Film Review: “Mardaani” (2014)


Directed by: Pradeep Sarkar

Written by: Gopi Puthran

Country: India

Cast: Rani Mukerji, Tahir Raj Bhasin, Gautam Babbar, Anil George, Rio Kapadia, Avneet Kaur, Peter Manuel, Sharika Raina, Digvijay Rohildas, Sanjay Taneja, Eddie Teel, D.V. Vivek, Ashish Warang

According to the UN, 1.2 million children are trafficked worldwide for sexual exploitation. India is the world`s ‘hub’ of child sex trafficking and a tremendous amount of children are abducted every year.

Senior inspector of the Mumbai police, Shivani Shivaji Roy, is endowed with boundless courage and integrity. Her experience and instincts never fail her at crucial moments, and this is what makes her one of the best in the police department. The head of the Mafia, which specializes in the sale of children, makes a tremendous mistake.  They kidnap a teenage girl, Pyar, who is a member of Shivani`s family, and who is treated like a daughter. When Pyar does not appear for several days, Shivani understands that there`s something wrong.  In her search for the girl, Shivani has to face a world of decadence and debauchery, cruel desires, and the exploitation of children.

Bollywood produces more films than Hollywood, which no one can deny. However, quantity does not mean quality. Nevertheless, this film, directed by Pradeep Sarkar, proves some skeptics wrong.  Touching on a quite sensitive subject, and unlike most Bollywood films, it is filled with real drama; is an intense and good story.  Also, the film has no music or banal dances; neither does anyone commit suicide in the end or get killed, nor does it end like a fairy tale- with happily ever after.

Unfortunately, India is one of those countries where women, in some part of the cities, are abused every day, or are kidnapped and disappear without a trace. This is why it is very important to see “Mardaani” as it truly lets us see the Indians for who they are; where not everyone commits crimes against the fairer sex. Pradeep Sakhar`s idea was to show us that women can be as strong as a men and can stand for up for their principles and rights, and the desire to be heard, even though there is no one  who will hear their screaming voices –  only themselves.

The storyline of “Mardaani” revolves around a female police officer, who is capable of solving any unsolvable case. But, when a local Mafia kidnaps someone who is really close to her, she acts immediately, and starts her own cat-and-mouse game against those who are also responsible for the disappearance of many other teenage girls, and whose fates still remain unknown to their loved ones.

Rani Mukerji, who plays police officer, Shivani Shivaji Roy, has already appeared in another of Sakhar`s films- Laaga Chunari Mein Daag: Journey of a Woman (2007)- which tells the story of a woman who sacrifices her own happiness and reputation to financially support her family by working as a call girl. But, unlike her previous role, in “Mardaani” she plays a very strong woman who is like a female version of Rambo; showing the courage and determination to fight alone against the head of an organized crime unit to find all those abducted girls.

In conclusion, “Mardaani” might appear, for some of us, to be a typical, naïve, and silly Bollywood film. But when we set aside all the negative thoughts that we might have for Bollywood films, we will see quite an engaging drama with an important message that says- in the end we will celebrate a woman’s power, and that we need to begin to stand against domestic violence, abduction, and sexual exploitation. These crimes occur in every single country and some have done nothing to further the prevention of these atrocities.

where is the end we all will celebrate a woman power, as a beginning to stand against domestic violence, or abduction, or sexual exploitation that occurs in every single country, where in some of them done nothing to prevent it.

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