Queen (2014 film)

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Theatrical release poster
Directed byVikas Bahl
Produced byViacom 18 Motion Pictures
Written byAnvita Dutt Guptan
Screenplay byVikas Bahl
Chaitally Parmar
Parveez Shaikh
Story byVikas Bahl
StarringKangana Ranaut
Rajkummar Rao
Lisa Haydon
Music byAmit Trivedi
CinematographyBobby Singh
Siddharth Diwan (Additional)
Edited byAbhijit Kokate
Anurag Kashyap
Distributed byViacom 18 Motion Pictures
Release date
  • October 2013 (2013-10) (Busan)
  • 7 March 2014 (2014-03-07)
Running time
146 minutes[1]
Budget12 crore[2]
Box officeest. 222 crore[3]

Queen is a 2014 Indian comedy-drama film directed by Vikas Bahl and produced by Anurag Kashyap, Vikramaditya Motwane, and Madhu Mantena. The film stars Kangana Ranaut in the lead role, with Lisa Haydon and Rajkummar Rao playing supporting roles.[4] The film follows the story of Rani Mehra, a diffident Punjabi girl from New Delhi who embarks on her honeymoon to Paris and Amsterdam by herself after her fiancé calls off their wedding.[5][6]

Bahl co-wrote the script of Queen with Chaitally Parmar and Parveez Shaikh. Anvita Dutt Guptan wrote the dialogues for the film. Ranaut, who was encouraged by Bahl to improvise her lines during filming, is recognized as an additional dialogue writer. Amit Trivedi provided the musical score and Guptan also wrote the lyrics. Principal photography of Queen began in 2012 and took 45 days to complete.[7][8][9] Queen received widespread critical acclaim, praised for its direction, screenplay and Ranaut's titular performance, with various critics and publications citing it as the best Indian film of 2014. Made on a budget of 105 million (US$1.5 million), the film earned over 2.2 billion (US$31 million) at the global box-office, emerging as a major commercial success.[10] The film won several awards. At the 60th Filmfare Awards ceremony, the film won six leading awards, including Best Film, Best Director, and Best Actress for Ranaut. At the 62nd National Film Awards ceremony, the film won the Best Hindi Film and Best Actress awards.

Queen is cited as a groundbreaking and an influential feminist film by many scholars[11] and publications like O, The Oprah Magazine [12] and Cosmopolitan have named it as one of the best films of Indian Cinema.[13][12] The film is widely considered to be a milestone for female centric and content driven cinema, and its wide commercial success brought shift in conventional Bollywood cinema.


Rani Mehra is a sheltered, meek, yet good-natured young Punjabi woman from Delhi.[6] One day before her wedding, her fiancé Vijay (Rajkummar Rao) tells her that he no longer wishes to marry her. He explains that his lifestyle has changed after living abroad, and Rani's conservative habits would be a wrong match for him. Stunned at the development, Rani shuts herself in her room for a day. Wanting to control the situation, she asks her parent's permission to go alone on her pre-booked honeymoon to Paris and Amsterdam. After initially hesitating, her parents agree, thinking that a vacation might cheer her up.

In Paris, Rani meets Vijayalakshmi (Lisa Haydon), a free-spirited woman of French-Spanish-Indian descent, who works at the hotel in which Rani stays. Overwhelmed by the new city and having gotten into trouble twice – once with the local police and once with a robber – Rani intends to return to India. However, Vijayalakshmi helps her out and gives her a tour around the city. The two have a series of adventures, during which Rani relives the memories of Vijay patronizing her and forbidding her from dancing and drinking – which she's free to do in Paris. During one particular incident, Rani tries on what she considers to be a revealing outfit and accidentally sends a selfie of her wearing the costume to Vijay instead of Vijayalakshmi due to the similarity in their names. She quickly realizes her mistake, but unbeknownst to her, the selfie regenerates his interest in Rani and Vijay decides to seek her out. Eventually, the time comes for her to bid an emotional farewell to Vijayalakshmi and board the Amsterdam train. However, when she arrives in Amsterdam, she finds that her hostel room is being shared with three men: Taka from Japan, Tim from France, and Oleksander from Russia. Despite being skeptical, she soon becomes good friends with them and spends time shopping, sightseeing, visiting a sex shop, going to a church, and meeting pole dancers in a club. Rani befriends a pole dancer at the club, Roxette/Rukhsar (Sabeeka Imam), a Pakistani girl who is the sole bread-earner for her family back in Lahore and who is also a friend of Vijaylakshmi.

