Mardaani - Review
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It is just so refreshing to watch a Hindi film that has not been lengthened by forcing in a romantic track and songs. I understand, that shouldn't be a reason to bump any film's rating up. Unfortunately for the film, that is one of the main things you come out with. NOT the social issue it is trying to create awareness about. Till the film starts getting preachy and goes into a monologue, Mardaani is a well-narrated story with all the elements in-sync. But, the last fifteen minutes is downhill towards any typical thriller.
That is not to say, that the action in the last bit is not engaging. It is in fact very slick and Rani Mukherjee moves smartly. But, a voiceover that explains how things worked out, is the biggest turn-off in a thriller. And it is a shame because till then Mardaani didn't have a single dull moment. It's not that the plot twists weren't forseeable. You could see, some of the biggest turning points in the story from a few minutes before they happened. But, since you are rooting for the right thing to happen, you don't mind the predictability.
The writing to a great extent keeps you intrigued by one means or the other. Even though, it has the usual trappings of a supercop film. Like, showing the cop's happy family for one and only one reason. And of course, there are loopholes or leaps of faith. On the other hand, there are other things the writing department takes head-on. The dialogue is witty, even if the way the abuses are delivered sound forced, for effect, rather than natural. But, other than that the lines bring a smile or make you smirk.
The lead characters are written reasonably well too. The topic of sexual trafficking is such that the audience is already rooting for the story. In addition, Mardaani's bad guy instills fear appropriately. Also, a rarity in Hindi films, you see and enjoy a vibrant chemistry between the protagonist and the antagonist. This with Shivani (Rani Mukherjee) and the villain (Tahir Bhasin) hardly being in the same physical space. Again, it's not too often when both the sides are equally smart, cool and unfazed.
Of course, this wouldn't have worked hadn't it been for Rani Mukherjee and Tahir Bhasin's performances. Though Rani Mukherjee starts out being loud, but you soon get used it, because the character is written that way. She's strong and has a fight in her. Always. It is commendable that there is not an ounce of glamor around Rani Mukherjee and she stays in character throughout.
My usual gripe with movies that address social issues is they make some characters (usually the main leads) representative of a larger group of people say, the youth or women or the common man. Which is not bad in itself, but the story slips in and out from being about the character and being symbolic of the said group. Mardaani saves itself from that trap for most of the film. It is telling you the story of this one lady officer who has taken it upon herself to get to the bad guy for a personal reason (to start with) and it moves on to being about a larger purpose. It is also refreshing that the film doesn't make much ado about it being women-centric. It sticks to the points of one - being a thriller and two - talking about trafficking. Sort-of neutralises the fact that a film with a woman at the center is ironically called, Mardaani.
Yes, child trafficking for sexual crimes needs awareness. Yes, more and more films need to be made on such issues. Yes, Mardaani is a decent film. Alas, the issue is not what you come out thinking about. I wonder if there were censor cuts that took away bits that were needed to get us more involved with those who suffered. But, meanwhile, this will do. And go give, Lakshmi a watch too. Note, I am not saying instead, I am saying both. Each has a different approach - only that one is worth a watch and the other ought to be watched.
- meeta, a part of the audience
- Violence: Lots of action sequence. Nothing very gory, but fights nonetheless. Also, rape is alluded to.
- Language: Free use of abusive language.
- Nudity & Sexual content: Partial nudity.
- Concept: A cop takes on child-traffickers.
- General Look and Feel: Contemporary.
Mardaani - Movie Details
- Official Sites: Facebook YouTube Wikipedia IMDB
- Banner: Yash Raj Films
- Producer: Aditya Chopra
- Director: Pradeep Sarkar
- Lead Cast: Rani Mukerji, Tahir Raj Bhasin
- Supporting Cast: Jisshu Sengupta, Sanjay Taneja
- Story: Gopi Puthran
- Cinematography: Artur Zurawski
- Editor: Sanjib Datta
- Background Score: Julius Packiam
- Action Choreography: Manohar Verma
- Music Director: Salim Merchant, Sulaiman Merchant
- Lyrics: Kausar Munir
- Costume Designer: Urvashi Shah
- Facebook Page: Link
- Running time: 110 minutes
- Reviewer: meeta
- Language: Hindi
- Country: India
- Genres: Action, Social
Mardaani - Trailer
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