Simran (Hansal Mehta, 2017) – too much bad girl


The other day, I had a banana caramel ice cream at a place called ‘Degchi’ in Poona. The banana was too bananaesque and the caramel was too carameliac. I had to flail my tongue to get through one gooey lump. Too much of a good thing is always a disaster for a recipe, or a recipe for a disaster. Food or films.

‘Simran’ lays out all the ingredients on the kitchen counter. A contentious father. A helpless mother. A troublesome ex. A nice guy prospect. A coke-sniffing gangster. A violent thug. Home. Mortgage. Marriage. Gambling. Bank robbery. But all it does is pass the ingredients over the cooking pot, hoping that a whiff of them will flavor the dish. And the dish remains only Kangana.

Stars of course add value to a film. Controversial stars add more value. But when all the other elements of the film remain only as one line ideas, the star has nothing to do but act with themselves, and that seems too much like play-acting, a big kid who takes over the game, leaving it no game at all. The film remains nothing more than a one-page story, for all the off-screen battles waged on writing credits.

And then, there is that line. The one that I hate. The one worse than being too much banana or caramel. Praful Patel is a girl we haven’t seen too much in Hindi films, upbeat, guilt-free, happy to be alone, but alas, she too gets to say the line, ‘You are a nice guy. Please don’t get involved with a girl like me.’ Hmm. There it is. This ‘girl like me’ business never ends. Why can’t a ‘girl like me’ get the nice guy? Or if she says ‘no’ to him, why not because she is bored with him, and not because he is ‘too nice for her’ and she does not deserve him?

9 thoughts on “Simran (Hansal Mehta, 2017) – too much bad girl

  1. Important question, that. 🙂 I’m not sure what to make of the film, myself. Kangna is a fantastic actress, but to get back to your analogy, one can have too much of a good thing. This film seem to have been made to celebrate Kangana, the person, instead of Simran, the character. Is this the part where we commend her for her ‘bad-ass’ attitude?

    1. Anu, commend her we can, and we do, on social media and in life. But a film has to be beyond personalities, ultimately, isn’t it? What’s the point of having such a fantastic actress, and then not being able to showcase her character at all?

      1. Banno, I agree. What I meant to say, and what got lost in the translation, is that I think Kangana acted her part to reflect herself, not her character. From what I’ve seen, the whole film is a huge middle finger to the industry.

        And with the original scriptwriter releasing his original script, I’m not too sure I can commend Kangana for her scriptwriting abilities. At the very least, she seems to have blatantly lied when she said she was given a one-line script which she expanded upon. 😦

  2. Nice write up Banno. Too much of anything makes me cringe. I haven’t seen the movie, so not qualified to evaluate the ‘type’ of girl. However, if the intention of involvement is mutual happiness and a potential future together, it may be a polite way to say that they are not compatible. Being different is also being a different ‘type’, without necessarily being inferior or bad. This may not matter in one-night stands, what do I know! And I don’t even know the context here.

    1. Violet, alas, it didn’t seem like politeness. More like I am too bad for a nice guy like you. Anyway, it depends on the context as you say. Yes, the film is too much Kangana. But most films with stars become vehicles only for the stars, chucking everybody else out, these days.

  3. I watched Rangoon recently – very well made movie, Kangana acted very well. But the story was depressing, and some of the scenes close to the end were downright gut-wrenching. I think what made Dangal and Kangana’s own Tanu Weds Manu series successful was that the story was entertaining Dangal was inspiring and motivational while TWM was funny and irreverent. I think the problem with Simran (going by the plot) is that it is too depressing. I don’t want to spend a few hours of my life admiring someone’s acting chops; I watch a movie to be entertained.

    Perhaps the movie was targeted at those women who like tear jerkers, but I suspect even they could not relate to Simran as much as they would to a saas-bahu story..

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