Monday, March 24, 2014

Why am I so crazy about Queen?



It doesn’t happen every now and then that you go and watch a movie twice. But this happened with Queen. Yes, and after watching it for the second time, I want to watch it again! It has become my personal Andaz Apna Apna or Forrest Gump, which I would want to revisit pretty often to pump up my spirit and have a hearty laugh. 

Oh my! I kinda get lost while watching Queen. There is so much common between us and I am sure loads of other females out there feel the same. Much in the beginning, the conversation Rani had with herself during mehendi, while the entire house was busy dancing, instantly tells you that the movie is about us; and the nuances and details are beyond being just commendable, they are admirable, they are marvelous. The innocence with which Rani chides her friend when she talks about her first night, “chupp mummy sunn lengi”; or when she says, “mummy keh rahi thi ki wo meri mehendi main sari pehenengi, par unhone toh kapade hi nahi badale”.  You start forgetting that you are watching a composition of arts, you start living that scene along with everybody else. That dadi becomes your dadi and that nasty friend becomes your own leg puller. Not just that, the scene where her fiancé calls her in the café to announce his unwillingness for the marriage, she is partly broken, partly disbelieving, aghast she takes the stand, “aap papa ji se baat kar leejiye, aap mujhse koi baat mat kareiye”; something which, I guess, most of us choose to say, when we know that we are inching towards our own disaster and there is nothing we can do about that. The ending scene of that sequence, when Rani leaves the café, and her stupid fiancé dusts the table off the particles of her dried henna of previous evening, is painful. I do not know about other people, but when Rani closes herself in the room, not wanting to talk, listen, or discuss anything that has happened, I found myself locked up somewhere too. 

I felt the pain of getting left behind; I felt the pain of being called ‘imperfect’. Sometimes, reality is so difficult to accept –not because it is so terrible, but because all this while you have tried so hard to stop it from happening and yet it has happened. All your efforts to avoid the inevitable have gone in vain; and this feeling hurts more than the loss itself. And then comes the family – telling you whatever happen, happens for the good; and that there are more doors to open if only we allow them. It’s not that we do not know this, or we do not want more doors to open; but we weep over the futility of all that had went behind that closed door and we feel so worked up and confused that we are not sure if we really have the zeal and jest left to open any other door. We are angry, we refuse kind words, and we refuse the possibility of relief approaching us. But then life resumes; and then in one of the mornings, we wake up with more hunger than anger. The call of life makes us walk over our misery and in that instance of mindfulness; we do not mind consuming the memoirs of our painful pasts to prepare ourselves for the breaths ahead.  Things that were making us to sob lose importance; and happiness or no-happiness becomes kinda similar thing and we decide to ‘accept’ it. Yes! Those few minutes between Rani’s closing the door and opening it made me think so much! That’s why, I said, nobody else captured my attention like this. 

In fact, the way she and her family prepare themselves for her decision to go to Paris is also so natural. One could feel all the emotions that were going behind that decision – the rage to run away into oblivion; the madness to get back your happiness; the desire to prove that I am not the one to lose; and the wish that something crazy might help in extracting some sense out of this insanity. My heart goes out for her poor mother, her helplessness in seeing her daughter suffer, when she comes to bid Rani off at the airport. And I could totally understand Rani’s bewilderment, as she looks around just before the plain is to leave. The way she realizes that she has taken a step that could not be reversed and she has no other option but to face things that will follow. Her blank face and absent mindedness show how lost she is; after all sometimes, the least you want to do is keeping any connection with the world outside. 

Now, when you are connected with a character so much, you cannot help rejoicing for no reason, every time she smiles. The moment when Lisa Hayden enters the movie, I felt a strange sense of security, something similar to what I felt during Akshay Kumar’s presence in Oh My God! You know someone has come to take you out of this mess; someone who knows what should be done. At times, just a little bit of external force is enough to beat our inertia and make us move out. Once that is done, the other steps appear easier. So, Lisa Hayden is that external force into Rani’s life, which she smoothly let intrude. Sometimes, non-resistance and acceptability solve most problems. Sometimes, what we all need is a different perspective and a different venting mechanism. 

