Simran’s trailer had Kangana all over it. There’s hardly a second when she’s not on screen. The film itself is not any different.

Simran is yet another showcase for Ranaut’s brilliant acting capabilities. Winner of three national awards and millions of hearts, Ranaut is undoubtedly one of the country’s finest actors. She is literally in every scene in the film. She’s wonderful, no doubt, but the film falls short of being a fine one.

Loosely based on (and not mentioned anywhere in the credits) the real events in the life of Sandeep Kaur, a 30-something woman who gets addicted to gambling, ends up with a huge debt and eventually robs banks to pay off her dues, Simran doesn’t take its material seriously, especially in the second half of the film. There was so much potential here and with an actor like Kangana, national-award winning director Hansal Mehta (Shahid, Citylights, Aligarh) could have as well made this the film of the year. But the film is overly dependent on Kangana and that’s where everything else takes a backseat. Including the writing, the backbone of any film.

It’s not all bad from the start. In fact, the film does kick off well. The first half is rather enjoyable, to be honest, with only one or two dull moments. It’s the second half that falters, beyond repair towards the climax, if I must say. When you are showing us the story of a woman who robs banks to clear her debts, showing her rob the banks is important. Those scenes are important. You cannot handle them with a casual attitude. Now, I do not know if that’s exactly how Sandeep Kaur robbed those banks IRL, but in this time and age, it cannot be as easy as they show in the film. None of the banks seem to have protection and all of them seem to employ people with very questionable emergency-handling skills. And, the folks at the banks and the police department seem to be unaware of the MO of a 30-something woman who’s already robbed a couple of bank using the SAME MO. Communication gaps much? I do not know.

It was probably meant to come across as “light-hearted” treatment, but the heist sequences didn’t work for me. In fact, most of the second half did not work for me. I wasn’t shown Kangana’s inner turmoil and how she handles it as much as I would have liked or appreciated or even empathized with, for that matter. As a result, I could not invest in the final moments of the film as much as the director would have liked his audience to. Sometimes, it probably works best to keep the comedy parts and the serious stuff of a film separate, give them their own space to make an impression.

And the film’s complete lack of any other strong character (maybe apart from the dad, whose character is also uni-layered) doesn’t work in its favor. Even the MBA-aspirant dude (Sohum Shah) doesn’t get scope. The songs could have easily been done away with.

Overall, Simran could have been so much better. Kangana shines but the film, only occasionally. I’m going with 2.75 out of 5!

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