'Simran' Review: A refreshing take on the everyday struggle of the 21st century Indian woman

By Murtaza Ali Khan

Featured in IMDb Critic Reviews

Simran is the latest offering from the National Award-winning filmmaker Hansal Mehta. The movie stars Kangana Ranaut in the leading role. Inspired by true events, the screenplay by Apurva Asrani, Simran revolves around a modern Gujrati woman, Praful Patel, living in the US with her parents. Praful, a divorcee, is skeptical about making any long term commitments. However, she is quite open to casual affairs and one night stands. But, she insists that her partners use proper protection while sex. Simran’s life takes a drastic turn when she gets addicted to gambling during a trip to Las Vegas with her cousin. She ends up spending all her savings and is even forced to borrow thirty thousand dollars from an unsavory-looking loan shark. When all her efforts to repay her debt fail she begins to rob banks. The rest of the film is about her journey to the heart of darkness: will she be doomed forever or will she succeed in redeeming herself?

A major controversy involving Simran has been doing rounds ever since the film’s teaser and poster got released. It directly deals with Apurva Asrani, Kangana Ranaut, and Hansal Mehta. Actually, it didn’t go well with Asrani that Mehta gave away the movie’s ‘additional story and dialogues’ credit to Ranaut. What particularly annoyed Asrani was Kangana’s insensitive remarks about how she changed the tone of the film from what Asrani had originally intended in his script. Subsequent developments in the matter proved that things were far more complicated than they first appeared. One thing, however, that is certain is that social media isn’t the place to resolve differences. Hopefully, the fiasco will serve as a lesson for the others. 

Simran presents a complex portrait of an eccentric woman. Here is a film about a modern woman who dares to live a life of her choosing and happily accepts the repercussions of her choices instead of blaming others or the circumstances. Such a story and a character could have only come from the real world. The inspiration behind the film is Sandeep Kaur aka Bombshell Bandit—a Sikh woman convicted of robbing four banks in USA. Kaur was sentenced to 66 months of prison back in April 2015. This is a role that only Kangana Ranaut could have pulled off and she does so with great aplomb. Simran is like a breath of fresh air that seems to have come just at the right time for Hindi cinema. Kudos to Hansal Mehta and team for making such an empowering film that offers a unique take on the everyday struggle of the 21st century Indian woman!

Rating: 7/10  

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