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Monday, December 11, 2023

Mardaani 2: Rani Mukerji Grabs Evil By The Horns

Yash Raj Films’ Mardaani 2 has been making headlines for several months and the trailer was anticipated with bated breaths.

Finally, we have seen the first glimpse of the film and it looks superbly impressive.

The two-and-a-half-minute video shows super cop Shivani Shivaji Roy (Rani Mukerji) posted in Kota, Rajasthan, where a rapist/serial killer is at large.

With the crime rate on the rise in the town, where thousands of students flock every year for studies.

Shivani has been assigned with the challenging of finding the perpetrator, who is mocking the police force by challenging them and killing female students.

She is also personally targeted by the criminal, whom she has addressed as ‘a monster.’ Shivani falls into one of his traps but she may have found a way out too.

As such, like the first instalment, this too promises to be an intense, harrowing cat-and-mouse chase between a law keeper and a sinister lawbreaker.

Reading NRCB statistics like “More than 2000 rape cases are committed by under 18 years in India every year” and “these are only the registered cases” sends shivers down one’s spine.

To know that rape happens so frequently, under our noses, is an unsettling sentiment.

These quotes are shocking and baffling how even in the 21st century such heinous crimes are committed.

At least through cinematic expressions like Mardaani 2, more awareness of how several rape cases go unreported resulting in several victims suffer injustice.

The ‘procedural’ genre has piqued in Indian entertainment. Earlier this year, we had a series like Delhi Crime, a thought-provoking feature such as Article 15 and now comes Mardaani 2.

In particular, Delhi Crime explored the topic of rape, with reference to the Nirbhaya case, with a strong human interest angle.

On similar lines, this film is also ‘inspired by true events’ in which it tackles horrific sexual crimes.

This movie, similar to the Netflix series is headlined by a female protagonist. This year has given us two iconic female cops – Vartika Chaturvedi (Shefali Shah) and Shivani Shivaji Roy (Rani Mukerji).

It is high time that such female representations are exhibited. Gone are the days when cops are depicted to be corrupt, patriarchal and antagonistic.

Sure, it’s great to have the Chulbul Pandey and Singham for the sake of commercial ‘entertainment’.

But such depictions of female police officers do not only entertain, but also inspire and compel audiences to think about the world we live in.

If anything, characters like Shivani Shivaji Roy can help instil the faith of police officers by the public. Such roles prove that cops truly are the heroes in our society.

Rani Mukerji, here is fantastic, to say the least. Her expressions, body language and screen presence scream formidability.

This could prove to be the performance of a lifetime.

After impressing us the Tourette Syndrome suffering teacher Naina in Hichki, seeing her return to this action-packed and emotionally challenging role makes us realise what powerful actor she really is.

But to what extent will Roy control her moral compass and whether tracking down one criminal is enough to end the web of monstrous crimes?

Regardless, Mardaani 2 will be a disturbing watch… But it is a film which one cannot turn a blind eye to.

Directed by Gopi Puthran (also the writer of the first Mardaani), the movie releases on 13th December 2019.

Watch the Mardaani 2 Trailer here:


Anuj Radia
Journalist and film enthusiast.

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