Rani slowly begins to gain confidence by taking control of her decisions. She also realizes her earning potential, won a cook-off by selling gol gappas, and experienced her first 'Indo-Italian' kiss with the cooking competition's Italian host. She learns more about her friends' backgrounds and begins to understand how different life can be for people in other parts of the world. One day, the four friends find Vijay waiting for Rani in front of the hostel. Vijay apologizes to Rani and asks her to reconsider the relationship. Their conversation escalates as he tries to grab hold of Rani, but her friends retaliate, and she asks him to leave. Rani decides to miss out on a concert with her friends to meet with Vijay and discuss the future. Vijay judges Rani's new friends and behavior, causing her to leave abruptly, saying that she would rather speak to him after returning to Delhi. She then meets up with her friends one last time at the concert. After bidding an emotional farewell to them, Rani returns to India.

Back in Delhi, Rani visits Vijay at his home. Vijay and his family think that she has decided to forgive him and start discussing wedding plans. Instead, Rani hands him her engagement ring and, after saying "thank you," walks away with a confident smile on her face.


  • Kangana Ranaut as Rani Mehra
  • Lisa Haydon as Vijayalakshmi
  • Rajkumar Rao as Vijay
  • Mish Boyko as Oleksander (Sikander)
  • Jeffrey Ho as Taka
  • Joseph Guitobh as Tim
  • Marco Canadea as Marcello
  • Yogendra Tiku as Rani's father
  • Alka Badola Kaushal as Rani's mother
  • Chinmaya Agrawal as Chintu Mehra
  • Tripta Lakhanpal as Dadi
  • Nayani Dixit as Sonal
  • Sabeeka Imam as Roxette (Rukhsar)
  • Alexandre Plasti Melara as flying pig drunk #1
  • Leonardo Pricoli as flying pig drunk #2



Producer-director Vikas Bahl made his directorial debut with Chillar Party (2011), co-directed with Nitish Tiwari, which won three National Film Awards. Since he liked the story of Queen, he decided to direct the film himself.[14] It was eventually produced by Viacom 18 Motion Pictures and Phantom Films, which he co-owns with Anurag Kashyap and Vikram Motwane.[15]

The lead role of Rani was earlier offered to Kareena Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra, both of whom turned down the film.[16][17] As he wrote the script, he based Rani on people he had observed while growing up in Delhi. "I know life for girls is planned out for them by their families. They lose their own perspective on life and they are okay with that."[18] In a scenario where as a girl crosses 20, her family gets busy to get her "settled", she never plans anything by herself, unless as in this case of Rani, marriage plans go awry. Thus the script was developed so that in the "first half, Rani gets over the guy, and in the second, she gets over herself."[19] Bahl wrote the script keeping Ranaut in mind, however it was Anurag Basu who connected him with her and helped cast her in the film.[20]

After her audition, actress Lisa Haydon, who played an Indo-French hotel staff member, Vijaylaksmi, practiced French for a month. Other actors Mish Boyko (Alexander) and Jeffery Ho (Taka) were cast after auditions in London, while Joseph Guitobh (Tim), who played Rani's third roommate, was spotted singing on a street and was asked whether he'd be interested in working in Hindi film, though he couldn't speak English.[18]


The film was shot in late 2012 over a period of 45 days, starting with Paris, followed by Amsterdam and Delhi.[18] Despite shooting abroad, Vikas Bahl did not have a huge budget to spend on the film. He took a crew of 25 people from India to shoot the film in about 145 locations in 40 days. Locations were booked a couple of hours, before the crew would rush to another location as they often shot 3–4 locations in a day. The crew would eat their meals at nearby restaurants, and at times actors including lead Kangana Ranaut would change clothes in nearby public toilets and restaurants.[14][21] Since the film was not shot in a linear fashion, the colour of mehndi, applied to bride's hand was faded to match its natural fading.[18] During the filming upon Ranaut's suggestion some scenes were added, like the kiss scene with the Italian chef, and a small scene where Rani asks a stranger to click her picture in Amsterdam.[18] She even ended up writing a lot of her dialogue, and was given credit for the additional dialogue. In fact during filming, the director allowed all the actors to improvise their dialogue, to add realism to the film.[14][19]

The remixed version of "Hungama Ho Gaya" was shot at Club NL, in Amsterdam, where a Hindi song was played for the first time.[22][23]

However, when 90 percent of the film was already shot, cinematographer Bobby Singh died suddenly following an asthma attack on 25 December 2012, after just having completed a schedule in Delhi.[24][25] After seeing rushes of the film, Anurag Kashyap volunteered to edit the film himself and since Bahl didn't have any editors at the time, he too agreed.[14]

Allegations of Assault[edit]

In October 2018, in an interview with Huffington Post India, a former employee of Phantom Films accused Bahl of sexually harassing her after a promotional event for Bombay Velvet. Later, Ranaut spoke out in support of the former Phantom employee, and corroborated her version of Bahl's sexual harassment on the sets of Queen. Following this, Nayani Dixit, Ranaut's co-star in the film, also accused him of sexual misconduct. Phantom Films subsequently disbanded, and founders Anurag Kashyap and Vikramaditya Motwane made formal statements against Bahl and his sexual misdemeanors. Bahl, in turn, sent them legal notices, citing defamation of character.[citation needed]


