The ApunKaChoice movie review of Revolver Rani. Twenty-one gun salute to Kangana Ranaut for turning the tables on men in Bollywood films. No longer are the menfolk the savior of damsels in distress, no longer are pretty young things their arm candies to be romanced and loved in bed, but shoved to the margins when brawny hunks go about setting the wrongs of the world right. Close that darn book and better chuck it out of the window. This is 2014. Welcome the bold new Bollywood and its heroine with the message, “Ab mard ko dard hoga”.
Ouch! Hold on to your pants and welcome the Revolver Rani Alka Singh (Kangana Ranaut), the dacoit-turn-politician in the Bhind-Moreno of Gwalior. She is the Gabbar Singh incarnated as a female with a voracious sexual appetite, a fetish for conical bras, and a trigger-happy finger. Guided by her shrewd mama Balli (Piyush Mishra) and supported by the regions tribals, Alka is set to be the next leader. But her archrival Udaybhan Tomar (Zakir Hussain) is never done plotting her downfall. He’s ceaselessly looking for a chink in Alka’s armour. He finds one in Rohan (Vir Das), Alka’s toyboy.
Remember those dime-a-dozen Hindi films where the villain kidnaps the hero’s wife/lover to blackmail him. There’s a gender role-reversal in 'Revolver Rani'.
Rohan is a Bollywood wannabe who wants to use Alka as a springboard to stardom, but ends up becoming her sex machine. It takes protein shakes and other ‘kadak’ local dishes to keep everything ‘kadak’ in his body to satiate Alka’s carnal needs.
The film is a riot in the first half, with one funny, satirical sequence after another. But the ‘barood’ goes thanda in the second half, when the prospect of motherhood brings about a change in Alka’s character.
Debutant director Sai Kabir hits the mark as far as executing individual sequences goes, but he often overplays his hand in giving a Quentin Tarantino style pulp and kitsch to the film. The writing is topnotch, with words dripping with the Chambal valley brogue.
Rising to the challenge is the gutsy leading lady Kangana Ranaut. She’s scary, menacing, just, vain, violent, possessive, arrogant, deranged, and even vulnerable just in the course of a few reels. Her Alka is a dream character to portray. She loves “phun, phasion and gun”. She jumps headlong into shootouts all guns blazing. She eyes her toyboy like a hunter sizing up her quarry. She’s unapologetically crass and yet undeniably human with motherly instincts. A complex, colourful character and though Kangana does go a tad over the top at times, she mostly nails it. Kudos to her.