Reviewing the Reviews: 1.5 to 3.5 stars for Revolver Rani

28 Apr,2014

By Deepa Gahlot

 

Revolver Rani

Directed by: Sai Kabir Srivastav

Starring: Kangna Ranaut, Piyush Mishra, Vir Das, Zakir Hussain, Zeishan Quadri, others

 

The memory of Rani in the recent Queen was so fresh in everybody’s minds, that an encore was expected from Kangana Ranaut. She did not disappoint, but Revolver Rani, a Quentin Tarantino-inspired violent romp in the badlands of Madhya Pradesh did.

 

Most critics-particularly the female ones-were let down the domesticization of the firebrand heroine.  The film got 1.5 to 3.5 star ratings, which must have confused readers.

 

Shubhra Gupta of The Indian Express found the film tiresome. “The Rani in ‘Queen’ won our hearts because she was believable every inch of the way. This Rani, who hefts revolvers and shoots to kill, is neither wholly a cartoon figure, nor completely credible. This confusion makes us stop suspending disbelief, and ‘Revolver Rani’ becomes a tiresome Bollywoodesque trudge through the Chambal, and its men and one woman posturing with guns, and the standard corrupt ‘netas’ and complicit cops.”

 

Harshada Rege of DNA complained of the running time. “This would have been a great party if only it wasn’t so long. But one has to applaud Kangana Ranaut, who could give all the dacoits in B-Town a run for their loot, for another great performance. She plays the Venice-loving, gun-trotting politician in Chambal with much aplomb. From a vulnerable Rani in Queen to the mighty Alka Singh in Revolver Rani, the actress sure knows how to make and then, equally easily, break the mould.”

 

Saibal Chatterjee of NDTV.com was one of the few who raved, “When it’s a mad, mad, mad world, trust Kangana Ranaut to pull out the stops. As the trigger-happy ‘hero’ of Revolver Rani, the irrepressible lead actress dives head first into the deep end of the moral cesspool that writer-director Sai Kabir conjures up in his first released film. Alka Singh of Morena is no ordinary hinterland hell-raiser. She flashes metallic bustiers, sports her trademark frizzy hairdo, and takes on a perceptibly darkened skin tone. Kangana’s character is a fire-spewing marauder who nurses a secret desire to be a mother and a hausfrau. While she lets her gun do much of the talking on her behalf, she aspires for the simple joys of womanhood.  The film flits from the personal to the political, the emotional to the egregious, and the absurd to the deadly serious. For the most part, Revolver Rani hits the bull’s eye.”

 

Paloma Sharma of Rediff.com found the film confused, “Revolver Rani is perfect on paper but if it really wanted to generate that spark, it should have probably taken the character-centric route. Somewhere along the way, the story disappears and so does the editor, or so it seems. A lot of Revolver Rani seems inspired from Quentin Tarantino films — the powerful female character with guns template, the title track and the aesthetically portrayed violence are strongly reminiscent of many of his previous films.Even the animated bits seem to be borrowed from Kill Bill Vol 1. This does end up spoiling the novelty factor. Revolver Rani could have been the film of the year. It is sad that it chose to be a confused story instead.”

 

Tanushree Bhasin of Firstpost.in commented, “It takes all of fifteen minutes to realise that you are watching a desi version of Kill Bill in Revolver Rani. Its got Quentin Tarantino written all over each and every sequence, the director having broken the film down into just that – a series of well-orchestrated sequences. And in tune with director Sai Kabir’s aesthetic inspiration, Revolver Rani exudes Tarantino style pulpy kitsch, much to the amusement of an unsuspecting Indian audience.”

 

Nandini Ramnath of Mint wrote, “A movie in which the gender roles are firmly reversed and Alka literally calls the shots, makes lawmakers and lawbreakers quake in their boots, and demands and gets sex at will, has a most curious take on Rohan’s plight. His emasculation runs parallel to Alka’s feminization, and it’s not clear whether debutant director and writer Sai Kabir has entirely reasoned out the consequences of his characterization.”

 

Shubha Shetty-Saha of mid-day panned it too. “The film starts with much promise, with a kind of quirkiness and black humour that fits well with the subject in hand. The narration and the background music work in absolute tandem to bring us a satire that succeeds in making you chuckle more often than not. But unfortunately, some scenes are so long drawn out that the whole impact begins to fizzle out by the end of it. Sharper editing would have perhaps worked towards retaining the crispness of the characters.”

 

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