Written by Manisha Lakhe on September 15, 2017
Run, Run, Run Far Far Away From This Indulgent Nonsense
Based loosely on the story of the Bombshell Bandit – Punjabi girl Sandeep Kaur – who lived a double life as a nurse and as bank robber, Simran ends up being tedious. She robbed to fuel her gambling and shopping habits, and the film could either be a great comic caper or a tragic story of greed gone wrong. It’s neither.
An angry Gujarat dad who looks like he’s going to bust a nerve because in every scene he’s shouting at his wife and daughter wishing they were back in India and complaining that he’d being paying for the two of the women for over 30 years.
A long suffering mother who shouts back some times only to ask her husband to stop shouting.
A daughter who works as housekeeping staff at a hotel who wants to move into her own apartment (they keep saying ‘house’!) laughs and boasts about her many conquests at work, and comes home to shout back at her parents.
It’s a relief when her cousin invites her over to Las Vegas for a bachelorette weekend. Here’s where you have begin to suspend disbelief. A girl who not a scene ago boasted about men, is suddenly moralistic about her cousin wanting to spend time with her ex before marrying someone else.
Suddenly the girl turns into Kangna Ranaut. It’s an acting monster unleashed upon Las Vegas.
She acts the bargaining Guju with the hat guy, then turns into Julia Roberts when she tries to shop at the expensive shop where like Pretty Woman she is turned down. She’s then cute with the bartender. She brings on the awful accent of someone who has just learnt English when flirting with man at the bar, then turns into a gambling monster who laughs when she wins and begins to cry like a little girl (‘You cheated! You are all bastards! I want to talk to the owner!’)
This is just the beginning. And she’s hyperventilating in every scene.
Does she get that from her dad? Is the dad justified in yelling at her? Making her pay the electricity bill. Why is she so entitled? Does she have a head for numbers because she’s Gujarati? Baccarat is made to look so easy, you can picture Ian Fleming turning in his grave.
So she takes to gambling and goes back to buying clothes from the same shop a la Pretty Woman. And comes back to a blustery dad.
And you’re hoping something more would happen.The story comes back into focus when she begins to rob banks. But when you want her character to grow – either into this wild child who just wants the money to shop, or someone dark and negative – she just remains sullen and entitled. You think she’s schizophrenic when you see her play the fool in the wig shop and finds a spot of quiet spot by the lake. The young earnest lad who wants to marry her does not seem like a Spendthrift Guju at all (he gives her money!), and why does he want to marry her when she’s rather mean to him?
And why are cops and American bankers so inept? Why were the Vegas moneylenders so generous to her? A country that prides itself in surveillance it seems rather dumb for them to not recognise her car, and her. This is so implausible, you wonder if the director was absent because Kangna is an award-winning actor? Shahid, made by the same director was also carried by one actor, but you do not see this kind of indulgence in that movie. This film is all over the place, the audience had best run, run, run far away from Simran.
P.S.: Kangna claims she’s vegetarian and happily eats prawns at the restaurant with proper cutlery when she wins money. But when she’s eating noodles with the lad who wants to marry her, why does she eat with her fingers? Because she’s cute?
And yes, I say Kangna in the review and not her screen name Praful Patel, because she’s not really Praful Patel. She’s all Kangna, acting…
(this review sans the postscript appears on nowrunning dot com)