113 Min | Action – Drama – Thriller | August 2014
IMDB Rating: 7.7
Director: Pradeep Sarkar
Starring: Rani Mukerji, Tahir Raj Bhasin, Gautam Babbar
Mardaani Review: There are some movies which are made just to entertain but there are some which makes you think, Mardaani falls in the latter genre. Human Trafficking is a business which is growing at an alarming rate worldwide and India is a hub of Child Trafficking and Mardaani deals with this topical subject. Gopi Puthran chooses a controversial topic of Human Trafficking for his story and the risk with such subjects is that it becomes preachy. But thankfully Gopi’s screenplay refrains from doing so and tells the story in a thriller format of a crime branch Inspector Shivani Shivaji Roy (Rani Mukherjee) who has a soft spot for an orphan Pyari (Debutant Priyanka Sharma). Life takes a turn for Shivani when Pyari goes missing, how Shivani busts the Human Trafficking nexus and finds Pyari constitutes the rest of the story.
In Mardaani, the performances are the biggest highlight of the movie. Rani as Shivani gives a crackling performance, everything from her body language to the way she speaks everything is spot on. Rani Mukherjee again proves that you cannot keep a good actor away for too long. Another brilliant performance is of the debutant Tahir Raj Bhasin who plays the antagonist Karan, he is so good that you start hating him, truly a brilliant debut. Tahir’s portrayal of Karan is a perfect complement to Rani’s portrayal of Shivani. Mona Ambegoankar gives a superb performance, though her role is small but she shines even in a brief role, sad to see that a brilliant actress like her is underutilized. Another debutant Priyanka Sharma as Pyari shows spark in Mardaani. Jishu Sengupta the Bengali actor is wasted in a brief role. Rest of the cast is cast well and they do a good job.
The second highlight of Mardaani is the cinematography by Artur Zurawski who captures the bylanes of Mumbai and Delhi well and keeps the tone as realistic as possible in lieu of the narration. With “Mardaani” Pradeep Sarkar resumes his original form which was seen in “Parineeta” (2005). Though a dark and sensitive subject, but Pradeep handles it well and keeps the narrative simple though a bit of twists would have been better. But Pradeep is successful is extracting some brilliant performances from the cast which is commendable. Kudos to Pradeep Sarkar for taking up such a sensitive issue for a movie and showing how women can defend themselves against odds. Mardaani is a true celebration of woman power.