wogma rating: Beg or borrow, but do watch (?) - Especially as a the thriller
The makers have obviously worked on improving the aspects that were little off in the first episode while making what was done well even better. Except for a couple of quibbles, Mardaani 2 works as a thriller for sure.Read more
As a thriller, even if Mardaani 2 shows rather than tells what it has to say in the climax, it will have done much better than Mardaani. And then it hopefully has also worked on being less preachy and predictive with more authenticity in its profanity or none at all.
The trailer promises the same fear of the villain and indicates a similar chemistry between protagonist and antagonist. While its focus on the issue at hand seems sharper, I hope it doesn’t fall into the exploitative zone.
Certainly, a decent thriller seems to be on the cards.
Mardaani 2 releases on 13 December 2019.
- meeta, a part of the audience
Mardaani 2 is visually powerfully, creates an intense atmosphere, and engages emotionally despite the clinical treatment. Of course, the topic lends itself to engaging the audience easily. The thriller successfully uses the subject as a hook. There is an attempt to weave the social aspects into the very fabric of the film—it works many a time and is in-the-face for the rest.
Despite the predictability, you feel as exhausted as Shivani.
But then again, patriarchy is hardly subtle in real life at most times. Given that, Mardaani 2 might actually serve as a pointer towards shifting blame from the women to the way men are raised without directly ever saying so. On the other hand, the commentary on the fickle male ego is capitalised, highlighted, and underlined so you don’t miss it.
As a film though, so many of my niggling complaints with Mardaani have changed for the better. There is hardly any profanity, which works better than the language sounding forced. The villain (Vikram Singh Chauhan) and his chemistry with SP Shivani Shivaji Roy (Rani Mukerji) doesn’t give the audience a chance budge from the seat. Through the fifteen minute interval, the people around me were discussing the sorry state of affairs related to women’s safety.
The introduction to the villain sends a chill down the spine. Using voice-over and breaking the fourth wall—both serve the narrative. Unfortunately, it is done a bit too often in the first half, diluting the otherwise well-instilled fear. Until then though, the impact is powerful enough that you hope they won’t explicitly show the villain’s brutality.
Vikram Singh Chauhan and Rani Mukerji do their jobs with the perfect amount of intensity, without which I am not sure the film would have involved us as well as it did. Rani Mukerji delivers a predictable speech so well that despite it being an obvious sermon it resonates with you down to the last bone. And you find yourself justifying the writers saying that at least they tried to turn it into a dialogue for appearances, even if the attempt was more or less farcical. Similarly, you know how the film is going to end but you are worried how much damage will be caused along the way. Despite the predictability, you feel as exhausted as Shivani.
Yet you get a glimpse of her human side, the side which cannot appreciate a good effort for what it is. That “can do better” she gives her niece is almost a bait to reviewers. But not swaying towards self-importance, I shall appreciate the passing yet important and relevant references to caste-ism, the callousness of the media, and the politician-criminal nexus.
Which brings me to the quibbles I collected through the film. As much as a character disgusts my last gut, I am not sure I want the lay person beating them up. It is my sincerest hope that the writing decision was out of emotion and not to play to the gallery
But then again, patriarchy is hardly subtle in real life at most times.
Also, what if the villain wasn’t obviously mentally ill? After all, not all rapists and killers are so off the “normal”. But are they? Maybe that is why, this once this Mardaani film chose the easier path of having a villain who is evidently abnormal. Maybe next time, we will move to the everyday safety issues. Also, maybe next time we won’t call it Mardaani. Even womaniya will do. Or an explanation through the promotional activities to why “Mardaani”.
