There was a great idea in this script, which somewhere along the way got muddled and became Revolver Rani. Had writer-director Sai Kabir kept tongue firmly in cheek and stuck to the idea of a trigger-happy, feisty local woman politician in the Chambal heartland whose Achilles Heel is a wannabe Bollywood star, the film might have worked. But he mixes up too many themes and genres – black comedy, parody, political satire and caricature.
In Revolver Rani, Kangana Ranaut’s Alka Singh is almost bipolar – tender at times, head-scratching angry at others, but mostly a damaged woman who is a quick draw on the gun but craves to be a whole again. She falls in love with Rohan Kapoor (Vir Das), a struggling actor who decides to use Alka to further his own Bollywood ambitions. Neither Rohan nor Alka anticipate how low her chief adviser and uncle, the puppeteer Bali mama (Piyush Mishra) is willing to go.
Ranaut enthusiastically jumps up and down, punches out bullets with zeal and flashes Italian high fashion. But this Rani is no Queen. The absence of a nuanced script and deft direction are evident in her schizophrenic performance – not to mention the continuity lapses in her skin tone! If only Alka Singh had been emancipated rather than compromised by stereotypes of womanhood.
Das replays his Delhi Belly, Shaadi Ke Side Effects lost urban puppy act. But it works as a contrast to the madness around him as he is caught in a conundrum with seemingly no exit. Mishra is in fine fettle and is the steadiest of the cast. Zakir Hussain, surprisingly, does not ham it up and is sturdy as Alka’s political nemesis Bhanu.
Echoes of Tarantino aside, the final scene of a big hinterland shootout should have had you at the edge of your seat. However it’s impossible to buy into a one-woman army when you have just seen her cradling a teddy bear like a baby and breaking a Karva Chauth fast!
Revolver Rani Film Rating: **
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