A sequel to the 2014 film Mardaani, Rani Mukerji returns once again with Mardaani 2, this time up against a psycho young killer Sunny (Vishal Jethwa) who is out on the loose. The film packages a commentary on gender inequality and biases within the cat and mouse chase between a fearless cop and a ruthless villain.
Gopi Puthran, writer of Mardaani, this time not just writes but also directs this gritty drama of a woman on a mission to wipe out hideous crimes and clean this country from such disgusting pests. This crime thriller speaks volumes about equality for women and chooses the micro topic of safety to prove their point.
Based in Rajasthan’s education hub, Kota, this film talks about how in a city where new students enter every year, is not safe due to men’s ulterior motives and hormones. From the opening shot itself, the film carries on a tone of a gory crime thriller where the antagonist breaks the 4th wall, explaining who he is and how much he enjoys committing such a violent crime, that too with ease and a smile on his face.
Shivani Shivaji Roy, a fearless lady police officer, who accomplished great feats while working with the Mumbai crime branch was posted in Kota to carry out this operation. The writer-director does a smart job in establishing a milieu that is backward in its thought to carry out the practices of gender inequality to serve the greater purpose of the narrative. The deputy SP being a male having issues carrying out orders by a female superior, a journalist questioning whether the crime still consistent because it’s a lady officer heading the case. All this is a portrayal of contemporary blame game where nobody wants to stand up and find the solution.
Though glorifying the violence in some way, this movie could not have come at a better time with respect to the current state of women’s safety in the country. However, film wise, it seems very uneven. While chasing to make a perfect film in terms of duration, the filmmaker may have missed out on some really needed emotions of pain and agony which would add more intensity to this rather steep good v/s evil battle.
The film manages to keep its tempo high by addressing topics like morality, emotion v/s rationality, and with this, also keeps Shivani Roy on her feet while catching Sunny, who is always one step ahead of her, and manages to create a spectacle in whatever he does.
Puthran also uses some basic elements of screenwriting very organically to feed his plot like pushing Shivani’s back to the wall, making her race against time so that it raises the stakes and urgency of the brutal crime, and most of all, also adding a political layer within the film. All this though very simple, does add onto the graveness of the plot.
Vishal Jethwa as Sunny is a revelation. For a debutant, he pulls of this role of a cold, psychotic killer with great confidence and ease. Rani Mukerji however, yet again steals the show. She gets the nuances of playing this character spot on and doesn’t go overboard with her theatrics, however that doesn’t undermine the way she delivers her performance.
This brutally chilling saga, with run time of around two hours makes your stomach churn while giving you a reality check that in no way is pretty. Mardaani 2, though glorifies this crime, takes the gore, unpleasant route to showcase realty, which however may not leave a lasting impact due to its uneven jumps within visuals to aid the storyline.