It’s needless to say that human trafficking is one the most heinous deeds prevalent all over and steps to curb this infectious virus are giving no appropriate results. Obviously the topic is hot and portraying it on a bigger screen is a bigger responsibility for any filmmaker.
Stars– Rani Mukerji, Tahir Bhasin, Jisshu Sengupta
Director– Pradeep Sarkar
Music director– Shantanu Moitra
Pradeep Sarkar known for flicks like ‘Laaga Chunri Mein Daag’, ‘Lafange Parinde’ that somehow didn’t hit the right chord with the audience, narrates the atrocious issue through ‘Mardaani’ and deploys strong actor Rani Mukerji to justify it on screen.
She plays Shivani Shivaji Rao, a fearless and courageous Senior Inspector from Mumbai Crime Branch. She has in her family, her husband Dr. Bikram Roy (Jisshu Sengupta) and a niece Meera.
Shivani takes up a case of a missing girl- Pyari who she comes to know is kidnapped by human trafficking mafia and is smuggled to Delhi. On her verge to chase Pyari out in Delhi, Shivani unearths a complete nexus spread all over the capital and decides to restrain it in her own methodology. Amidst all this, Shivani gets a call from the mafia kingpin- Walt (Tahir Bhasin) who warns her to stay away but hardly giving any heed to the threatening words, she takes this personally and challenges Walt that he will be caught within 30 days.
What follows thereafter? Will Shivani find the top dog and demolish the nexus from its roots? Or will she surrender to the powerful force which is there to trouble her at each and every step. Pradeep Sarkar narrates a daring tale of Shivani through ‘Mardaani’. And it has to be said that the director succeeds in painting a lady officer who nevertheless battles it out like any other man. And Rani Mukerji makes it real.
While the title hints over the actions of the mannish woman, the flick has much more than that to explore and grasp. Delhi has been a platform for exploiting many deeds rampant all over and this time, it’s been targeted by Pradeep who goes lane to lane of the capital and digs up the facts of the hidden mafia.
This over two hour twenty minutes drama has verve for its technique of investigation, which keeps you glued to your seats. The clues, the hints, the secrets entice us to join Shivani and her team in their investigation.
The modes of the kidnapping girls are razor-sharp while serving them like a ‘material’ on a plate before clients has a sense of creating fury against the stone-hearted mafias.
Adding some brilliant dialogues to it makes the flick more apt and realistic. ‘Aur kisi ko law sikhna hai?’ (Any one else wants to learn law?), is one of them which comes out hard-hitting when Shivani recounts sections under the code of conduct to a goon who messes with her.
Here is another one, ‘Legally Kaam Karte Rahoge… Criminals Ko Kaise Pakdoge’ (If you would work legally, how will you catch the criminals?). Most unadvised format to any cop but it sounds and looks good.
Action stunts are not out of the world and were strictly non-required in the flick. Rani wasn’t required to be a lady Dabangg in the flick, which is a non-masala drama. The action is raw which proves to be heroic enough in reel and real life rather than showing ‘hero-giri’ which if included, could have spoiled the flow.
What takes that quality a few notches higher is the performance of Rani. She makes sure that her name is genuinely tagged in most number of the scenes. While as a journalist in ‘No One Killed Jessica’ Rani was fast and clever, in this flick she is tough and more aggressive, which shows on screen.
Tahir Bhasin as a merciless ace criminal minded keeping a mask of a regular guy next door is brilliant. His character is cruel yet smart and Tahir displays that quality with his brilliant act.
Jisshu Sengupta as Rani’s husband does a good job. Akhilesh Verma and Vikrant Koul as cops are good.
Music by Shantanu Moitra is good; however, it’s the background score by Karthik Raja which leaves more impact.
At last it could be said that it’s not just Rani but other influential aspects that make Mardaani work.