The trailer of the film was released on 20 December 2013.[26]


The film's soundtrack is composed by Amit Trivedi, with lyrics by Anvita Dutt.[27] The album was released exclusively on iTunes on 23 January 2014,[28] followed by a release on all streaming platforms on 25 January 2014.[29] The music album was physically released on 5 February 2014 at the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival in Mumbai.[30] An additional track was released on 1 March 2014, it was the remixed version of hit cabaret number of the 1970s Hungama Ho Gaya sung by Asha Bhosle for the film, Anhonee (1973) was remixed by Amit Trivedi for the film, with additional vocals by Arijit Singh. The song was also used in end credits of the film.[22][23][31]


Box office[edit]

Queen debuted with relatively low collections and grossed 2 crore (US$280,400) on the first day, grossing 33.5 million (US$470,000) on the second day, and 43 million (US$600,000) on the third day, taking the first weekend's collection to 95 million (US$1.3 million).[32] Despite a poor start, Queen held up well in the first weekdays and grossed around 25 million (US$350,000) per day during the week and ended the first week with 180 million (US$2.5 million).[33] On its second Monday it grossed 30 million (US$420,000), coinciding with a holiday in India.[34] Queen had higher collection in the second week than the first week, collecting 390 million (US$5.5 million) in two weeks.[35][36] The movie had a massive growth by far in 2014 for the third week collection by 115 million (US$1.6 million), which totals the third week collection to 505 million (US$7.1 million).[37] In the fourth week, the film managed a promising 65 million (US$910,000), which is the 11th highest gross of all time in the history of Hindi cinema for the fourth week. The final domestic collection was just above 600 million (US$8.4 million).[38][39]

In overseas market, Queen collected 67.5 million (US$950,000) in United States, 12.3 million (US$170,000) in Canada and 18.6 million (US$260,000) in United Kingdom in five weeks, totalling around 125 million (US$1.8 million) in all overseas market.[40] The movie earned over 1,080 million (US$15 million) worldwide by the end of its eighth week.[3]

Critical reception[edit]

Kangana Ranaut's performance as the titular character garnered widespread critical acclaim winning her the National Film Award for Best Actress.

Queen, as well as Ranaut's performance, received praise from critics.[41] Saibal Chatterjee of NDTV gave the film 4/5 stars and called the film "spicy, balmy and uplifting" and added, "Kangana is the heart and soul of Queen and she does not strike a single false note".[42] Raja Sen from Rediff also awarded the film 4/5 stars and called Kangana "gobstoppingly spectacular", adding that the film is "a showcase for an actress poised to reign".[43] Rajeev Masand of CNN-IBN gave the film 4/5 stars calling it "rare and disarming" and described Kangana's performance as "raw, nuanced, delicately comical".[44] Anupama Chopra praised Kangana's performance, hailing it as "artfully transparent and heartfelt", but said the film is "meandering and indulgent" at places, rating it 3.5/5 stars.[45] Sarita Tanwar from Daily News and Analysis awarded the film 4.5/5 stars and said, "Queen is irresistible. Highly recommended. A must-see film. You will leave the theatre with your heart humming happily."[46] Saurabh Dwivedi from India Today also gave the film 4.5/5 stars and said the film is "amazing" and "a brilliant package".[47] Deepanjana Pal from Firstpost has quoted "Kangana Ranaut is pitch perfect in Queen".[48] Queen made a mark with its sincerity and simplicity, posted Zee News.[49]

Awards and nominations[edit]

At the 62nd National Film Awards, the film won the awards for Best Hindi Film and Best Actress for Ranaut.[50][51] At the 60th Filmfare Awards ceremony, Queen won a leading six awards out of a leading 13 nominations: Best Film, Best Director, Best Actress for Ranaut, Best Background Score for Amit Trivedi, Best Cinematography and Best Editing.[52] At the 2015 Screen Awards ceremony, Queen received 13 nominations, the most for any film at the ceremony, and won the awards for Best Film, Best Director and Best Cinematography.[53][54] Other nominations included Best Actress for Ranaut, and Best Supporting Actress for Haydon.[54] At the 2015 Star Guild Awards, the film won the awards for Best Director, Best Story, Best Screenplay, and Best Editing.[55] Queen also won the Best Film, Best Director, and Best Actress for Ranaut at the Stardust Awards ceremony.[56] At the 16th IIFA Awards ceremony, Queen received five nominations: Best Movie, Best Director, Best Actress for Ranaut, Best Supporting Actress for Haydon, and Best Story[57] and won five awards, best actress for Ranaut, best movie, best story, best screenplay and best editing.


The film is being remade in Tamil as Paris Paris, in Kannada as Butterfly,[58] in Telugu as That Is Mahalakshmi,[59] and in Malayalam as Zam Zam.[60]


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External links[edit]