Movie Review: MARDAANI (2014)
2014 was been the year for successful female centric movies in Bollywood, but the most bad assest of them all has to be the one with Rani Mukherji. Here is my Review of ‘Mardaani’.
[schema type=”movie” url=”http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3495000/” name=”Mardaani” director=”Pradeep Sarkar” actor_1=”Rani Mukherji” ]
Blank Page Rating: 4 out of 5 Knock Off Sunglasses
The super cop genre is a Bollywood staple and almost a requirement of any potential leading man. But Yash Raj Films’ ‘Mardaani’ flips the concept on its head with, quite possibly first female super cop ever. Starring Rani Mukherji, the movie follows Mukherji’s tough as nails Crime Branch officer, Shivani Shivaji Roy, as she kicks ass, takes names and does it all without any emotional plot devices regarding her being a ‘lady-cop’.
‘Mardaani’ is all about how Roy uncovers a child prostitution ring that hits a little close to home, and her obsession in apprehending the ones behind it. The Director, Pradeep Sarkar does a great job of keeping the story simple, while still infusing it with some cool crime drama elements. He makes sure to hit all the right notes expected from a movie of this genre such as the righteous cop, the intimidating villain with friends in powerful places and a narrative twist that, while nothing spectacular, adds to the enjoyment of the film. Sarkar’s biggest criticism for me in particular in his previous films has been his use of unnecessary melodramatic plot points in the female centric stories such as ‘Laaga Chunnari Mein Daag’. ‘Mardaani’ avoids all this and keeps the story focused on the main character and the conflict at hand, without any social commentary.
Mukherji excels in the role, as she’s never made to seem anything less than a male actor playing a similar character archetype. That has to be the most impressive part about ‘Mardaani’, the fact that the screenplay or dialogue never once accounts for the lead being a woman, or does anything to undermine her actions as such. Especially given the fact that Roy does all the seemingly typical Bollywood hero action; chase down bad guys on foot, slap around low level street thug and even engages in a brutal fist fight. The breakout performance has to be Tahir Raj Bhasin as the antagonist who gives a wonderfully creepy portrayal of Karan creating great chemistry between Mukherji and himself.
‘Mardaani’ is a fast paced and quick movie that doesn’t drag out its plot or provide unnecessary sub plots. The screenplay is tight and the performances and quite effective. Its an enjoyable drama with a career defining performance by Rani Mukherji, and one of the very few examples of true progression towards gender equality in Bollywood.