip in well. Hiten Kumar as the father with the ‘gaathiya-faafda’ store and Praful’s parents’ choice for the daughter – the introverted Sameer (Sohum Shah) deliver standout performances. While none of the songs has any recall value, the background music is unobtrusive and pleasant on the ears.
With her unaffected Gujarati accent a welcome contrast to a certain actress’s laboured Gujju accent six weeks ago, Simran would have been a near masterpiece – if only one could ignore the flaws in the script. For one, the bank robberies resemble a high-school kid snatching candy from a toddler; or a meagre 10-month sentence for a half-dozen bank heists! Even then, Kangana delivers an unfettered, no-holds barred, first rate performance! Watch Simran for KR.