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Queens – Destiny Of Dance  : Nothing royal about this one
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Friday, April 29, 2011
David Atkins
Seema Biswas, Vineeth, Archana Gupta
The USP of the film could have been its unusual and interesting subject. However, the shoddy treatment ensures an end-product that’s nothing more than a strong reminder of the saas-bahu sagas on telly.

The plot: The film explores the life of the marginalised hijra (eunuch) community through the narrative of Mukta (Vineeth). Guru Amma (Seema Biswas), a hijra herself, has taken a lot of them under her care as one large family and keeps them protected from the world. Mukta is the star of the lot and is looked up to until the arrival of a mysterious new entrant who is christened Nandini (Archana Gupta). Jealousy rides high on Mukta’s mind as Nandini starts getting all the attention, which also throws up the shortcomings in the functioning of their daily lives. Determined to undo the wrong, Mukta tries to bring about a change, with an unexpected result.

The good: The film tries to showcase the life of the hijras from their perspective, which is a novel attempt. It also highlights them as humans first and puts the focus on their struggle to survive in a harsh society like ours.

The bad: It leaves you confused whether you are watching a film or a weepy soap. The costumes, location, makeup and melodrama are unnecessarily extravagant while the content, acting and logic are up for a toss. The story moves along a single emotional track of jealousy, while the songs and the blunt editing only add to the viewer’s woes. Seema Biswas has an influential role but does not live up to it while Archana Gupta only dolls up and sways to the music. Vineeth puts in an average performance. There are far too many befuddling moments in the film where you mutter, ‘This is not possible.’ If the first half drags, the second is irrational and painful.

Overall: The film tries hard but fails to evoke any empathy from the viewer. Kalpana Lajmi’s Darmiyaan did a far better job of it in 1997.

–    Nikita Periwal

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