Overplaying the Queen?

Overplaying the Queen?
Highlights

Overplaying the Queen?, Queen, Revolver Rani, Kangana Ranaut. Not surprising therefore that Kangana’s PR team has been working on an over drive to promote the new film, which I fear will go against the actor.

‘Queen’ is the only female oriented film in Hindi films to so far have collected close to Rs 100 crore, a record of sorts. Kangana Ranaut will be ready for another release co-incidentally having a ‘Queen’ in the title as in ‘Revolver Rani’. Not surprising therefore that Kangana’s PR team has been working on an over drive to promote the new film of Queen Kangana

It has been a week of national and international headlines. Superhero actor Andrew Garfield, all set to essay Spiderman yet again was in Singapore recently to promote ‘The Amazing Spiderman 2’ along with girlfriend Emma Stone and Jamie Foxx, when he surprised the Indian press by talking about actor Irrfan Khan who was part of Garefield’s earlier Spiderman flick. Apparently Garefield saw ‘Lunchbox’ and was surprised that all Bollywood films are not song and dance. Surely they are not, Garfield, just as all Hollywood films are not about Spiderman even if they are released in all the national languages like Hindi, Tamil and Telugu. For years, Pakistan has remained obsessed with Amitabh Bachchan and eager to invite him to their country but it never happened. Years passed by and Pakistanis grew up on Bachchan films even when Indian films were banned in their country. Every time a new release came of Bachchan, there were talks of it being premiered in Lahore and Karachi but even that remained a dream. Now for the first time, Amitabh Bachchan’s ‘Bhoothnath Returns’ is releasing in India and Pakistan simultaneously! There are talks about him being invited there for a seminar and if that happens, it will be the first for Pakistan and Bachchan!

Come April and Kangana Ranaut will be ready for another release co-incidentally having a ‘Queen’ in the title as in ‘Revolver Rani’. Produced by Ponty Chadha and directed by Sai Kabir, ‘Revolver Rani’ is set against the backdrop of Chambal and Gwalior in MP and explores the life of a simple girl Alka Singh forced to pick the revolver and fight for herself and her people and if that sounds like ‘Bandit Queen’, it is not. ‘Revolver Rani’ views the lighter side of law and as the eccentric, fashionable political leader the character is almost funny. ‘Queen’ is the only female oriented film in Hindi films to so far have collected close to 100 crore which is a record of sorts.

Not surprising therefore that Kangana’s PR team has been working on an over drive to promote the new film, which I fear will go against the actor. Her PR machinery have been feeding the media with the smallest details on the film like how ‘Revolver Rani’ is India’s first real pulp fiction and Kangana a trend setter of sorts. Every day some new trivia related to the film makes it to the headlines like Vir Das being cast as her toy boy in the film and Piyush Mishra in the role of her manipulative mother. Do we need to know all these details at this stage? What worked about ‘Queen’ was that people came to the theatres without any expectations and were floored by a simple story and a stirring, unselfconscious performance.

This time, the hype is unprecedented and the expectations too high and I’m scared all the excitement may backfire! It is foolish to compare the two films on the basis of a common title and glorify the actor before the release. Experience has proved that success cannot be planned, it just happens! Therefore what Kangana should do is just concentrate on her performances and give ideas for marketing the film which she is good at and leave the rest to destiny. A special event is being planned to introduce the character to the media for which a set resembling Morena town where Rani/Alka Gujjar hails from is being created and aptly titled ‘Phasion, Fun and Gun’ and where desi food like Kadaknath murga and desi daru will be served to the guests. Sounds like a lot of fun.

Earlier it was only Yash Raj Films that hosted theme parties for media and served a menu matching the profile of the film at press screenings. Now everybody is doing it. Mona Anwar Ali, wife of Anwar Ali celebrated 10th death anniversary of Hindi cinema’s greatest comedian Mahmood with a screening of Mahmood Productions ‘Bombay to Goa’. The invitation card sent to guests was a bus full of chocolates and movie ticket stapled inside conductor’s bag. The screening was attended by Amitabh Bachchan and some other film personalities like directors Abbas-Mustan. The motive behind the screening was to revive memories of a legend! It is fantastic that we are finally learning to celebrate our past and more important, preserve our history.

Bhawana Somaaya/ Tweets @bhawanasomaaya

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