Though the movie was hilarious up till now, despite all that sorry state of bride-to-be; but from this point, it becomes a total laughing riot. The drunk Rani elaborates on how her fiancé wooed her; how her friends rightly said that he looks like a conductor, yet she accepted his love; how on the names of superiority, intelligence, and perfection her fiancé actually manipulated, ridiculed, and suppressed her true self. What kind of love is this, which could not accept the flaws of its loved one; what kind of love cannot relish the innocent flaws of its lover; what kind of love makes its lover feel unwanted, inferior, and lesser? The love that does not love; and the love that does not last long, even in the heart of the unloved!

So, as Rani welcomes her moment of freedom and exploration, she also addresses her mental blockages, when she was told that she is unworthy, incapable, or undeserving. For the first time in her life, she finds herself responsible for herself. At every moment when she felt scared or confused, she decided to take plunge. And like it happens mostly in real lives as well, she had amazing experiences and met with wonderful people. One instance must be mentioned in particular. Her fiancé had promised her to take her to dinner on Eiffel Tower after marriage, so when she looks at the Eiffel Tower, she gets haunted by the magnanimity of it which was mocking her state of life affairs. She runs away from it and more she runs, more she finds the Tower following her from every nook and corner of Paris. The scene has been captured so wonderfully! 

After a small bit of her self-discovery with Lisa Hayden, Rani decides to go back to the Eiffel Tower and have dinner. A message that the world stops haunting us, the moment we get in peace with ourselves. In fact, the entire movie for me is a wonderful portrayal of self-help messages. Her fiancé’s name was Vijay and Lisa’s name was Vijaylakshmi. In one of the scenes, Vijaylakshmi says, “Vijay nahi mila toh kya hua, Vijaylakshmi toh hai”; which is so true!! We remain so busy in our rant of losing Vijays that we often overlook so many Vijaylakshmi’s life brings in!

So, as Rani proceeds towards Amsterdam, the fun in the movie reaches its top. Her three roommates, the Italian and oh-so-gorgeous waiter-cum-butler (I wish he was a little taller), the lizard episode, her cute dialogue with a loud-laughter, “mera sense of humour na.. bahut achcha hai, aapko dheere dheere pata chalega”, her mistaken shopping of sex-toys with the guys going nuts over it, the Indian French toast, a girl’s first kiss that too with an Italian man, her visit to a pole dancer, her stint of driving car on a foreign land, etc., make sure that you do not stop laughing even for a while- and alongside, they constantly remind how much value we add to ourselves the moment we come out of our own prisons and set ourselves free. 

And then Vijay appears. Rajkumar Yadav played the character very well – he actually looked like a loser and you really feel angry and sorry for him. In a typical way, he tries to trap Rani again by claiming that he is so sorry, and he loves her so much, and he has tried so hard to find her, and all the damage will be taken care of by his parents, and his mummy ji might feel bad if she gets to know that Rani drank Champaign and shared room with three guys. He even puts a cheap fight with her three roommates, because he was feeling very protective of her and because she is so innocent she does not  know how bad these foreign guys are. In that conversation, you find Rani oscillating between a “yes” and “no”. 

You pray that she refuses to entertain him even for a moment, but then you realize that she is a woman – an Indian woman, for whom leaving a man is like leaving a life of social security and approval. Because the place she comes from believes that eventually men must have bigger egos and females must always keep their head under those egos. Because, if a man loves you, he does a favour to you. Because, if no man will love you and agree to provide you a roof, you would never be able to live a life of dignity. Because, dignity is not something that is your birthright, it is the price woman pays to stay in her man’s heart. Because, mistakes men commit can always be justified, ignored, or forgiven. Because, men hurt and women should not try to reciprocate hatred. Because, adjustments and compromises are part of woman’s lives. Because, women are not appreciated when they break norms and chose a life of their own. 

Thankfully, Rani refuses to go back and the best part of her denial was her graceful, quiet and content smile. The moment she refused to take the burden of this sulking relationship, she became more beautiful. I loved the ending scene, when she returns her engagement ring, and before leaving hugs Vijay and thanks him. For if he had not refused to marry her, she would have never discovered herself. That’s the true beauty of Rani, she did not lose any one and yet she found herself. 

The movie ended with a happy Rani walking down her path. But, you are left thinking about her life thereafter. When you have lived so much with a character, you do not want to leave them just like that; you start bothering about them just the way you bother about yourself. There are Rani’s in all of us, which is why, we were able to relate with her. I wish, every time a Rani takes the plunge to discover herself, her ordeal is not away from a Vijay, but with a Vijay.