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Movie Review: MARDAANI 

by Sonal Kulshrestha, TX, USA

The latest YRF (Yash Raj Films) production, Mardaani, released on Aug 22nd 2014. The movie, directed by Pradeep Sarkar and produced by Aditya Chopra, stars Rani Mukerjee, now Mrs. Aditya Chopra, in the lead role. Two things about this-

The Cast Will Cast A Spell On You....

This needs to be told and needs to be told a million times. 'Mardani' is Rani Mukerji's jewel in the crown of her acting career. It's her magnum opus. Her exemplar acting can only be compared with the perfect manisfestation of her character in terms of body language and body image. It's said that Rani had to gain weight to prepare for the role, and every inch gained, every pound put on was an effort well spent. She looked like a perfect embodiment of a strong woman and a courageous cop. After Inspector Bajirao Singham, Shivani Shivaji Roy , Senior Inspector, Crime Branch, Mumbai Police, is certainly a character gifted by the Bollywood film industry that we hope will stick around and handle many other issues that the women in India face. The reification of her character leaves you awestruck. Rani's performance was a tour de force. As much as I wish to harp on Rani's role, her comic timing, her personality, etc. etc, I'm just as eager to bestow accolades on the team of actors that play her subordinates as Crime Branch Mumbai Police Officers. They together (Akhilesh Verma, Vikrant, Mikhail Yawalkar) deserve the 'best supporting cast' award. In the entire movie, whether in uniform or not, their body language, their dialogue delivery, their mere presence screamed of what perfect production is all about. As for the bad guys, Tahir Raj Bhasin has given an amazing performance as the ruthless kingpin who looks like a guy you might know and sounds like the '12th man of the under-19 cricket' (as Rani calmly referred to him). He is the 'surprise take away' from the project. 

The Plot Will Jolt You To The Core...

Alright, I have eschewed the grim reality that the movie plot is based upon. Yes, the fact of the matter is that being inspired from many real life stories on female trafficking, it is hard to watch some of the scenes- those in which young teenage girls are abducted and objectified or suffer worse fate. But considering the subject, it has been handled very well- shown enough to jolt you to the core without lingering on too long- in short, it's about bringing home the point. The pace of the movie is phenomenal, Rani's style and calm demeanor add humor and anticipation. The end credits are accompanied with some hard hitting figures like, 'India is the world's hub for child sex trafficking... Nearly 40,000 children are abducted every year... Every 8 minutes a girl child goes missing in India!' You walk out questioning the society, the college boys who are the predators, the women who assist such demons, the helplessness of the girls, the mothers who have not taught their sons any better and worst of all, the huge clientele base that this most despicable business in the world has.

As part of the promotions, YRF has started a movement with #IamMARDAANI that encourages bold, independent and fearless women who have taken a stand to join the movement and let the world know. Hopefully, we hear of many real life heroines emerge from the campaign.

To summarize, all adults, don't miss this one! As for rating, this is NC-17- no one 17 and under!

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