Movie review by Anupama Chopra: Watch Mardaani for Rani Mukerji's performance

  • Anupama Chopra, Hindustan Times
  • Updated: Aug 24, 2014 10:24 IST
Rani-Mukerji-in-a-poster-of-Mardaani

Film: Mardaani
Direction: Pradeep Sarkar
Actors: Rani Mukerji, Tahir Bhasin, Anil George
Rating: ***

Gritty is not the adjective that comes to mind when you think of director Pradeep Sarkar or producer Yash Raj Films. So the first few minutes of Mardaani are startling.

Mardaani is about Shivani’s pursuit of a teenage girl abducted by child traffickers. Her investigation leads her to an unusual criminal — an educated teenager named Karan.

She calls him ‘Under-19 team ka 12th man’. He addresses her as ‘Ma’am’. The stage is set for a deadly cat-and-mouse game, leading to the inevitable climactic confrontation.

The best thing about Mardaani is the performances, led of course by Rani. She imbues Shivani with steely resolve but also gives her emotional depth. There is a wonderful pre-interval scene in which her family gets caught in the cross-fire.







Shivani suffers a body blow but doesn’t give an inch. It’s also exhilarating to watch Shivani clobber goons. At one point in the climax, I clapped.

Casting director Shanoo Sharma has found the right supporting players. Tahir Bhasin as Karan has an unhinged menace, even though Tahir’s adoration of Breaking Bad (he likes to call himself Walt) seems like a desperate bid for coolness.

Post-interval, the story derails considerably. By the time we get to the climax, we are fully in avenging angel territory. And, just like in Singham Returns last week, the solutions suggested are problematic.

Which is a shame, because this could have been so much better. In the rating above, one star is for Rani who, like fine wine, is only getting better.

From Around the Web
Sponsored by Revcontent

also read

Star Trek Beyond review by Rashid Irani: It’s an intergalactic fiasco
Show comments

Steps to disable Ad Blocker on your browser


In order to serve content on our website, we rely on advertising revenue which helps us to ensure that we continue to serve high quality unbiased journalism. From our end, we will aim to show clean and unobtrusive ads to provide you with a great browsing experience.

Request to please follow the steps below and once done, please refresh your page.


For Chrome and Ad BlockPlus users

1.Press the ‘ABP’ icon in your toolbar at top right of this page

2. Click on ‘Enabled on this site’; this should now change to ‘Disabled on this site’


chrome



For Chrome and Ad Block users

1.Press the ‘AdBlock’ icon in your toolbar

2.Select the option ‘Don’t run on pages on this domain’ and then click ‘exclude’ on the pop up


chrome

Steps to disable Ad Blocker on your browser


In order to serve content on our website, we rely on advertising revenue which helps us to ensure that we continue to serve high quality unbiased journalism. From our end, we will aim to show clean and unobtrusive ads to provide you with a great browsing experience.

Request to please follow the steps below and once done, please refresh your page.


For Mozilla and AdBlock Plus (ABP) users

1.Press the ‘ABP’ icon in your toolbar

2.Select the option ‘Disable on hindustantimes.com’


chrome

Steps to disable Ad Blocker on your browser


In order to serve content on our website, we rely on advertising revenue which helps us to ensure that we continue to serve high quality unbiased journalism. From our end, we will aim to show clean and unobtrusive ads to provide you with a great browsing experience.

Request to please follow the steps below and once done, please refresh your page.


For Internet Explorer and AdBlock Plus users

1.Press the ‘AdBlock Plus’ icon in your status bar at the bottom of the screen

2.Select the option ‘Disable on hindustantimes.com’


chrome

Steps to disable Ad Blocker on your browser


In order to serve content on our website, we rely on advertising revenue which helps us to ensure that we continue to serve high quality unbiased journalism. From our end, we will aim to show clean and unobtrusive ads to provide you with a great browsing experience.

Request to please follow the steps below and once done, please refresh your page.


For Safari and AdBlock users

1.Press the ‘AdBlock’ icon in your toolbar

2.Select the option ‘Don't run pages on this domain’ and then click 'exclude'


chrome