- meeta, a part of the audience
Thumbs up, by Anna MM Vertticad, annavetticadgoes2themovies : ...Aided by Monisha Baldawa’s concise editing, the tension does not let up for even a second in Mardaani 2’s economical one hour 45 minutes running time. John Stewart Eduri’s background score is perfectly compatible with the storyline and Puthran puts it to excellent use, not once raising the volume or thrusting it into crucial silences, unlike the makers of most Hindi thrillers. Sound designers Ganesh Gangadharan and Nihar Ranjan Samal too seem intent on not sensationalising the unfolding crimes.... full review
Thumbs up, Bollywood Hungama : ...On the whole, MARDAANI 2 is a gripping thriller that boasts of an exciting script and bravura performances by Rani Mukerji and Vishal Jethwa. At the box office however, it will need a strong word of mouth to sustain.... full review
Thumbs up, Catch News : ...खौफनाक कहानी देख कांपी दर्शकों की रूह, पहले ही सीन से बांध लेती है फिल्मफिल्म के डायरेक्टर ने फिल्म में लैंगिग असमानता का मुद्दा और फिल्म के विलन की मानसिक स्थिति के पीछे के कारणों को बखूबी दिखाया है.... full review
Thumbs up, by Devesh Sharma, Filmfare : ...Mardaani 2 is Rani Mukerji's show all the way and she lives and breathes her character. It's easily one of her best performances till date.Villain Vishal Jethwa is a revelation. His many mood changes and quirks keep you hooked. Watch the film for its edge-of-the-seat drama as well as for its powerful social message as well...... full review
Thumbs up, by Madhuri V, Filmi Beat : ...There are no songs in Mardaani 2, and it goes with the subject of the film. John Stewart Eduri's background score is effective in lending a sense of thrill to the narrative.... full review
Thumbs up, by Vishal Verma, Glamsham.com : ...MARDAANI 2 is a brutal necessity in today’s times; this terrifically gripping, gritty, well-etched & masterly performed movie reminds that we desperately need a person like Shivani Roy in our lives which is in constant danger of getting ruined by brutal merciless male chauvinist offenders like Sunny.... full review
Thumbs up, by Monika Rawal Kukreja, Hindustan Times : ...Mardaani 2 is a story that everyone knows about, but it still needs to be told again. There are moments that make us cringe, but if we can watch 24-hour news cycle then this film is certainly the need of the hour to make our voices heard.... full review
Thumbs up, by Nairita Mukherjee, india today : ...Still, a strong performance-backed film like Mardaani 2 is worth a watch. It will disturb you - but not more than what news reports are already doing to you (or should be). We're going with 3 stars out of 5.... full review
Thumbs up, by Sonal Gera, India TV : ...'Mardaani 2' also tends to stereotype its male characters -- almost all of them are chauvinistic, and blabber misogynistic lines only to get schooled by our "Mardaani". But there's a silver lining too -- at least one of the chauvinistic subordinates has a change of heart by the end of the film. Good enough!... full review
Thumbs up, by R.M. Vijayakar, India West : ...Miss this film and you will lose out on one of the finest thrillers you will get to see. I cut off half a star only for the licenses freely taken with logic that possibly could have been worked upon without disturbing what the film is—a disturbing social and thought-provoking saga narrated with rare potency and passion.... full review
Thumbs up, by Ambika Sachin, Khaleej Times : ...'Mardaani 2' is a must watch for those who feel helpless upon reading reports of crime against women. It might be a bit over the top at times, but the narrative technique works well for this particular genre.... full review
Thumbs up, by Umesh Punwani, koimoi : ...All said and done, Mardaani 2 is a disturbing yet a required watch. It’s tightly packaged & you may not like what’s in it but you’ll have to take a look because it’s happenings for real. Kudos Rani Mukerji, Vishal Jethwa & the team for showing us the mirror.... full review
Thumbs up, by Kunal Guha, Mumbai Mirror : ...This isn’t a film for the faint-hearted — decapitated bodies being recovered from the sewer, murky particulars of sexual assault and a menacing perpetrator who refuses to retract. It’s the kind of disturbing thriller that could leave you enraged and disappointed, considering the current climate in the country where such crimes have become routine.... full review
Thumbs up, by Rajeev Masand, News18.com : ...Ultimately Mardaani 2 benefits from the strong performances of both Rani Mukerji and her young co-star Vishal Jethwa. It’s brisk, slickly shot, and plays to the gallery. I’m going with three out of five.... full review
Thumbs up, by Giridhar Jha, Outlook India : ...In between the thrilling moments, the movie also seeks to underline the patriarchal mindset and gender inequality prevailing in our society. It also quotes the statistics, including inadequate representation of women in Parliament, to highlight the great gender divide in the country.... full review
Thumbs up, by Vaibhavi V Risbood, Pinkvilla : ...Mardaani 2 manages to spark a conversation on the threat young women and girls are susceptible to every day. However, this film makes you wonder how many Shivani Shivaji Roy in our police department at various levels would be willing to do what the on-screen Shivani does but gets restricted and limited because of power, orders and law.... full review
Thumbs up, by Amman Khurana, Times Now : ...Jethwa, though, is an absolute revelation. The film belongs to him. He gets the best lines and does total justice with them. The way he stares into the camera can actually send shivers down your spine. This boy will go a long way!... full review
