Mardaani is a gritty crime-thriller that takes a ringside view of the dirty world of child trafficking. The movie is a tribute to the fearless, independent and bold Mumbai police force, especially the lady cops, represented by Rani Mukherjee’s character. Without alluding to chauvinism, male bashing or sexist comments of female superiority, the film makes its point clear – here is a woman who will stop at nothing to ensure that justice is met, even if the law has to be conveniently twisted to bring the criminals to justice.
Story of Mardaani
Shivani Shivaji Roy (Rani Mukherjee) is a senior inspector working for the crime-branch, and living in Mumbai, with her husband Dr. Bikram Roy (Jisshu Sengupta) and niece Meera. Shivani takes care of an urchin called Pyari as her own daughter; this girl is attached with an NGO home. Shivani investigates the case and finds that the kidnapped girl has been lured by a sinister group that is behind one of the biggest child-trafficking rackets. Shivani is constantly being icily threatened and challenged by a youth, who calls himself the head of the group and dares her to catch him. Finally Shivani hits upon a brainwave to nab the culprits and bring them to book.
Plus points of Mardaani
Pradeep Sarkar veers away from the coy actresses as protagonists and builds a steely character, a dare-devil police inspector who can gives the Singhams and Chulbul Pandeys of the world, a run for their money. For people who like their cops to be real as they can get, without somersaulting in the air, this is it! Rani uses a cerebral approach to get to the goons and does it in style. The antagonists are also shown to be equally powerful, with the kingpin Walt (Tahir Bhasin) using technology that makes tracking virtually impossible. The execution of the interesting story in the screen, is commendable. The movie goes into unchartered waters not hitherto explored in Bollywood and exposes the nexus between trafficking and drugs, with insights into their nefarious activities.
Minus points of Mardaani
The dialogues could have done better with few more public-friendly lines. A phone call scene brilliantly acted by Rani is wasted due to silly lines like ‘under 19 cricket team ke twelfth captain’. Post second half, some sequences begin to slack but thankfully, the tempo is back before any further damage could transpire. Also if one goes by the psyche of the cold-blooded killers who do not want anyone to thwart their despicable dealings, the logical thing would be eliminate Shivani , when they manage to lay their hands on her. They do not even torture her and just keep her in bondage for no conclusive reason. Shivani does give a justification as to why she was not killed because the villain would rather have fun with her, but it still doesn’t look like a convincing reason.
Rani Mukherjee is convincing as Shivani Shivaji Rao, the dare-devil police inspector. She pumps in enough punch on her role, to make it the finest female cop performance ever in Bollywood. In one of the sequences, where she sheds a tear while talking to the kidnapper, she clearly indicates that she is an exponent in her art. Tahir Bhasin, as the antagonist, may be much lesser both in age and experience, but carries enough acting potential in him, to despise his character. The rest of the cast, including Jisshu Sengupta as Rani’s husband, Mikhail Yawalkar ,Akhilesh Verma, and Vikrant Koul do fantastically well.
Mardaani is a riveting watch. Get hooked!