Director: Sai Kabir
Cast: Kangna Ranaut, Vir Das, Piyush Mishra, Zakir Hussain, Kumud Mishra, Pankaj Saraswat
Any film set in the hinterlands of Uttar Pradesh is bound to be an action-revenge saga. So what sets an Ishqiya apart from a Bullett Raja? It’s the story. And it’s not just what it is, but also how it is told. Revolver Rani starts off as a good story, and soon adds layers and multi-shaded characters that promise a hallmark film.
It also adds emotions that are native to rural India, and in the process brings out the human element in an otherwise near-legendary Alka Singh (Kangna Ranaut, not entirely her usual talented self), whose ever-scheming uncle (Piyush Mishra) wants to see her on the political throne. A behenji and her mentor, anyone?
Well, Alka isn't exactly a behenji. Married once, she killed her husband over his affair. She resents people in general and her political rivals (Zakir Hussain, with Kumud Mishra and Pankaj Saraswat in tow) in particular. The only person who has access to her inner self is Rohan Kapoor (Vir Das), who has manipulated Alka to fund his tinseltown dreams.
Rani is well on her way to recovering her ministerial post when fate intervenes in the form of the best or worst news a woman can hear, depending on her marital status. As a result, her uncle’s plans go awry. Then on, every move is met with a counter-move, and every action is twisted to give birth to a political issue.
So, where did it all go awry? The story grips, but only in parts. Kangna manages to breathe some soul into her role and her character development should win some kudos for debutant director director Sai Kabir. Vir Das manages to go beyond his squinty expression a few times, but not enough to draw applause.
Even Mishra seems to have nothing new to offer. Hussain is still far from his dreaded avatar in Sarkar, and Saraswat Kumud Mishra are underutilised.
However, there are certain scenes that do work, bringing out tension, emotion and just the right amount of drama. Then again, they are few and far between. And the other scenes seem somewhat template-like. Sanjeev Srivastava’s music is good, but lack recall value.
Revolver Rani could have been a good film, had it offered more new stuff. Instead, we see more of what we have already seen, and seen better of, especially in films by Tigmanshu Dhulia, one of the people funding the current venture.