<Spoilers in the post>
We watched Queen yesterday. And I was completely blown away.
Starting with the opening scene where you get to hear Rani’s thoughts aloud – Her fears, small wishes, the desire to show off.. That is when you start relating to her. And that is where you get hooked on to the movie. Yeah, it is that early!
The story is simple. A marriage that doesn’t happen. A guy who suddenly starts feeling that he is too good for his fiance and that he might get a better deal somewhere else. A girl who has invested a lot in the relationship. A family that wants to be supportive. Well, they are supportive, but don’t realize that somewhere in being supportive, protective, and loving, they managed to smother their daughter’s personality. She is ‘sweet’, perhaps untouched by bad experiences in life. She never got a chance to explore life as she should or maybe could have. To get over the failed wedding plans, she shuts herself off, first in her room and then in her own world by going away from the known people. She does what she had dreams of – travelling to Paris and Amsterdam, albeit without her ‘husband’ .
The rest is about her journey – how she discovers herself. And this is the best part of the movie. She doesn’t face extremely traumatic situations or meets super loving people. She comes across ordinary people and learns to respect and accept their differences. On the way, she imbibes some of their traits and perhaps passes on her own warmth and innocence to them. She changes bit by bit. The makeover happens – not as drastically as it is normally romanticized to be, but gradually and gracefully. Her inhibitions are slowly shed off and she starts opening herself to the world. She starts realizing her desires, and has no shame or guilt in expressing them.
There are certain instances which can be passed off as ‘filmy’ and might not have been that necessary. But barring that, the entire movie has been like reliving the evolution of one’s own life. That is what I experienced during those hours.
There is one scene in the movie when Rani realizes that all she had done in her life was conform to other people’s wishes. There had been a similar point in my life too. It was more like a knee jerk reaction for me. I felt that even though I tried to please and be ‘good’, it did nothing for my soul. I couldn’t be at peace with myself, because I was quite sure that there were people out there who were not happy with me. I took my decisions keeping everyone (I possibly knew) in mind. And then that moment came. And I stopped caring. Not completely. But to a large extent. Initially it made me feel guilty. But that was nothing new. I was made to feel guilty even when I conformed to the rules. And as I progressed further, more adjectives followed. I was ‘cold’, ‘indifferent’, ‘insensitive’. It hurt. But it also helped in thickening my skin. I can laugh a majority of such remarks now.
When I was young(er), I was appreciated for being ‘simple’, and unaware of a lot of stuff that happened around. Perhaps the fact that my parents, family and friends had been very protective about me got to do something about it. I took it as a boon. Little did I realize then that this very ‘privilege’ would be the biggest hurdle in my growth – both personal and professional. I sought crutches – in friends and family. It was only when I received the biggest jolt of my life that I woke up from the dream world I lived in. It was a learning phase. A slow, tough learning phase. But, it made me stronger. There were some people who perceived it as ‘cold’ and ‘indifferent’. But I stopped minding after some time. I started taking it as a compliment. And it has helped me since. Perhaps the first step to being a stronger and better person is to start undermining the importance of what people think or say about you.
Coming back to the movie. The ending was the best part. Rani didn’t rely on a new place or a new set of friends to get over her past. She didn’t seek a love interest either. She comes back to her family with her new persona and fights off (gently and smartly) her oppressive fiance who seeks reconciliation.
All in all, a near to perfect movie. I give it 4.5 of 5 stars :)