About a month ago, I read a lot of outrageous comments about the title of movie Mardaani as it means ‘like a man’ or ‘manly’. Honestly it doesn’t matter to me what the title is or what it means. To me Shivani Shivaji Roy (Rani Mukherji) is a character I wish each one of us could have been. The movie is a very well made one. Much much better than many of the otherwise commercially successful blockbusters.
Shivani lives with her husband Dr. Bikram Roy (Jisshu Sengupta) and her niece Meera. Pyaari (Priyanka Sharma), a teenager, vanishes overnight from a shelter home in Mumbai. A senior crime branch officer with a heart and mind of her own, Shivani sets out on a journey in search of Pyaari whom she had once rescued from a railway station. This leads Shivani into a complex world of international drug and child trafficking racket being run from Delhi. The story is about how Shivani manages to uncover the mastermind behind the racket.
Rani has played Shivani very well but I felt it could have been played with a little more intensity. Karan Rastogi alias Walt (Tahir Raj Bhasin), the mafia kingpin has done a brilliant job and keeps one waiting till he comes face to face with Shivani in the climax. The dialogues between Shivani and Karan throughout their Cat and Mouse chase keep one thoroughly engaged. A special word of appreciation for Tahir Bhasin, who has done complete justice to his role. A real talent to watch out for in future. Every character gets a good chance to leave a lasting impression irrespective of the duration of time s(he) is on screen.
Mardaani definitely is Pradeep Sarkar’s best work after Parineeta (2005). With a strong storyline, brilliant editing, a strong protagonist, an equally strong antagonist and an awesome crew of supporting actors, the song-less movie has everything from drama, action and emotion. It is a complete thriller. The film exposes threadbare the not so often discussed issue of child and sex trafficking. It appears scary and disturbing at times and is a strict NO-NO for children. I was surprised as well as annoyed to see parents walking out of the movie hall with children below the age of ten. Shivani’s role will definitely leave a powerful impression on many minds and will make a lot of parents enroll their children into self-defense courses.
There’s also a strong underlying message for the law and order system in India. If law cannot bring justice for the victims, more and more criminals will walk freely and commit brutal crimes openly. I will not be surprised if more and more criminals get punished by the public since the law doesn’t seem to be acting within a stipulated time period. Rather the law seems to be supporting them with enough and more loopholes available for them to escape.
The anthem that goes along with the credits at the end too is very well written and sung. Sunidhi Chauhan alone could have given it the intensity it required.
Release: August 22, 2014
Production: Yash Raj Films
Cast: Rani Mukerji, Jisshu Sengupta, Tahir Bhasin, Sanjay Taneja
Music composed by: Shantanu Moitra, Karthik Raja
Genres: Crime Fiction, Thriller, Drama, Action