Film: "Simran"; Director: Hansal Mehta; Cast: Kangana Ranaut, Sohum Shah, Rupendra Nagra and Aneesha Joshi; Rating: ***1/2
"Simran" is a film about an unconventional, 30-plus Guajarati divorcee Praful Patel who lives with her parents in Atlanta, works in the housekeeping department of a plush hotel and lives life on her terms.
Keen on buying her own property in the minority quota as it is affordable, Praful saves every dollar painstakingly, but one day in Las Vegas where she goes for her cousin Ambar's (Aneesha Joshi) bachelorette, she blows it all up in a casino. She is in heavy debt, owing $50,000 to a money-lender who means business. One thing leads to another and soon, she is sucked into the world of crime.
Overnight, the independent Gujju girl with chutzpah, becomes a bank robber with convivial ease. While Kangana Ranaut as Praful Patel, slips into this avatar effortlessly, the writing belies credibility. It seems far-fetched and amateurish to digest.
Director Hansal Mehta has taken oodles of cinematic liberty to create situations and trying to pass them as existent. Praful's character, however, is a well-etched one. He manages to make the lives of the Indian diaspora - their values, struggles, fears look real.
The film is racy and although the second half seems a tad long, it never really lets you stifle a yawn. Laced with abundance of humour, some straight- faced and witty dialogues, Kangana essays Praful Patel with her characteristic panache.
The film is Kangana's canvas all the way and she makes it come alive with her joie de vivre and histrionics, which seem natural coming from her. And that is what makes you overlook the flaws and keep you riveted to the screen.
The scenes where she is at the casino in Las Vegas and when she breaks down after her money is stolen, are a pure treat to watch.
Of course the other actors -- her father, Sameer (Sohum Shah), her prospective husband, the black money lender, all support her ably with their honest portrayal of their characters.
Cinematographer Anuj Dhawan, captures Atlanta in all its hues and the pulsating Vegas in all its glory. The music by Sachin-Jigar is apt and adds charm to the situations. "Meet" by Arijit Singh and "Pinjra tod ke" by Sunidhi Chauhan are melodious and soulful.
Overall, this frothy entertainer "Simran" is a film Kangana carries squarely on her shoulders and makes the most slipshod scenes look endearing. Watch it only for Kangana Ranaut.