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Mardaani Movie Review

Cast: Rani Mukerji, Tahir Raj Bhasin, Sanjay Taneja, Jisshu Sengupta, Anil George, Mona Ambegaonkar

Director: Pradeep Sarkar

There is no denying the fact that there are certain genres in Bollywood which have remained somewhat like a siamese with the art of cine making ever-since its inception. And undoubtedly women centrism is one of them. 

Be it "Mother India" the epic melodrama of 1950's , Ketan Mehta's "Mirch Masala", Rajkumar Santoshi's "Damini" or the recent ones like "NOKJ", "The Dirty Picture" and Sujoy Ghosh's "Kahaani", whenever our Bollywooders have tried to make their cine dreams sail on the rudder of women centrism most of the times they have succeeded in making them reach on the other shore. But this doesn't mean that "women centrism" or women centric cine ideas are fated to earn the accolades. Rather it's the venturesome story line lying underneath the entire cine enterprise and the valiant storytelling of our cine jugglers which has always succeeded in pleasing the cine sense of cine zealots. And the triumph of movies like "Chak De India", "NOKJ", "The Dirty Picture" and "Kahaani" on the BO and among the critics lobby conspicuously corroborates aforementioned fact.

Mardaani Movie

Ever since the day when first movie of Bollywood circumscribed around the core women centrism made it to big screen, the woman on center stage has thoroughly transformed from an ABLA (a forlorn materfamilias) to SABLA (a sinewy dame). Who in this era of human civilization can fight for her rights and if required then can even wallop the baddies. And the recently released women-centric-cum-crime-thriller cine delight of Pradeep Sarkar starring Rani Mukherjee certainly belong to the latter ilk.

Well after seeing last few cine crafts of Sarkar probably no one would have thought that someday this ace cinematician will have a tryst with such a bold cine fable. But with sinewy performer like Rani in the anterior of the camera Sarkar once again astonished everyone with his cine experimentation. 

Mardaani, the women centric crime drama of Sarkar is about a crime branch rough-and-tough cop, Shivani Shivaji Roy (Rani Mukherjee), who lives in Mumbai with her husband Dr Bikram Roy (Jisshu Sengupta) and her lil niece Meera. On a fateful day Pyaari a destitute girl Pyaari ( Priyanka Sharma) gets kidnapped from her shelter home. Soon after getting the news about Pyaari's disappearance Shivani starts rummage for her. But with frames rolling ahead she has a tryst with unexpected where she get to know that there is a turpitude nexus of human trafficking and drug peddling functional in Mumbai. After getting the sniff of this opprobrious cobweb Shivani decides to unearth this nexus and rescue all those who have fallen prey to it. So does Shivani succeeds in her objective and what follows when she has a rendezvous with the mastermind Walt (Tahir Raj Bhasin) of this vile world of flesh trade and drug trafficking. 

Rani Mukherjee in Mardaani Movie

Well as far as story-line of Mardaani is concerned then one needs to admit it munificently that plot of "Mardaani" is predictable up-till great extent. But that does not mean that it lacks that fire which is required keep viewers' attention fastened to the big screen. Because despite having a predictable course "Mardaani" never gives you a single moment, where you afford to take your eyes off the screen. And the thing which is thoroughly laudable about the plot of "Mardaani" is that from commencement till culmination it remains so simple, realistic and faithful to its spirit that you at once start affiliating with it. So kudos for the penmanship of Gopi Puthran.

Although at some place capricious instances embedded in the story-line may not go well with the sensible hemisphere of human psyche of some of the viewers, but those minor boo-boos can be overlooked when larger picture in the offering is clap worthy. Besides what is praiseworthy and pertinent to mention about Mardaani's plot is that despite being a commercial cine venture it up-till great extent succeeds in sending across a social message conspicuously as well as obliquely. 

Coming to screenplay of "Mardaani", then after seeing Sarkar tapping the right chords, it's once again proved that whenever Sarkar takes any cine project in his hands he is quite clear about his course of action and the shape of the end product. Be it "Parineeta", "Laga Chunnari Mein Daag" or "Lafangey Parinde" whenever Pradeep has made himself comfortable in the chair of director, he has always come up with a laudable end product, despite some very mediocre cine concepts in his hand. Even "Mardaani" is no exception to that.

Rani Mukherjee in Mardaani Movie

Well call it the cinematic dexterity of Sarkar or his vision from the very first frame till the consummation "Mardaani" never looses the appeal which a crime thriller with a message to communicate needs to have. Sans any redundant frills like unrealistic action or dialoguebaazi to add to the luster of the movie, Sarkar keeps everything well within the proportions and focused that too without any unwanted aural intruders. Although second half losses its pace a bit and climax too gets preachy and marks an abrupt end to a marvelously flowing narration which could have had a more realistic end. But just like the story-line even this minor error is worth neglecting because for most of the time the gazes and attention of the viewers remain glued to the big screen because of the quality content in the offering.

Cinematography of Arthur Zurawaski who captures the milieu with utmost excellence is top notch, and even in editing department Sanjib Dutta has done a great job by adroitly trimming obtruded chunks. Action sequences of Manohar Verma are quite realistic and looks exclusively designed for a women centric cine flick. Background score of Julius Packiam very well compliments the spirit of the movie. 

Well as far as performances are concerned then there is no denying the fact that throughout the run time of "Mardaani" there is just one gem which literally keeps everyone mesmerized by its brilliance and that is Rani Mukherjee. Although Rani embraced a de-glam avatar for "Mardaani" but in-spite of that she proved that when it comes to proving the mettle of her acting prowess then no one can beat her. 

Be it the dutiful attitude of a tough cop or the agony of a woman in search of a girl for whom she cares, or mouthing those cuss words, Rani portrays everything with such a conviction that you get compelled to gaga over the acting prowess of this sinewy performer. And in fact it won't be wrong to say that this time Rani has set her performance benchmark much higher then the one which she set with NOKJ. 

Rani Mukherjee in Mardaani Movie

At times it is seen that when some newbie shares the screen-space with a seasoned actor like Rani then he or she often gets overshadowed, but in the case of "Mardaani" and its antagonist Tahir Raj Bhasin nothing of that sort seems to be happening. Despite having a chocolate boy like looks Tahir conveniently manages to portray the character of a ruthless kingpin of the vile world of human and drug trafficking.

Rest of the supporting cast Jisshu Sengupta, Anil George, Mona Ambegaonkar doesn't get much scope to exhibit their acting excellence due to the nature of the script, but whatever they got they perform it with aplomb.

To sum up, well I don't want to sound like an extreme feminist, but still I don't have any qualms in saying that with a socially relevant content at its root. Decorated with superbly laudable performances of protagonists and a praiseworthy execution by those behind the camera, "Mardaani" is certainly one such women centric crime thriller which is miles ahead of many of cop sagas featuring the male protagonists and will be admired by even those who are die hard "Dabangg" or "Singham" fans. So for this stupendous and mighty cop saga I am going ahead with three out of five stars.


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