Director: Pradeep Sarkar
Cast: Rani Mukerji, Tahir Bhasin, Jishu Sengupta
Running Time: 152 minutes
Rani Mukerji surely saw this collaboration with Pradeep Sarkar as an opportunity to extend her range as a serious actress. The result is an engaging and alarming film about human trafficking.
Shivani Shivaji Roy (Mukerji) is a senior inspector of the criminal branch in Mumbai. Fearless in confronting hardened criminals, Shivani takes on a case that changes her life. When a teenage girl, Pyari, is kidnapped by traffickers, Shivani sets about finding the kingpin’s whereabouts. A ruthless criminal kingpin versus police force battle ensues.
Once the case involving human trafficking becomes a central part of the narrative, the film becomes significantly more interesting and draws you in completely. Beneath the conventional dramatic flourishes are real-life references to the sensitive issues at hand.
The hunt for the kingpin and the eventual encounter are outstanding turning points to the script and brilliantly enacted. The sensational stories involving the illegal trade of young girls to foreign countries provide shock value.
Sarkar manages to perfectly capture the vulnerability, allure and transcendent appeal of the subject matter. However, the film’s flaws lie in the inconsistency of the character development and the inept editing. There are several scenes that lack the type of realism required for the subject. Furthermore, the presentation has nothing new to offer, resulting in a predictable flow.
Rani presents the conflicting and complex nature of her character through her confident body language and expressions. She gives a fine performance while dominating the acting without having to compete with a hero. Bhasin and Sengupta are integral side-characters.
Mardaani is a sensitive film with plenty emotions and drama to keep you engrossed.
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