It's needless to say that human trafficking is one of 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 is like her daughter. Pyari is kidnapped by human trafficking mafia and is smuggled to Delhi. On her verge to chase Pyari, Shivani unearths a complete nexus in 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 tries to make a deal with her. But Shivani wants Pyari to whom Walt says no.
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 is no Dabangg or Singham. And that's why action stunts are not out of the world and were strictly non-required in the flick. Rani wasn't required to be a lady super cop in the flick. However, she had some to show off her strength, but it's all raw, which proves to be more heroic than unnecessary ‘hero-giri'.
Mardaani has much more meaningful content than that to explore and grasp. Pradeep avoids any Bollywood's old formula and keeps the narration of any other female cop as simple as he can. However, predicable and has less of innovation, but it hits the target.
Delhi has been a platform for exploiting many deeds rampant all over and this time, it's been targeted by Pradeep who into the lanes of the capital and digs up the facts of the hidden mafia.
He doesn't stretch the narration with melodrama or gives unnecessary emphasis over raging topic; he rather prefers to keep it straightforward without any fuss. The hard-hitting message comes out easily and effectively minus Bollywood cliché.
Just over one hundred and twenty minutes of investigative drama has verve for its technique of investigation which however, could have been a little more engaging. 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.
What more impress you are the dialogues which aren't filmy. ‘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.
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. And when required she is all set to bash up any one.
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, no songs are utilized and that's great for a Bollywood flick. The background score by Karthik Raja leaves more impact.
I'll go with three stars for Mardaani. It's no Chulbul Pandey or Singham flick but it's a Rani film that justifies the meaning of ‘Mardaani'.