Saturday, August 23, 2014

Mardaani



Rating : 6/10
Release Date : 22nd August, 2014
Time : 113 minutes
Director: Pradeep Sarkar; Writer : Gopi Puthran; Music : Salim-Sulaiman
Starring : Rani Mukherjee, Tahir Raj Bhasin, Priyanka Sharma, Jishu Sengupta, Anil George




Its Taken (if you’d like to know more about that film, click here) but Indianized. Its Rani Mukherjee, instead of Liam Neeson, playing a Mumbai cop. Not the daughter but someone who is daughter jaisi (wonder why ?). Add a huge amount of melodrama, teary music to an otherwise decent portrayal and you have a film which is decent, has good performances but, thanks to the above melodrama, never really builds up any tension or tautness to make you live the experience.



I like the way they built Rani’s character. Right from the opening raid to nab a criminal, the way she worked with her unit, her planning. The way she isn’t scared of getting her hands dirty. How she doesn’t really lose her cool, staying focused on the job at hand, battling bureaucracy, seniors and apart from one preachy scene, she mostly just gets on with it. The girl who gets kidnapped, Priyanka, someone she’d ‘adopted’, who lives at an orphanage but meets the family, including Rani’s niece who lives with them, frequently.



Her performance is matched by Tahir’s chilling, efficient and ‘its only business portrayal, the chief villain. He’s very good. Suggesting a better method of killing herself to a victim who threatens to commit suicide. Having phone conversations with Rani, trying to persuade her to drop the case.


What the film does well is make us care for the characters. Build them up nicely. Even people who appear in minute roles manage to make a mark, like Tahir’s mom, or the lady who takes care of the girls, or the police unit Rani works with, or the car dealer who is the front for the syndicate in Mumbai. What doesn’t work well are the slightly gratuitous scenes of the young girls undressing (well, perhaps necessary to show how the system works), the beauty parade they go through, the attempts to wring a tear, which actually dissipate any tension that was being built up.


I may be pilloried for this but child trafficking is probably a crime worse than rape and happens a lot more often (apparently one every eight minutes in India). Without as much media noise, police prevention effort going behind it. This one does a fair job of bringing this heinous deed to the forefront, describing the modus operandi, the organized nature of the syndicates running it and also the end users, mostly rich, well-connected, sick b****rds ! Probably just for that, it deserves an audience and a decent rating.

PS : The Nth time I’m saying this, but our celebrity obsessed culture really needs to change. Why is it so difficult to get names of the entire cast, as you can do on countless websites for English / French / German films. According to the YRF website the film only stars Rani & Tahir. Quite a few ‘big’ sites, in fact, only name Rani as the cast…which I don’t think is respectful to the other actors who sweat it out and perform in the film…

3 comments:

fiza khan said...

Indeed, child trafficking is a heinous crime but most certainly, one cnt be compared with the other or be said which one is worse. Both destroy lives!

Asad khan

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

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