This weekend release “Mardaani” can pretty much boast of delivering the same product its marketing campaign (Read “Trailer”) promised. The film is a neat, no nonsense action thriller, with a very relevant theme and minus songs (again a welcome change) from regular YRF Movies.
The movie is based on the theme of child trafficking in India, and how the nexus works between common man, businessman, criminals and politicians. Today in India, it is an organized crime, done pretty much under the nose of the law, with blessings of powerful men who supposedly are the chosen ones by us. The story, revolves around the life of cop Shivani Shivaji Roy, played by Rani Mukjerjee, how she beautifully balances out her personal and professional life, and takes a dramatic twist when her foster child Pyaari gets kidnapped by a trafficking racket, thereon the story turns on into a cat and mouse chase, leading to twist and turns and ends with a powerful climax.
The story looks very real, given its characters and the way screenplay has been etched out. From the body language, to the finer nuances, to the location its shot, the film gives a very raw feel and makes it highly believable. The equation of Shivani with her colleagues or with her family (husband and niece) is well depicted. The scenes of the movies juxtapose well between being dramatic and subtle, particularly the telephonic scenes between Shivani and Karan (the antagonist).
Though the story deals with a social issue of prostitution, it unfolds in a racy thriller format, with a clear objective to keep the audience hooked and entertained.
Rani Mukherjee puts her weight behind the role of Shivani, literally and figuratively, giving a power-packed performance. Known for her versatility, this performance once again will feature in the distinction category under the string of her top performances. An extra star to her, for making Shivani extremely real and yet again spurting those expletives like no other heroine. It is said the protagonist looks dim, if the antagonist is weak. But the film boasts of a very cool and suave villain Karan, played by Tahir Raj Bhasin, who is a Delhite in real life and plays Denace the Menace Delhite in the movie to the tee. Apart from the leads, the film can boast of some pretty solid acting from the entire star cast. Writer Gopi Puthran and director Pradip Sarkar needs to be given a pat for giving solid characters, especially the role of antagonist, who instead of being larger than life, is just another regular college dropout entered crime, for money.
While the first half of the movie is very real, it’s the second half that kind of takes a typical hindi movie route where it shoulders upon the protagonist to take upon her shoulders to turn things right. An over the top unreal climax doesn’t help either. The other irony which my friend pointed about the movie other day was although the movie talks about women empowerment, it is titled Mardaani. Barring aside these flaws, it still is definitely one time watch: thanks to the solid performances, entertaining screenplay mostly believable and the theme it chose to narrate. Pretty good Commercial Entertainer!!!!
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