Date of Release – August 2, 2014
Genre – Crime, Fiction, Thriller, Action
Director – Pradeep Sarkar
Duration – 152 minutes
Cast – Rani Mukerji, Jisshu Sengupta, Tahir Bhasin, Sanjay Taneja
Music - Shantanu Moitra, Karthik Raja
Mardaani, a movie I had been long awaiting for two reasons – First, Rani Mukherjee had lost somewhere post Talash and one only read about her in gossip mills, that too mostly updates about her personal life. A comeback for an actress of her calibre had to be special. And the promos too, accelerated the curiosity!
Secondly, Indian cinema usually takes a very “Jhansi Ki Rani” approach when it comes to female dominated films. Coming from a seasoned director like Pradeep Sarkar, who has mastered the art of serving the perfect feminist story (Parineeta, Laga Chunari Mein Daag), one could expect a film that met the viewer’s expectations.
And true to its name, Mardaani, the movie took the box office by storm. The initial buzz following its release has reached a different level with Mardaani staying afloat vis a vis the others.
Since Singham returns came in a week before, there were comparisons floating around of Mardaani being Lady Singham. But if you watch the movie, the Bengal Tigress roars and impresses you with her seasoned natural acting, superb dialogue delivery and action sequences which no rosy rosy actress trending these days would have been able to manage.
Pradeep Sarkar, weaves a story around the wefts and warps of human trafficking. Shivani Shivaji Roy, an honest and intelligent crime branch officer takes on the mafia when an orphan girl Pyaari, whom she treated like her own daughter falls prey to them. The officer, who believes in becoming a rat to catch a rat, and a snake to catch a snake, takes it upon herself to destroy the Lanka. The rest of the movie sees her manage a rather tough chase to Delhi and unearth the racket, with limited help from the authorities.
One thing I love about Rani is the ease with which she slips into her character, be it her bold avtar in No One killed Jessica; the submissive housewife in Talash, she gets into the skin of the character. So, one shot will see her spearheading her team on a mission to catch a gangster, and the other will show her pounding her love on her niece and an orphan on the street Pyari. You may not see her serving her husband hot chapattis but like a true Indian wife you can see her pained to see her husband in trouble and standing by his side.
The supporting cast has done a decent job, but it’s Rani who steals the show and you can’t help but marvel at yet another flawless performance of the actress!
It was a treat to my eyes to see many familiar locations in Delhi in various scenes – Connaught Place, Lodi Garden etc.
While the film keeps you totally hooked on in the first half, it gets pretty predictable towards the end and Mr. Hubby suggested we move before the ending credits to avoid the rush. But I insisted we stayed till the last scene, for I loved watching the end for Rani’s action sequences and her strong dialogues. (There is frequent use of some censored words too so you might wanna think before your kids wanna go for it).
With such a movie, you cannot hope for romantic or song n dance numbers as they would dilute the flavour of the movie. However, the background score and the theme song resonates the spirit of the movie.
Overall, what a comeback movie for Rani, and if I have to tweak lines of a famous Hindi Poem, it would go like,
“Khoob Ladi Mardani Woh To Filmon Wali Rani Thi..."
Here’s wishing she continues to impress her with her ever evolving acting skills!
My Rating – 4.5/5