Kangana Ranaut has been making headlines for the past few weeks now. Information from her personal life and controversial past gave us some juicy gossip, and her film Simran, where she plays the titular role aka Praful Patel, promises an equally exciting and interesting character. The comedy-drama, directed by Hansal Mehta, and written by Apurva Asrani and Kangana Ranaut, shows the actress as a divorced, Gujarati woman, working as a housekeeper at a hotel in Atlanta, US.

Though impressive, the trailers reminded us of her coming of age, free spirited Rani in Queen (2014). Comparisons are evident. Is Kangana Ranaut able to give us something new to rave about or does her Simran end up being a Queen part 2? Read my review…

What’s It About?

Simran tells the story of Praful Patel, a 30-year-old divorcee, who works at a hotel in the housekeeping department. While her mother doesn’t think much of her work profile, Praful, or Praf as she likes to be called, is extremely proud of what she does and has been saving moolah to buy her own house in the city. Her idea of becoming more independent by moving out of her father’s house does not have her father’s approval. He feels her doing so, given her divorcee status, will only bring a bad name to the family. That said, he feels she is a burden on him and wants her to consider a remarriage. But the once bitten, twice shy Praful’s resolve to buy her own house and not rely on a man (be it her father or a husband) ever only gets stronger with each gibe that her father throws her way. A chance visit to Las Vegas, along with her cousin Amber, introduces Praful to the world of casinos. A few lucky strikes later, she finds the temptation to play further hard to ignore.

She runs out of luck and money and loses all that she had saved up for her dream house. In a fit of greed, frustration, under the influence of alcohol, she ends up taking a loan from a private money lender and loses that as well. Trouble looms large and it’s either a payback with money or life! But not all is lost. Praful comes across an easy way to get the money and rid her life of all the troubles. For that, she has to turn into Simran, the lipstick bandit, who loots banks. Will this be an end to her struggles or will this create more havoc in her personal life?

What’s Hot?

Honestly, this is not something we haven’t seen Kangana Ranaut do earlier! She has played a small town, simple yet bold, decently educated girl in Queen, Tanu Weds Manu and Tanu Weds Manu Again. And yet, she brings a freshness to a ‘been there, done that character’ with her brilliant performance. She pretty much holds the entire film on her solo shoulders and does a decent job. Also, she gets the Gujju accent on point, without going OTT or stereotyping Gujarati girls a la Anushka Sharma’s Sejal in Jab Harry Met Sejal. Her flawless performance covers up for the flaws in the story and her endearing antics makes up for the weakly sketched character that she plays. As Praful Patel, she epitomizes the good, bad and ugly of life of a single Indian woman. Much like her real life right now, Kangana plays a character that is unapologetic about her choices, extremely proud of what she has made of herself, head strong, and who hasn’t lost ambition despite all odds up against her.

What’s Not?

Kangana Ranaut’s Praful Patel act in the film is a bold, brave woman, who doesn’t shy away from expressing herself. She doesn’t get jitters while taking some life changing decisions on her own or when she is making the first move. She doesn’t fear rejection from the opposite sex and that comes from a space of self-respect, self-love and confidence. But when this same Praful Patel takes on the role of Simran, who loots banks to get out of a messy situation, she is shown to do that in the dumbest way possible. She plots, prepares and schemes! I wish she did that in a smarter way, to make the story more close to reality and convincing. Here she was robbing one bank after the other, sans any strategy and without doing much about her appearance and still managed to not get caught. While Praful Patel shines, it is the way the character Simran is written that fails Kangana.

What To Do?
Unmissable for Kangana Ranaut fans! The actress once again has chosen a quirky, bold role, and done justice to it.

Verdict
India.com rating: 2.5 stars