Thumbs up, by Ronak Kotecha, Times of India : ...However, it’s the conviction in the performances and a gripping narrative that ensure there’s never a dull moment in Mardaani 2. Yes, it is a brutal story that’s sometimes hard to stomach, but it needs to be told. And none better than Rani in a khakee to lead the show.... full review
So-So, by Bobby Sing, Bobby Talks Cinema.com : ...So do give it a chance as it is a much better film in comparison to its first part and has a relevant message too for the men in particular.... full review
So-So, by Subhash K Jha, Bolly Spice : ...She has terrific support from the cinematographer Jishnu Bhattachajee who gives to the crime-enveloped drama the feeling of dazzling drab. I felt Mardaani could have gone a lot further if it had not chosen to be a film that talks to us about a sick society without providing any healing remedies. She has terrific support from the cinematographer Jishnu Bhattachajee who gives to the crime-enveloped drama the feeling of dazzling drab. I felt Mardaani could have gone a lot further if it had not chosen to be a film that talks to us about a sick society without providing any healing remedies.... full review
So-So, by Urmimala Banerjee, Bollywood Life : ...Mardaani 2 is a well-made crime thriller with a good topic of the growing number of criminals in the adolescent population. Rani Mukerji again reminds us of what a fine performer she is. The film hits home the reality that we aren't safe and need to be alert 24 x7.... full review
So-So, by Deepa Gahlot, Deepa Gahlot : ...If the character of a female cop in Bollywood has to have power and significance, better scripts need to be written for her—the Mardaani films make it look like she must only fight crimes against women.... full review
So-So, by Shubhra Gupta, indian express : ...The best line of the film belongs, of course, to our mardaani, when she talks of hissa, participation and equality for women. Mukerji delivers it straight and true, and even if it is a dialogue singularly crafted for her, you want to applaud.... full review
So-So, by Mayank Shekhar, MiD DAY : ...Between this hero and that villain, and a film oscillating between a cathartic thriller, psycho drama, and a police-procedural, what strikes you most is the finely hand-picked cast in this line-up — right from Sumit Nijhawan, who plays the veteran, local deputy SP, down to, of course, Vishal Jethwa, that boy-villain, constantly changing his menacing look, prowling around to prove that, yes, we're not safe, anywhere, anymore.... full review
So-So, by Vinamra Mathur, MiD DAY : ...All in all, it's fun to watch this game of cat-and-mouse, very similar to the one we saw in Mardaani. The final encounter is both brutal and brave, and gives the leading lady the opportunity to create a sequence that's both energetic and evocative. Mardaani 2 makes the right points and selects a burning issue, but it could've been less in-your-face and more restrained.... full review
So-So, by Saibal Chatterjee, NDTV : ...In Mardaani, released five years ago, in the heroine's line of fire was a Delhi-based child trafficking kingpin played with aplomb by newcomer Tahir Raj Bhasin. In a crime thriller of this nature, the impact of the baddie is decisive. On that count, Jethwa isn't found wanting although there are moments when in trying to portray the nature of his character's psychosis, he goes just a tad overboard.... full review
So-So, by Priyanka Sinha Jha, News18.com : ...Lacking both the exaggerated chutzpah of masala flicks like Rohit Shetty’s Singham or the sophistication of Meghna Gulzar’s police procedural Talvar, Mardaani 2 falls between two stools.... full review
So-So, by Sukanya Verma, Rediff : ...Rani Mukerji is where it scores. Her perfect hair and eyelashes haven't budged an inch, but there's a serenity to her groomed, gritty policewoman. She is not playing to the gallery. Five years have passed and there is a sense of evolution and acceptance in her hawk-eyed persona. Her instincts, even the most far-fetched ones where you have to grant she knows because she knows, are trustworthy because of how she wears her perceptiveness on a sleeve.... full review
Thumbs down, by Rahul Desai, Film Companion : ...What Mardaani 2 does do is make me further appreciate films like Article 15 and shows like Delhi Crime. Sexual violence is tricky ground for artists to translate into anything more than “hard-hitting” content, but by virtue of having privileged upper-class protagonists who are visibly shaken by the crimes they investigate, such stories achieve a rare balance between voice and vanity.... full review
Thumbs down, by Uday Bhatia, Live Mint : ...Shivani ended Mardaani looking on as Bhasin’s antagonist is beaten to death by a group of women. In this slick, gruesome sequel, Shivani again steps aside and allows victims to exact revenge, in full view of the public. You can’t pick and choose your lynchings.... full review
Thumbs down, by Nandini Ramnath, Scroll.in : ...Mardaani 2 slows down to give Shivani her chance at feminist speechifying, but there isn’t enough meat on the screenplay or in its heroine to give Mukerji a chance to display her acting chops. Shivani exits the picture as quickly as she enters it, and a movie centred around a woman’s achievements in a male-dominated world ends as hurriedly and bloodlessly as it began.... full review
Thumbs down, by Namrata Joshi, The Hindu : ...The script takes expected turns, especially the way the climax gets laid out. Blood and gore and mob justice solution of the former gets toned down, if not entirely done away with. Be it fear, loathing or anger, somehow it’s not able to tap into or channel any of our collective feelings. Or is it that we have grown immune to things, specially when reality is getting far more horrific and complicated by the day than its portrayal in cinema?... full review
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